Some Apology

Half Moon Bay Weyr - [TP] Storage Grotto
Winding away from the Weyr's storage caverns, a short, narrow tunnel leads to a natural bubble in the surrounding rock. A string of small electrical lights have been run down the tunnel and into the cave, haphazard and usually drooping here and there, but it's lit bright enough to see by. Over the turns, the little grotto has been strewn with pilfered pillows and soft blankets, trinkets and old treasures. Somebody even managed to smuggle in enough large pillows to make a makeshift platform along the far wall. The back of the cave splits off into a tunnel narrow enough that only the littlest children could pass through — it's been rock-walled off, but water can still be heard from somewhere in the distance.

Late evening once again finds Heryn outside of the dormitories with a book and a plate of food, but this time he is far from alone. "Stupid fuckin' bronzerider," the bartender is muttering to his companion. "Probably laughed himself the whole way into the barracks." Mutter mutter. "Dunno how he even got in there in th' first place. Useless guards. Ain't they there ta keep him out?" ISTAN muttering no less. Alas, his companion does not reply, and so he's forced to give his own answer. "They sure are. Hope they get fired." Pale green eyes regard him for a moment before snapping back down to the feather the bartender is twirling around on the floor, reading abandoned for complaining instead. Again, there is no verbal answer; instead, his companion gives a wiggle of her butt, a little 'prr!' noise, and then pounces! Didn't I mention? His companion is a little grey kitten, all big eyes and stubby tail that goes a'thrashing as she overshoots her target and goes sprawling out on the ground on the far side of Heryn's hand, eliciting a sharp snort and a small smile. WAIT. No. He's angry about this. Frown. Grump. Mutter. Something something, Ila'den's manbits are threatened, snark.

Voices travel in tunnels and caves; far enough for a supply-fetching Cita to notice. Or possibly she's psychic. Maybe she's drawn to kittens. Bundle of infirmary gowns under one arm, book under the other, the healer candidate picks her way down the offshoot-tunnel carefully. With the Istan grumbling growing louder, Cita's eyebrows climb with every step; she recognizes the voice now. She's a little wary of the tight space, but settles as soon as she emerges into the little cave. "Wha —" Oh, no. It's cute. "Who are you getting fired, now?" Once the candidate's brain reboots, stops fizzing of the cute, she narrows her eyes a little, takes in the disgruntlement and attempts to not soften in face of KITTENS. Pacing over so the other candidate's plate is between them, Cita flops down, wiggling her fingers at the kitten and abandoning the bundle of gowns. Kittens are way more important. "Where did you get her? You're so cute. Yes. You are." The mighty healer, reduced to baby-babble at baby cats and not at all subtly trying to snag some food for herself. She's helping, see.

Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's MAYBELLINE. Actually, that isn't the worst name for the kitten, alas that the product doesn't exist on Pern. Sprawled out on the ground and attempting to pull herself back towards the bartender's feather by some strange mix of upside-down body and tugging claws, the kitten scootches her slow way along the pillowed cavern, totally missing out on somebody approaching until suddenly, Citayzleat is there! RUN! FLEE! VAMOOSE! All four paws flail in impressively differing directions, tiny chubby body trying to roll one way while her head whips in the other, resulting in a confusing flail of limbs and claws and hissing. Finally, the little thing finds some kind of purchase on a blanket and scampers up and over Heryn's legs to hide. Heryn tries to maintain the grump. Really he does, but even he cracks a little, snorting out quiet laughter before flicking his gaze up towards Cita. "Huh?" Oh, right. He's being sullen right now. Frown. "Oh. The guards." Pale green eyes peep up over the edge of Heryn's leg when the Healer finally sits, watching with alarmed hesitancy, ears half-cocked. Heryn's frown deepens when the little thing's origin is questioned, but he mutters a low, "Didn't get her. She was gifted." Which is… not an answer, he realizes, so he adds: "Ila'den." Watchful green eyes go wide when Cita reaches for food from Heryn's plate, big ears going flat, and somewhere behind muscular thighs there's definitely a butt wriggling all over again before — BEHOLD! TINY ADORABLE DEATH FROM ABOVE, the kitten using Heryn's legs as a springboard to bodily throw herself at the other candidate's hand. At least the intent behind swatting paws and light bites from needly kitten teeth seems to be to play instead of maim? Heh.

