Catching Up

Western Weyr - Lagoon Shore
A sandy beach running along the edge of the lagoon, between the sparkling waters and the bowl. Sometimes riders and dragons are seen playing in the water nearby or a dolphin can be seen cavorting. At other times seacraft can be seen coming in under the arch to dock. The lagoon is large enough to fill a quarter of the length of the bowl. A path winds out along a ledge out to the docks to the southwest, the lagoon to the west and the bowl to the east.


It's a nice day at Western, even for winter. Plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. And that's why Zi'on is down at the beach. The bronzer is in the shallows, chasing around a boy of about ten turns that looks suspiciously like him, without the beard and not as tall or as old. It is of course, Zi'on's eldest son Ezio. When Zi'on manages to wrap him up, Ezio starts yelping. "You cheated, da!" Zi'on just laughs. "How's that?" He asks Ezio. "You had your eyes open!" The boy retorts, making a face at him. The bronzer laughs. "You don't know that!" Zi'on looks at his fingers then. "I'm pruney. I think I'll lay out for a bit. Don't go too far out." And then the bronzer heads for the beach, where their blanket and towels are laid out.

Kaiath has practically dragged Nae out to the beach today. Not that Nae needs much dragging, she loves the beach. But her lifemate seems to love it even more. As full of energy as ever, the green bounds towards the waves, crooning and trumpeting to other dragons she passes on the way. Nae hurries to catch up. "Kaia! Slow down!" She is, of course, ignored enitrely.

As conscientious as Rhysa tries to be, days like this are difficult to resist. No doubt there are things she could (or should) be working on, but surely they can wait an hour or two; it would be a waste not to enjoy even a small part of this fine, fine day. She's not been here long, though— she's still adjusting her towel to sit just so as Kaiath and Nae arrive, and the sound of the greenrider's voice (or is it Kaiath's trumpeting?) draws her attention upwards, a smile immediately beginning to play across her mouth. "Nae!" she calls. "If you give up chasing her, come say hi."

"Incoming green!" Ezio yells, rushing out of the water after his father. "Look out!" Not that Zi'on doesn't see Kaiath heading their way. "Whoa there. I know this green." Zi'on gives a wave to Kaiath and her rider. And he spots Rhysa at about this time, offering her a wave as well. "Come say hello, then you can get back into the water." Zi'on urges his son, who looks disappointed at his play time being interrupted. This is the time when everyone converges on Rhysa.

Kaiath has at least developed enough control and coordination that nobody is in any actual danger of being trampled during her mad dash to the water. Which is not to say there isn't still a strong risk of getting splashed. Nae can't possibly keep up, and once she's distracted by Rhysanna's greeting she turns and gives her fellow former weyrling a big smile. "Rhysa! It's been too long. How's life as a Weyrwoman?" Then another familiar pair of faces appear! She greets both with a smile and wave. "Hey there!"

"As you can see, I'm buried knee-deep in work, and have no time for anything else," answers Rhysa, dryly, but not without a smile. "How's it going with the weyrlings?" It's Nae's greeting towards Zi'on and Ezio as much as the bronzerider's wave that turns the goldrider's attention; she returns the wave, watching the pair of them as they get closer. "Well hi," she says, dropping into a cross-legged seat upon her towel, hands resting loosely upon the light, brightly colored fabric of her skirt.

Zi'on is glad his son isn't about to get trampled. Even if the boy doesn't look too thrilled to have to meet older riders. Splashed is okay. Zi'on and Ezio just came from the water, of course. Ezio sticks close to Zi'on, the boy almost an exact replica of his father. Zi'on laughs a bit at Rhysa's response to Nae's question. "Ezio, this is assistant weyrlingmaster Nae, and weyrwoman Rhysanna. Who I was talking about earlier." Ezio looks at both girls, studying Rhysa for a moment. "Hi. Uh… nice to meet you, or whatever." Zi'on stretches his arms out to Nae. "C'mere Nae, I haven't seen you in forever." Nevermind that he's soaking wet.

