Fort Weyr - Gemstone Tavern
The dim lighting by the flicker of candles lining the walls is enough to offer a view of a room decorated in such a way as to be tastefully appealing. Each piece of furniture and decoration is chosen to accent another piece, and so on and so forth, matching and tying the whole room together in a theme that's separate, and yet at the same time unified. Tables line one wall, dimly lit by candles hanging in sconces all along. The bar along the far right wall is made of richly toned mahogany, tooled by a master and polished to shine with the soft glow of wood at its finest.
Candles strategically placed add to the atmosphere, accenting, punctuating. Towards the back is an open fireplace, constantly burning with a bright light, warming the tavern on cold nights and serving as a gathering place for patrons' story-tellings. Across the room, lush pillows and soft-covered floors promote relaxation at ease. Just before the pillows is a long stage, so full of its own vigor and memory - nicks here, marks there, scuffs from footware and other things - that it's possible to imagine the shows put on for the patrons without necessarily seeing the performances.

Another autumn day and winter creeps all the closer. No rain today but the air is frigid and carries a hint of frost to come once the sun goes down. It's only late afternoon but already the sky is darkening and many are returning from a hard day at work. The tavern is a favourite haunt of those who work outside of the Weyr walls and is beginning to fill up rapidly as the rush defends. One table has been occupied for a few minutes prior and Th'ero is comfortable in his usual spot near the back and against a wall. His jacket is slung over the back of the bench and he is flipping through a few sheets of paper with only half-focused attention.

Kimmila walks in with a pair of woodcrafters, chatting easily and laughing. Parting ways as they head to the bar, Kimmila's steps take her without hesitation to the table in the back, where she bends to offer her weyrmate a kiss. "Hello, wingmate, have you ordered yet?" she asks, waiting to sit depending on his answer.

There are still a few empty seats by the bar if the woodcrafters are looking for a place to roost, with most of the occupied ones held by a group of hunters who are also chatting amongst themselves and laughing. One of the gruffer looking men has a carved weapon of sort, looking to be handcrafted himself to judge by the way he's holding it out for the others to examine. At his table, Th'ero looks up as he catches a glimpse of Kimmila approaching and he kisses her back, not caring who sees it. "Afternoon, Wingmate. And I haven't! I was hoping you'd come by and so I waited. What would you like?" he muses and pats the spot next to him. Sit! Does he even have to ask?

Kimmila slides onto the bench to sit beside him, smiling. "Something warm. Stew? Bread? Ale? Whatever they've got that's warm and hearty," she says, smiling at him and then looking around the bar. Peering at the men at the bar, she tilts her head a bit at the weapon one of them is showing off. "What's that thing?" she murmurs to Th'ero.

Th'ero slips his arm around her and pulls her close. "I believe they have a herd beast stew and a chowder today. Bread, always. Ale, I'll never say no. Did you want a cider?" he murmurs as he lifts his free hand up to signal a server over so they can place their order. Tilting his head a bit, he'll try to catch a glimpse of the object but the gruff looking hunter is too animated as he talks and it keeps moving from his hands to those of his comrades. "Can't tell. Looks almost like a short spear but it's also like a cross bow bolt…" There's an involuntary shudder there. Ugh.

Kimmila grins at him, crookedly. "I want an ale," she clarifies. When their order is taken, she looks back towards the bar and she shudders as well. "Oh. Hope he puts it away soon," she mutters.

Th'ero quirks a brow. "An ale it is then," he drawls and rests a hand against her thigh. When she shudders as well, he leans a little closer to her as his eyes drift again to the hunters. The item in question isn't put away but it's caught the attention of the woodcrafters who came in with Kimmila earlier. New conversation is struck and seemingly innocent enough that Th'ero focuses back on her, rather than the hunter. "I'm sure he will." he reassures her soflty and gives her thigh a little squeeze. "How were the cotholds today, Wingmate? Which did you visit?"

Kimmila rests her hand over the top of his, giving it a gentle squeeze in return. "I didn't visit any. I was in the camp today, helping with some repairs with Mom." She smiles at him. "Simple things. And cleaning, clearing away some stuff to get ready for the winter camps taht come through."