"The guards." Cita's brows raise, watching the skittering kitten with lips pressed together to hold in the helpless giggle. Rude to laugh at the teeny bosscat, after all. "Why are you getting the guards fired, then?" She ventures patiently, squinting at the other candidate. A gift, then. Huffing a helpless snort of amusement, Cita flicks her free hand, making a vague 'same diff' kind of gesture. She might have responded otherwise, except that her jaw's dropping now, which makes it a little hard to talk. An 'uhhhh' kind of noise is totally unhelpful, too, but it's all she can manage before DEATH! DEATH FROM ABOVE. A surprised squeak, and Cita bites back another laugh, eyes and nose scrunching up with effort. "Oh noo! No!" She flails her fingers, poking at kitten-belly and sides playfully and then raising her hand. It's THE CLAW, OH NO. Take that, and that! Even if the aim was maimage, it's likely that the healer wouldn't even care. Look at that tiny face. "Are you…sure? It was. Ila'den. That's. The rider who keeps molesting Pritkin? Isn't it?" Eyes narrow. She looks like she'd like to introduce Ila to THE CLAW, actually. "He. Gave you a kitten?" What.

Heryn doesn't answer at first, letting Cita get allll the way to the very end of his clipped rambling before - aha, there it is. Lips press and eyebrows go up when she gets it, as though to say 'yeah, that's why.' "Not actually gonna get 'em fired, but I'm thinkin' real hard about it," he drawls, accent still going, possibly without him even realizing it. Lips twitch up again when the kitten rolls onto her back, the better to go at Cita's hand when the woman engages her in BATTLE. Gnaw goes the little mouth, kickitty-kick go tiny back legs, and out go little toe-beans in a fierce display of sharp toenails of all four feet, teeth baring cutely as she wriggles on her back, preparing some sort of defense against THE DREADED CLAW! Heryn's small smile doesn't exactly fade off his face, but instead goes brittle around the edges, the bartender entirely too calm when he replies with a hard, "Yep." Yep he's sure? Yep, that Ila'den? Yep, the one that kept trying to make off with Pritkin? All three, maybe, since he doesn't clarify. Instead, he heaves a sigh and fluffs at his hair with one hand, expression suddenly torn in the face of her narrow-eyed look. "Well. Technically. It might've mostly been his dragon, or him telling his dragon to. I don't know." It's all very confusing, still, a jumble of thoughts mixed in with pain, judging by the bartender's sharp wince, the sort the Healer might only usually see when removing caked bandages or asking after old wounds. "Still. I don't see Teimyrth fitting back into th' barracks, so he had to've helped somehow." Because that clears it all up. Thank you, Heryn.

Those knife-y little toe beans aren't gonna scare Cita away. She dives right in, patting at feetsies with her fingers and cackling under her breath. Yeah, she can't help it now. "I'm gonna get your belly." She mock-growls, claw-tickling the soft little belly and taking the consequences in stride. Making pained 'rar, rar' noises, Cita eyes Heryn, eyes narrowed to teeny slits once more. "You should eat your food." You know. Before she eats it. Or he faints of low blood sugar, or has to eat the kitten for sustenance, or increasingly dire predictions. The explanation on dragons gets a slow blink from the healer, face going a little slack again, this time warily. "His…dragon?" She's never met the bronze, bless. That pain is noted with lips drawing down into a not-quite-scowl, fingers stilling slightly. Hackles up: check. It's a long moment before she ventures a question, expression closing up a little. "He didn't get you, too, did he?" There's a growl in her tone, coughed out reluctantly. "I'll have him called in or a full work-up. He's not young, is he? He might need them quarterly." Her tone suggests that this exam would involve some sort of awful torture, but at least she's not growling. No sense scaring the kitten. "Why the shells did he give you a kitten?" Cita is so lost. Lost and wary. She still croons at the tiny baby cat and its evil little toesies.

The kitten starts emitting teeny little growls for patting fingers, the wee thing trying to chase after the taps to each paw - even the hind paws, which result in hilarious attempts at kittycrunches. Claws coming down at her belly are met with consequences, but mostly of the FLEEING variety, the grey seeing a battle that couldn't be won and RUNNING FOR THE HILLS. Or. You know. Sprinting off behind Heryn again, tail whipping furiously about her person as she goes. Blue-grey eyes roll skywards for the feline's antics, and might've rolled again if the Healer's own gaze hadn't narrowed to slits. "Thanks, mom," he mutters, but he does as he's told, picking up a slice of fruit and cheese and eating them together, taking his time to chew in that long moment before Cita asks another question. Heryn stiffens too, misunderstanding the Healer's words, taking them as referring to Teimyrth's special brand of mental invasion rather than Ila'den having carted him off. Which. Probably makes the next bit sound really bad. "Yeah. It was fuckin' terrible. Ain't felt that helpless in… well, a real long time." Confusion wrinkles his brow when Citayzleat goes on about bringing him in for quarterly exams, of the sort that usually require a capital 'E' and a whole lot of prep work the night before, some part of the bartender's brain finally putting two and two together. "Oh. Shit. I thought you meant the bronze. No, Ila'den was… fine." One thumb comes up to press into the space between his brows, massaging back and forth before he finally says, "Okay, sorry, done a shit job of explaining this. Let me start over…" And he does, quickly summarizing the brief interaction with the bronzer, his niece, and his dragon (though perhaps leaving out minor details like his marriage and his deal with the devil). "…And then he said his dragon would give me a cat to make up for it. I told him no," Heryn says with an obvious glance at the kitten peeking around his lower back to PEER at Cita. "But here we are. I can't decide if he was trying to be nice, or trying to be an asshole." Both?