Nae gives Rhysanna a big grin and a thumbs up. "They're in my hands now, right? How could they be anything but fabulous?" Good to see that weyrlinghood hasn't mellowed Nae's out of control ego. "I'm glad to see you still haven't forgotten what's important in life. It's really great to…" Then there's Zi'on and his son. She returns the greeting enthusiastically despite Ezio's lack of enthusiasm. "Nice to meet you, too!" Even if he probably meant Rhysanna. She bounds over to hug Zi'on, heedless of his drenched state. Good thing she's already in her swimsuit. "I know! It's been way too long. Been so busy since graduation…"

Genuine, warm laughter answers Nae's comment on the weyrlings, though further comment is forestalled by Ezio's introduction. Rhysa opens her mouth to answer the boy, and then hesitates, hovering just on the edge of awkward, though - for once - she hasn't actually gone pink, even under that studying gaze. Progress? "It's nice to meet you, too, Ezio," she says, just a little carefully, though she's still smiling brightly enough. "Are you…" momentary pause "Having a good day with your dad?"

Zi'on eyes Nae. "They better be well-trained. Or you can kiss your weyrlingmaster dreams goodbye." He teases. Sort of. Ezio's greeting was for both ladies. He's not quite at the teenage age yet, but that doesn't mean he gives a hoot about his father's friends. Zi'on gives Nae a wet-hug. "Rhysa told me about your busy-ness. Where is she?" He asks with a grin. Ezio shrugs to Rhysa. "I guess. Ma lets me bring the pony when we go to the beach a lot of times. Dad never does. He doesn't like runners 'cause he fell off one time. Do you have any runners?" He asks Rhysa.

Nae hugs Zi'on tighly, but then crosses her arms over her chest and gives Zi'on a broad grin once she pulls back. "You should know by now that I take my work seriously. They are going to know their stuff cold. Test them yourself when the time comes, if you like. I can do this, and I'll prove it to you." A slightly cocky nod follows that before she looks back to Rhysanna, smirking a bit. "Rhysa told you that, did she?" She laughs softly, then looks back to the Weyrleader. "Working, I'm afraid. You haven't met her yet? The gorgeous redhead from Vintercraft?" Evidently she thinks that's a sufficiently clear description.

Rhysanna is probably still keeping at least half an ear on Nae and Zi'on's conversation, but her attention is visibly - for the most part - upon Ezio. Poor Ezio. She does, however, grin in answer to Nae's smirk. But, to Ezio: "Does she? Did he? Well… no, no I don't have any runners. I've never even ridden one, actually. But I think they're pretty." Talking to disinterested ten-turn-olds is clearly not one of Rhysa's greatest skills. Maybe that's why her gaze flicks off towards the other two riders, right about then.

Zi'on laughs to Nae. "Do I? You certainly have gotten serious over the last few months. And I will be testing some of them myself. But I don't hand out punishment. That's Ila'den's job." He grins. "You been practicing that speech?" He nods then. "She did. Though no, I don't think I've met her. I don't know any vinters. You'll have to introduce us." Ezio meanwhile stares at Rhysa like she's from another planet. Apparently not everyone grew up the spoiled brats of the weyrleaders! "Well, you can ride mine or mom's. Ma won't care." Ezio looks up at his father then. Zi'on sighs. "Alright, your social obligations are over." Ezio perks right up then. "Woo! Byeee!" And he runs back out into the water, thus freeing Rhysa from forcing conversation with a nine turn old.

Nae smirks and shakes her head at Zi'on. "If any of them aren't up to snuff, you just tell me. Trust me, I was a weyrling not all that long ago. I know the best ways to… motivate them." She sounds almost sinister when she says that. Her grin is slightly unsettling, but it mellows out a little more when the topic turns to Hotaru. "I'll have to introduce you two sometime. It'll be great." She watches the child flee the conversation, laughing a little bit.