"We're expecting some winter camps this Turn?" Th'ero murmurs, smiling down at her and keenly interested. He enjoys to hear about her days, as she tends to have ones that are FAR more interesting than most of his. "How is your mother doing?" he asks and then goes silent as the server returns with their ales and their food as well. Thick, hearty stew and some fresh baked bread and butter to go with it. Mouthwatering!
Kimmila nods. "Oh yes, we always get camps in the winter. Mostly kids coming up from tropical regions. Kids who have never seen snow before. It's a lot of fun. Kyzen's almost old enough for the parent/kid camp. There's a special Father/Son one you two should do sometime." Then there's another smile. "She's good, busy as ever. Thank you." That's to the server before she tucks into the meal. YUM.

Th'ero makes a thoughtful sound and when she suggests the father and son camps, he chuckles heartily and gives her a playful nudge to her side. "Is there any special event for mother and son?" he teases her gently. "Perhaps I'll consider it, if duty allows me enough time to escape. Though you and Kyzen should spend some time together too, you know." With the food in front of them, Th'ero helps himself to some bread and promptly uses it to mop up some of the stew. Why use utensils? It's the tavern! He can skimp on manners. "Glad to hear you're mother is well," he mumbles around mouthfuls of food.

Kimmila chuckles. "There are mother/child events, and parent/child events. But as far as I know there's no mother/son things. Mother/daughter and father/son, and the open mixes. And I'm sure I'll go to some of those, but you should really do at least one father/son one. They're a lot offun. Hiking, camping, crafts…just good bonding time."

Th'ero frowns but when he speaks his tone is still light and faintly amused. "Why are there no mother and son events and father and daughter events? Doesn't seem fair that you're put into a mother and child category." he muses as he works on his stew and washes it all down with a few slow sips of ale. "I never said I wouldn't, Wingmate. Only that I don't want to seem to be hogging Kyzen to myself. I enjoy our outings all together, but seeing you two bonding is just as nice."

Kimmila chuckles, grinning crookedly at him. "You going to play Weyrleader and go talk to the administration out there? I guess there just aren't enough sevendays in the season, wingmate. And you're not hogging Kyzen. It's important for us both to get alone time with him.

Th'ero laughs softly and leans in to gently kiss her cheek. My, my he's being affectionate in public tonight! Could be that in the Gemstone Tavern, he feels as though he can relax a little more. "Nah, I won't play Weyrleader with this one. It is important we both get alone time with Kyzen and perhaps we'll rotate that throughout the winter with these camps? Fair enough?" he muses, grinning at her and enjoying this light and carefree moment with her. What could possibly go wrong? The hunters and woodcrafters are still talking amongst themselves, but a keener eye would see that the mood of that gruff hunter, the owner of the strange object, looks a little upset and tense. When there is laughter again, some of it is genuine but some of it is tense and nervous. Something isn't quite right but since everyone is behaving, it can go on unnoticed very easily.

Kimmila smiles. "He's not even old enough yet. I think they start them at seven turns." She dips her head to her food again, and she does not notice the slight shift in mood. She's focused on what's in front of her and what's beside her, so that subtle shift is lost on her.

"Oh," Th'ero murmurs. "I thought it was for young children too." He missed her telling him how Kyzen was almost old enough. He hasn't caught the shift in mood and won't for some time, absorbed as he is in enjoying an early dinner with his weyrmate and nursing an ale. It's only when the shouting begins and the shoving that the Weyrleader looks up and scowls. "Now what?" he growls under his breath, his arm slipping around Kimmila to hug her fiercely and brief to his side before pulling away and dropping beside him. She needn't look too long to see that he's subtly unbuckling the hilt of his dagger. Yet he doesn't leap up and jump into the situation quite yet. Right now it seems that the bartender is trying to dissuade the situation.

Kimmila looks up from her meal as well, reaching down to also loosen her dagger in its sheath. "What's going on?" she murmurs aside to her weyrmate with a frown. A frown of 'why are our good nights almost always ruined?'