"Noooo!" Cita's mood is easily distracted by cute kittens. The little fleeing furball is mourned, fingers wiggling after her woefully. Come back, kitten! That eyeroll and mutter distract her, but the healer keeps flicking her fingers playfully even as she huffs. "I don't want to carry your heavy butt back to the barracks, Heryn." Cita points out, adding her own eye-roll to the statement. Any harder, they'd fall right out her head. She might have expounded on it further, except Heryn's stiffening, and then talking again, and Cita's obviously trying not to actually go wring anybody's neck. Her flicking fingers still, then clench into a fist, and dark eyes go flinty as she eyes the narrow tunnel out. "I can't believe —" But she almost speaks over him, and shuts up, actually listening. The summary is quick, the whole story not long — and sure, she might smile a little for the cuter parts, but the dragon? Not so much. It takes effort for her to not actually go red, or let the steam come pouring out of her ears cartoon-style, but the carefully blank expression and vein in her temple are still pretty telling. "I can't believe he did that." Cita murmurs, a little strangled. "That dragon ought to know better." That's quieter, but the healer shakes her head, frowning slightly. "Are you alright?" Beat. "Some apology." Like that kitten isn't the cutest thing since little-tiny kids. Pfffft. Like she isn't going melty around the edges, frown fading as she wiggles her finger at the kitten for its peeking. It's easier than being helpless about healing mind-hurts, anyways, playing with little cats. "Sounds like both to me." Real helpful. "I bet the dragonhealers could bring the dragon in, too."

Worry not! The kitten won't be gone for long. Already she's flattened herself to the ground, little head jerking up and down, watching the area around the plate avidly. Claws tense into a pillow. Ears pin backwards. Heryn reaches for more food, patiently enduring Cita's dramatics and WHABAM, there she is again! This time she tears into the bartender's hand, bodily flipping over it while peppering his skin with bites and tiny scratches, and finally the man just can't take it anymore. He scoops the teensy thing up, ignoring her squeaks of displeasure so he can kiss all over her leetle face. One paw eventually makes its way out to smack over his lips in a very firm 'STOP' gesture, and only then does the man cease his return attack, laughing around the paw before lowering her back to the blankets. There, she shakes herself heartily, pointing an indignant look up at him and a scandalized look over at Cita before setting about licking herself until she falls over onto her side with the sheer effort she's putting into it. It'd all be very convincing if she wasn't purring big old rumbly purrs. Heryn's fond expression fades for the Healer's strangled murmuring, brow pinching again as he sighs. "You'd think. I dunno his dragon well enough to judge, and he weren't much letting on as to whether it was that harsh on purpose or not." He's much quieter in the face of her question, mouth shifting around the corners, a visible indication of several answers that come and go, mostly of the 'I'm fine' variety that she'll no doubt tear through in a heartbeat. "No," he says, settling on truthfulness in the end. "I… don't feel like goin' into the details, but pain and I have a shitty relationship. Little stuff, or accidental stuff, I got no problem with, but…" More aggravated hair fluffing. "That? That was terrifying," he finishes, tone lacking the sense of hyperbole that usually accompanies the use of the word. "You gotta wonder what it's like, having a mind like that attached to you at all times." Lips press together, Heryn's gaze distant for one of any number of reasons during that beat before he offers a small snort. "I mean… I've had worse apologies." Yes. There's definitely worse things than the little lump of grey now peering between them with winky, drooping kitten eyes. There's a nod for the likelihood of it being both, but in the end, he simply sighs and says, "Nah. Isn't worth the time or effort. I don't think he meant it to be completely mean, in the same way I don't think Ila'den does the shit he does to be cruel, either. In fact, some alarmed, traitorous part of me thinks they might actually be decent." You know. WAY DEEP DOWN INSIDE. Another sigh, another headshake. "It's all very confusing." Hence the muttering, no doubt. There might honestly be more, but there's a sudden noise in the hallway beyond, and suddenly a young couple stumbles into the nook, clearly intent on something more interesting than eating food and playing with kittens. One of the girls catches sight of them and gasps, then titters, the both of them blushing a furious shade of red before running right back out, but the mood is broken. Heryn's eyes are set a'rolling again, and he gets to his feet with a grumpy, "Let's go somewhere else, yeah? Maybe get 'er some food and find a quiet patch'a garden or somethin'. That's th' second couple ta do that, I'm about tired of all the blushin'." Scooping up the kitten and offering Citayzleat a hand up, the bartender then makes to leave, grumbling something rendered incomprehensible by his Istan accent as he goes.

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