Rhysanna flushes under the weight of Ezio's stare, opening her mouth to say something and then shutting it again, promptly, when the boy is released. Phew. At least, as she turns her attention back towards Nae and Zi'on, she's smiling. "Weyrlingmaster Nae is kind of terrifying," she decides, then, giving a pretty good indication that she has indeed been following that conversation. "And yet, I have a sneaking suspicion that it's all really quite effective. I'm still glad I'm not suffering under her— regime." For Nae, she offers a teasing smile.

Zi'on raises a brow at Nae. "Well, they're your pupils…" He says. Though he doesn't sound overly sure he means it. There a nod to Rhysa. "She is scary." He agrees. "Hopefully I don't end up flashed a picture of Nae's topless self from a bunch of weyrlings, though." He nods then about Hotaru. "I heard you two were thinking about weyrmating already. Does that mean she's alright with your… sampling sort of lifestyle?"

Nae gives Rhysanna a big wide grin in response to her assessment of the future terror she may wreak on weyrlings. "You better believe it. The best teachers inspire both fear and love after all. So I'm the perfect choice." She giggles and spins back to face Zi'on, smirking again. "We /have/ weyrmated. We live together now. We've… found an accomodation." How vague.

Although she raises her eyebrows, just gently, Rhysa still seems mostly amused by Nae's pronouncement, though she turns her gaze temporarily towards Zi'on to assess his expression, thoughtfully. It's the mention of weyrmating that has her sitting up straighter, though, and turning dark eyes back upon the greenrider. "I didn't realize," she says. "Well— congratulations." She, at least, doesn't seem inclined to ask for the details of this… accommodation.

Nae would look like that. Zi'on is starting to wonder about his decision to let the greenrider be a weyrlingmaster. It seems to have made her even crazier than before. Zi'on is happy to leave that topic behind. Before he tells Nae to join another wing. As Ezio leaves, he heads over to grab his towel real quick before returning, drying off on the way. "Ah. I didn't realize. Congrats, in that case." He peers at her last statement then. "O….kay?"

Nae gives Rhysanna a warm smile. "Thank you. And… it means a lot to me that you like her. I mean… you're my best friend, y'know?" Her smile turns a little apologetic. "I'm sorry I haven't had too much time to hang out recently. We should make up for that, sometime." She nods before looking back to Zi'on. "Thank you. The important thing is… she makes me very happy. I think she's the one for me." Aww.

"I'm just glad you're happy together," is Rhysa's answer, quiet but undeniably firm - not to mention pleased. "But yes, we should. We can't let the fact that we're no longer weyrlings together keep us from—" She waves one of her hands idly, evidently intending that gesture to sum up the rest of her thoughts. There's something rather smug in her expression as Nae continues; afterwards, at least partially as an aside to Zi'on, she says, "See? Adorable."

Zi'on wraps the towel around himself and sits down next to Rhysa. "It's good to see you happy, Nae. You seemed lonely during weyrlinghood. Even if you couldn't have sex." He looks between Rhysa and Nae. "You two should hang out more. Starting right now. Get close, ladies. Before you drift apart." Zi'on grins. He wraps an arm around Rhysa. "Yes yes, so cute. I guess Nae is a romantic after all. Just not towards men. Or maybe just not towards me. You don't get to be so picky." He tells the goldrider with a grin.

Nae can't help but laugh a bit at Rhysanna and her smug expression. "Adorable? Is that what you said?" She grins and shakes her head, laughing a little before looking back to Zi'on. "I think it's all about finding the person that's the right match for you. You two are much, much better suited for each other than you and I were, Zi'on. I'm glad things have worked out so well."

"What? You don't think it's true?" Rhysa grins back at Nae, shrugging her shoulders easily. "The two of you are so sweet together I want to swear off sugar altogether, and even when it's just you, talking about her… adorable." As Zi'on puts his arm around her, she leans in against him contentedly, laughing. "I think I get to be more picky," she corrects, teasingly. "Just differently picky. Towards you and no one else, right?" Grinning, she glances back at Nae. "Everyone's happy, just as it should be."