Th'ero rests a hand against her arm and turns his head to give her a look. Easy, be easy! "Not sure. Might just be a disagreement? Something a bartender can handle without us having to interfere." he murmurs to her and it's true. Things seem to be winding down, with the gruff hunter standing down but reluctantly so. The item is on the bar surface and the woodcrafters are trying to talk their comrade out of doing anything stupid while the bartender is warning them. "See? Just a slight incident." Th'ero remarks to Kimmila, trying to reassure her. He'll eat those words later! It would have been FINE if it wasn't for the rider who tries to step in. A very young, very green (but ride's brown) rider. Fresh out of Weyrlinghood, new to his rank and over assessing the situation. His arrival and the words he speaks are like throwing oil to the fire and the tension between the groups ratchets up several levels and the argument resumes but far more heatedly.

Kimmila rolls her eyes, muttering curses under her breath when she sees the greenrider step in. "J'esh," she mutters. "He thinks he's far more capable than he actually is…"

"J'esh?" Th'ero echoes and frowns heavily as he tries to place the name, only to have Velokraeth fill in the blanks. He grunts. "Surely he's not that bad?" he adds and again, he really should learn to just quit talking. It's like he's the master at jinxing things! A scuffle breaks out and there's an uproar, with poor J'esh trying (and failing miserably) at containing it. With a groan that swiftly changes to a frustrated and angry growl, Th'ero is pushing to his feet. "Come on, Wingmate. We best sort his out so we can EAT in peace this evening!"

Kimmila is already on her feet the moment the scuffle breaks out. "This is why we hide," she replies. And by hide, she means find places where no one else knows where they are. She moves forward at Th'ero's side - not close enough that they'd be in each other's way though. But she'll let Th'ero speak first. Throw that knot around.

Th'ero grimaces. "I know. Do not tempt me to have us go find our hideaway," he murmurs in a lowered voice to her and he is not meaning their weyr! Striding forwards, his posture will change with each step and he is certainly preparing to throw rank and a few of the not-so committed woodcrafters and hunters take one look at his knot and the look on his face and shrink back, there eyes also drifting to Kimmila and they know when they don't stand a chance. J'esh has stammered himself to silence, while the two aggressors are still going at it, even as Th'ero clasps the shoulder of the gruff hunter and hard. "What seems to be the meaning of this?" he says in a very firm and authoritative voice. Anwsers! NOW. "And it better be good, as you've gone an interrupted everyone's evenings."

Kimmila shifts around Th'ero to put her hand on the shoulder of the other guy - the woodcrafter - and squeeze hard. "Knock it off," she says, soft but firm.

The woodcrafter shrugs Kimmila's hold off like it's nothing and just glowers at her. Meddling riders! "He started it! Brandishing around this thing of his and claiming no woodcrafter worth his salt can do a hunter's tool!" he exclaims, still flustered and angered. His pride has been hurt! The hunter just squares his shoulders and juts out his chest, despite the warning from Th'ero to stand down. "Cause it's true, by the Egg! I made this clever thing and of course this uppity bastard claims rights! All cause he witless wood all day!" The Weyrleader just grits his teeth and scowls so long and hard at the hunter that the man just scoffs himself into silence. J'esh by this point has shrunk back against the wall. "I don't care who made what, but you both need to learn respect AND to control your drinking." Oh yes, both parties are well into their cups. Look at all those glasses! "And take the advice of my Wingrider Kimmila here. KNOCK it off! I want all of you to clear out, seperately and go about your business else where."

Kimmila arches a brow at the woodcrafter, her hands hanging loose and ready at her sides. "Shardit all, who gives a fuck?" she snaps as the two men continue. "You're bickering worse than toddlers. You know your skills," and she turns to /stare/ at the woodcrafter, "so why do you need to get all uppity about it in a bar with some drunk hunter? Out. Woodcrafters first."

