Happiness Overflows

Day 16 of Month 3 of Turn 2721
Half Moon Bay Weyr - East Bowl
The eastern end of the crater that forms the Weyr. The cliffs rise to the east, north and south of you, small openings in the face are individual weyrs of dragons and their riders. To the north is the large ledge and cave mouth of the Queen's weyr, with a wide ramp and stairs made by skilled stone masons providing access to the bowl floor. To the east is the Weyrling training area and the barracks, where young riders and dragons learn to work together.

There's a speck of green in the sky. A bird? A plane? ….Nope, just Zhelinath. She circles the weyr as she comes in for a landing, the sun glinting off the gold dust that runs along her neck and back. As she comes in closer to landing, N'on is visible on her back, dressed in a plain set of leathers. With a crack of wingsails, Zhe backwings to a landing, daintily touching one back leg to the ground before the rest of her smoothly settles to the ground. With the ease of repeated practice, N'on slides to the ground the next moment. He lands with quite a bit less grace than his partner, his boots making a solid *thump* against the hard-packed ground.

Etinei is here on business…well, her journeyman's business. Once again, Etinei's been dragged along on a 'learning excursion' (whatever one of those is), and has then been left to her own devices while the journeyman goes to visit someone. Well, it gets her away from her books for a while - and gives her an excuse to visit friends! Ambling along the bowl, a smile brightens her face when a certain recognisable green lands nearby, and Etinei heads in Zhelinath's direction, waving to N'on as she sees him landing on the ground. There's a look of awe at the sight of the pair, confident as they appear.

Zhelinath spots Etinei first, and a moment later the rider's attention turns in that direction, a brilliant smile on his face. He waves back with enthusiasm and starts walking in that direction. He starts by catching Etinei into a hug, unless she squirms out of the way before he can. Zhe follows her lifemate at a casual pace, and upon arrival, huffs a breath of air at Etinei to ruffle her hair.

No squirming here! Both caught by surprise, and supremely glad to see N'on (and Zhelinath!), Etinei lets him grab her into that hug. She's grinning the whole time, and even laughs when Zhelinath's breath makes her hair move, sending some of it across her eyes. "I heard you'd graduated! It only feels like yesterday-" She doesn't need to finish the sentence, but there's no sadness here; time has passed since the hatching now, and any sad feelings long since buried, to be replaced with delight for her friend and his green's achievements.

N'on nods enthusiastically, with a glance to Zhelinath. The green settles down right there, getting comfortable while watching Etinei with her eyes whirling with interest. "How are you?" N'on signs. "Hungry?" He gestures vaguely toward the living caverns, where no doubt there will be /something/ edible to be found.

Etinei is still grinning when they've parted, and apparently she's been doing some reading up on sign language. Though she doesn't get it as quickly as spoken words, after a pause to compute she answers his question. "Good! Actually. I should be getting my journeyman knots any time soon." She nods enthusiastically when he mentions eating, glancing towards the living caverns. "We could catch up over food? I want to hear what you two are getting up to nowadays." Zhelinath is included in that, the green getting a smile from Etinei.

N'on beams and gives Etinei a double thumbs-up, then turns to accompany her toward the living caverns. Zhelinath spreads her wings out to catch more sunlight, while her inner eyelids slowly shut. Her mindvoice reaches Etinei in a refined whisper, carried on the back of the scratching of quill pens. « We have been teaching the others to sign. It is a very useful skill. »

Etinei matches N'on's pace, face angled towards him as she takes in his appearance. He's a long way from the candidate she shared barracks with all that time ago. Were she so inclined to such thoughts, she'd probably ponder how much she's changed over that time, but she's not. She glances back at Zhelinath when the dragon bespeaks her, but her answer is aimed at N'on, since they're moving away from his dragon. "How is it going, teaching other people to sign? Is it the people in your Wing?"

Something about that question inspires a flicker of an old anxiety, but he covers it with a crooked grin and a shake of his head. After a moment to consider the best way to answer, he simultaneously signs while Zhelinath provides a translation directly, once again in her faint whisper. « The weyrlings. » He shrugs, still smiling, but then gestures toward Etinei with a quizzically raised eyebrow.

Etinei is more than patient waiting for an answer, watching for the reply without staring. Her whole body language is relaxed, in fact, though she looks as quizzical as N'on when he gives that answer and its accompanying shrug. "The ones from your clutch?" She asks, a step behind in this regard, but not above asking for clarification. The gesture to her, she also doesn't seem to fully understand - or if she does, she wants to work out what N'on meant with that first statement before she answers.

N'on nods to confirm her guess, then makes a funny face at the idea that it might be any /other/ weyrlings. « He's too shy to teach anyone else, » Zhelinath volunteers, with the merest breath of gentle disapproval. N'on wrinkles his nose at that sentiment and shakes his head. He signs something quickly and a bit complicated, but luckily Zhelinath is still willing to translate. « Tell us about your crafting projects. »

Etinei seems to have some conversational signs down, but not enough to fully understand - thank goodness for Zhelinath and her translations. "Oh, I see. Well…maybe one day…?" But she won't press the topic if it's an uncomfortable one. She does have a light of recognition in her face for some of the next few signs, but it's not until after Zhelinath's spoken that Etinei answers. "Well, I've decided I'm going to specialise in the engineercraft," she says chattily, the topic an easy one for her to talk about. "It's a lot of delicate work, but - I've produced some good work so far, apparently. I think having small hands helps with the more fiddly bits." She lifts her hands, wriggling them in demonstration.

N'on seems perfectly content to listen to Etinei chat on about her craft. In fact, his attention remains on her, full of interest, and a grin for the wriggling fingers. "What have you built?" he signs. Zhelinath, for her part, /will/ provide a translation… but this time there's a delay as she waits to see if Etinei gets it on her own.

There's that glow about Etinei as she gets to talk about her craft - and, after another of those pauses while she puts words to signs in her head, she smiles. As pleased for her understanding as for the opportunity to talk, she apparently has enough of the language to get what N'on means. "A few things…circuit boards mainly. I did one with another apprentice, to go into this new kind of distance writer he was trying out. My bit worked wonderfully, though…his part needs more work." Her gaze dips, the feeling that she's bragging niggling at her.

"Far writer?" N'on signs back, adapting common signs to echo her words in a way that will be easiest to understand. About that time, they reach the living caverns, and he gestures for her to precede him while waiting with interest for a further explanation.

Etinei nods, getting his meaning and confirming that such a thing exists. She'll talk of it a little longer, as they head into the living caverns, but once they've settled with food she'll be keen to turn the questioning to N'on, to find out more about how he's doing in this new stage of his life.

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