Zi'on nods. "That's what she said! To me as well, about you two. Or at least about your newfound romantic and loving side." The bronzer nods to Nae, and gives Rhysa a squeeze. "I'm hoping third time is the charm." He says with a grin. "-More- picky? Oh boy. I hope I'm not being held to high standards here. I'm a man, after all. A sexy powerful man, but still a man." He winks to Rhysa and kisses her temple. "So what's the plans for you and your vinter girlfriend, Nae? Family? Little Nae's running around?"

Nae shrugs her shoulders and smirks. "I tend to think of myself as more sexy and alluring than adorable. But under the circumstances, I suppose I can't disagree with that." She smirks more, then looks back to Zi'on. "… Someday." She admits. "… Maybe not right away, but someday. I still have to become Weyrlingmaster, after all. And she just walked the tables."

Rhysanna laughs, giving Zi'on an amused (but pleased) glance. "The highest of standards," she tells him. "But don't worry, I'll take into account your mere male-ness. I'm not unreasonable. There's no point setting anyone up to fail." Her gaze slides back towards Nae, visibly interest in the answer to this question. "Planning for the future!" she says. "Good. It makes sense to wait. It's not like any of us are in any rush, right?"

Zi'on laughs. "We all tend to think of you that way, Nae. Which is why you're so adorable when you get all mushy about your weyrmate." He ponders. "How's that work then? Who does the baby carrying?" He laughs. "Weyrlingmaster might be many turns away for you, young rider." He laughs at Rhysa. "Thanks." He pats her leg. "Well, I don't know about you ladies, but I'm certainly not getting any younger!" Hint hint! He kisses Rhysa on the cheek and then gets up to his feet. "I've got to take Ezio to get something to eat. He's as bad as I am about forgetting if he's busy with something else." The bronzer whistles to his son. "I'll see you ladies later."

"It might be many turns away, but that doesn't mean I won't get there." Nae says with a cocky grin and a wink at Zi'on, her arms still crossed over her chest. "… We're still working out the details. We've got a while. Anyways… have fun with Ezio!" She waves and giggles before looking back to Rhysanna. "That boy sure does think about babies a lot, doesn't he?"

Rhysanna can acknowledge a hint, certainly, but she only laughs in answer to it, giving Zi'on's leg a gentle squeeze before he gets up. "Have fun," she agrees, echoing Nae. The greenrider's question has her laughing all over again. "Doesn't he just. You'd think that with six kids already, he'd be all fathered out, but… no, apparently not. I mean, not that I mind. It would bother me if he weren't interested at all. But still."

"I think it's a bronzerider thing." Nae remarks as she watches Zi'on depart. "No matter how many kids they have, it's never enough. Seems to be the way of things." She shrugs her shoulders. "… So is that the way it's going with you two, then? Kids?" She asks with a little smile.

"Is it? It's not something that has come up between me and most of the other bronzeriders I know," muses Rhysa, stretching out her legs now that she doesn't have a Zi'on to take up space upon the towel. "Eventually. I'm not even twenty yet, and while I know plenty of people have kids younger than that, I… I'd rather have time to enjoy adulthood first, you know? Besides, I still have so much to learn about my job, and I'd hate to be that person who finally starts being helpful and then suddenly gets all distracted by babies. But we've talked about it. I do want them. And he'd like… planned kids. I think none of his others were."

Nae smirks a bit. "That's probably just because most of the other bronzeriders have at least enough brains to realize you're not someone whose pants are easy to get into." Nae theorizes. "Anyways… I agree with you. We're too young. That's how I feel, anyways. No kids for at least a couple of turns. I need to be Weyrlingmaster first!" She's fixated on that now, it seems.

That makes Rhysa laugh. "Bronzeriders aren't interested in challenges, then. Just easy girls who'll bear more children for them, apparently. My mother always did tell me to stay away from bronzeriders. Zi'on is a notable exception to that." She turns her head, considering Nae for a few moments more before actually answering. "Mm. Exactly. I just need to prevent it from happening accidentally, in the meantime. Weyrlingmaster. Are you really in that much of a hurry to have that much responsibility?"