Maybe the woodcrafter has had too many drinks or he was dropped on his head as a baby (or knocked in the head a few times too many by a tree) but rather than bow out with the rest of his dignity (and common sense) in tact, he turns and looms over Kimmila, oblivious to the fact that she is a rider. His cheeks are a dark mottled shade of red and his fit to spit he's so mad. "Who gives a fuck? I do! I give a fuck!" he yells, not caring for the looks he receives. "Why should I listen to you, you uppity little bitch?" That receives a few started gasps and shocked murmurs. Even the gruff looking hunter goes wided eyed and a bit slack in the jaw. Uh, dude? The woodcrafter is too wrapped up in his drunken furor to notice the dark scowl Th'ero is boring into him. "You ain't got no say, Wingrider! Why do I have to answer to you?" The woodcrafter goes on to boast, laughing but receiving no backup. His fellow woodcrafters have backed away and are looking down. Shunning him. The hunters are edging away too and the Weyrleader? He grabs the offending woodcrafter by the back of his tunic and even though the man has a few feet and inches on him and more weight, Th'ero hauls him sideways and sends the man stumbling into a table. So much for a brawl? "She DOES have authority over you and so do I, you stupid ignorant man!" Th'ero barks, posture tense and stance at the ready. The woodcrafter's alcohol field brain sobers a bit though and he gapes, mouth working silently.

Kimmila's brows lift when he turns on her, but she doesn't rise to his bait. Instead, she just laughs, a soft, almost pitying sound. She's unable to say anything before Th'ero has him hauled away. "Don't dig yourself an even deeper hole, man," she encourages. "Out."

Th'ero steps back from the woodcrafter. As mad as he is, he's not looking to start a fight and has already crossed enough lines for one afternoon. It'd be a much different ending, however, if he even had an inkling idea that Kimmila is carrying his child. Far too soon for that and so he steps to her side and allows the woodcrafter to collect himself and slink away. He doesn't go to her side in an entirely protective manner. No fierce and shielding hug, but he does go to her side to support her. Once the man is gone, there is an almost audible sigh to the room as the tension just whooshes out. Th'ero glares at the remaining woodcrafters. "You too. You best go make sure your "friend" doesn't cause more trouble tonight. As for you!" And he points to the hunters now, who stand their ground but look uncomfortable all the same. "Don't brandish your tools in public and expect all to admire them! In fact, it was rather stupid of you to be tossing it around. Now get out of here. You've done enough damage."

Kimmila stands beside Th'ero when he approaches, supporting him in turn. They're a solid team, united together against drunken stupidity. She just nods as he orders folks around, resting her hand on her dagger hilt idly.

Oh, but the hunters won't be let off THAT easy! Th'ero stands proud by Kimmila's side and as the hunters slink by them too to follow the same quiet exit he will snake his arm around her back and gently press his hand against it. "Our apologies for the disruption," he says out loud to the remaining patrons to the lounge. "Please, enjoy the rest of your evening." In peace. The bartender goes about his business and conversation resumes at the other tables. Th'ero has that look about him when his desire to escape is rising and he looks to Kimmila. "Back to our meal?" he asks her softly. Meanwhile, J'esh is doing his best to melt back into the background. They'll forget about him, right?

Kimmila watches things settle down, studying each face until…"J'esh. Over here." Glancing at Th'ero, she nods and turns back to their table, sliding onto the bench as she waits for J'esh to slink over to them. And she'll resume eating, because she's not going to let some over-zealous brownrider ruin her (now cold) meal.

Th'ero's gaze focuses sharp and keen on J'esh and the brownrider sighs. Caught! He'll slink over to the table but he won't sit. He'll stand at the end of it and wait until the Weyrleader has taken his seat next to Kimmila before launching into his (weak) defence. "Sir. Ma'am," he begins, already stammering and flustered and made all the worse by the snort and glowering look Th'ero gives him. Get ON with it! "I tried to disarm the situation. Honest! I don't know what I did wrong. Anything I said seemed to be out of context to that man."

Kimmila glances at Th'ero, and then up at J'esh. "Sometimes, J'esh, it's best to say nothing. Sometimes they'll see the knot on your shoulder and move on. Sometimes, you need to not jump in to every little thing." Okay, that last one? That's a lot of times.

Th'ero says nothing and focuses on nursing the last of his ale. What Kimmila says is the truth and there is little else the Weyrleader has nothing else to add, save to watch J'esh closely. The brownrider fidgets and looks down and away. "Yes, ma'am. I'll try to remember that." he murmurs and looks very much his age then. So young! So full of the need-to-be a hero complex! Oh, but how he's learned tonight! "See that it sticks this time, J'esh. You're dismissed. Report to your Wingleader." Th'ero drawls at last and J'esh doesn't need to be told twice. The brownrider is off like a shot the moment he's secured his freedom!