Nae grins lopsidedly, taking a step closer. "Your mother was probably on to something in that regard. Still, as far as bronzeriders go… well, I think you did about as well as you could." She laughs softly. "I'm just glad things worked how they have." The last question makes her cross her arms. "Rhysanna. The moment they chose us, we were destined for a life of responsibility. No fighting it. I figure I may as well embrace it."

Rhysanna's smile, already present, shades rather warmer and brighter still for those first comments; she inclines her head forward, evidently in agreement. The answer to her question, though, has the goldrider hesitating, her brows knitting as she exhales, carefully. "I suppose so," she allows. "I hadn't thought of it that way. And it is good to have ambition, right? Something to work towards. Just… be careful how you present yourself to Zi'on, mm? You have to remind him you're responsible, not worry him."

Nae gives Rhysanna a confident smile. "To quote the old cliche, actions speak louder than words. I intend to deliver results, not just boasting. That will be what convinces Zi'on and your Weyrwomen in the end." She pauses, smile fading just a little. "But… you probably have a point. As usual. Maybe I should tone it down a little."

The smile makes Rhysanna grin, and certainly, she gives a little nod in support of it, though it's the latter remark that she actually answered. "Just a little," she suggests. "Which isn't to say that I don't think Zi'on knows as well as I do when you're…" Being Nae. "But I suppose it's the difference between Zi'on-the-person and Zi'on-the-Weyrleader. Professionalism. You're enjoying it, though, I hope. It's everything you hoped it would be?"

"It is." Nae says with an easy little smile. "Kaiath's a born teacher. And I think she's helping me realize that maybe I am, too. I think this is exactly where we need to be right now." She settles down on the sand, eyeing Rhysanna curiously for a moment. "How about you?"

"Good." Rhysanna's voice is quiet enough, and firm enough, to suggest she means that both seriously and genuinely, though her smile remains in place. "It's so important, I think. To be in the right place, and to know it." She's slower to answer Nae's question, though, and her gaze drops towards her feet as she mulls over her answer. "It's… I don't know. I'm learning a lot. I'm more comfortable with pieces of it." She glances up again. "I think, maybe, I'll learn how to be good at it. In the short term, I'll settle for 'competent'. Taveh helps, too. So… we're adjusting. Some of it… sometimes, it's just satisfying." Which has her smile reappearing.

Nae's smile twists into something more sympathetic. She reaches out, placing a hand on Rhysanna's shoulder. "We've been through a lot of big changes and adjustments over this last couple of turns. Even more in these past few sevendays. I think it's natural to feel overwhelmed. But if anyone can handle it, I know it's you."

That hand makes Rhysa's smile turn rueful, though it quickly broadens again. Her own hand lifts to press atop Nae's for a moment, before dropping again. "Your confidence in me helps," she says, with quiet warmth. "And… yes. That's what Zi'on said, too, the other day: graduating is a huge adjustment for all of us. So. We all just have to do the best we can, and hope that, in time, it'll all become easier. And it will. Everything does. So."

"Everyone has confidence in you, Rhysanna." Nae quickly assures. "I don't think I've ever heard anyone say they were anything less than thrilled you ended up where you are. If you find the confidence, you'll be a wonderful leader for this weyr." She smiles a little more. "But I don't think anyone will begrudge you a little time to adjust."

Rhysanna lets out a shorter, slightly more uneasy laugh for that comment. "I'd make a comment about how anyone would look great compared to Liora, but… that would defeat the purpose, and I don't really mean that. I don't have that poor an opinion of myself, I promise." She gives Nae a grin, then says, "Anyway. Want to swim? I want to make the most of this time before I need to get back to work."

Nae grins a little wider. "I'd love to. I didn't come out here dressed this way for nothing, after all." She stands up, brushing sand from herself and offering her hand. "Let's do it!"

Rhysanna's own grin broadens to match Nae's. She pulls off the wrap she's been wearing over her bikini, then grabs for Nae's hand— and then they're off towards the surf.


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