Kimmila watches the brownrider go, and when he's gone she can only chuckle softly as she continues to eat. "Well. That was entertaining."

Th'ero snorts and picks at the last of his meal before pushing it aside and draining the last of his ale. "I'd have preferred a night without entertainment of that sort!" he grumbles, fidgeting under the stares that continue to drift towards their tables.

Kimmila reaches beneath the table to rest a steadying hand on his thigh, giving it a gentle squeeze. "I know," she murmurs soothingly. "But it's over now, and we can go back to enjoying our evening."

Th'ero goes still and lowers his hand to rest it over hers, squeezing back and then lacing his fingers through hers. "Might have to move on from here," he mutters around the rim of his mug. "I've had enough of staring for one day. Was I too rough with the man?" Now he has doubts?

Kimmila squeezes his hand back, and then she shakes her head after another bite of food. "No, not at all, wingmate. Not at all. You handled it just fine, don't question yourself." Stop it. "We can move though, if you'd rather."

Th'ero exhales again and gives her a fond and gentle smile. "I can't help but question myself sometimes. Even when I know that I've done right. They were all very much in the wrong, especially when he turned on you and they both ignored J'esh." he murmurs and then shakes his head and holds her hand firmly. "I can grow a spine and stay here a little longer if you're enjoying your meal, Wingmate."

Kimmila smiles back at him, letting his hand go. "Let me finish?" she asks, peering at her meal. She's almost done and is enjoying it quite a bit, despite the drama that was served along with it. Though she does snicker, darting a sidelong glance at him. "Wingmate, you have quite the spine."

"Of course." Th'ero murmurs with a smile and he will even pull his plate back with his half eaten meal. He'll pick at it some more, even if his appetite isn't quite as robust as it once was. Drama does not aid his appetite! Maybe dessert will fair better? Her snickering earns her a curious sidelong look and an amused half-grin. "Do I? Can you tell?"

Kimmila grins again. "You're easy to read, wingmate," she chuckles, amused. "Very easy to read. For me at least." Finally!

Th'ero chuckles heartily and gives her a very gentle nudge to her side as he finishes up the last of his stew. "So long as I am only very easy to read by you, Wingmate, I am fine with that. I'd like to leave anyone else to guess! Makes it more entertaining that way, don't you agree?" he muses in a low murmur by her ear.

Kimmila grins, tilting her head to listen to him, before she laughs softly. "Oh yes, I do agree."

Th'ero laughs as well and setting his plate and pint of ale aside, he slips his arm around her and lowers his head to nuzzle at her neck. Let those who are still staring get an eyeful of that! Not that that is scandalous at all. "Almost done?" he teases gently.

Kimmila arches her brows in surprise when he nuzzles her, and she laughs. "Almost, almost," she teases him, finishing off her food. "Okay. /Now/ I'm done," she says with an amused grin. "Now what would you like to do?"

Th'ero grins as he leans back, chuckling deeply and waiting patiently as she finishes off the last of her food. "Hmm, what shall we do now that our "entertainment" has been fulfilled for the day?" he murmurs, brows knitting together in thought. Then with a grin, his eyes flash with a brightness that is both eagerness and mischievous. "Let's fly, Wingmate. I need some fresh air and to be away from prying eyes. Let's go back to the weyr, dress warm and let our dragons sort out where we should go with in Fort's territory."

Kimmila laughs, perking up at his idea. "That sounds wonderful." Clearly eager, she stacks their plates and rises, sliding off the bench and grabbing her coat, bending to pick up a glove that tumbles from the pocket. "Race you back," she says, and then she's gone, zipping out the door and pounding the trail to the weyr.

Th'ero looks rather pleased and a touch smug when she perks up. He will give a sneaky and daring (but brief) leering look when she bends to pick up that glove as he slips on his jacket only to look startled when she throws him off guard. Wait, race? "No fair!" he calls after her, earning them some looks from the other patrons as the Weyrleader gives chase to his weyrmate. A few snickers may follow too! Out and down the path Th'ero gives chase, but he was never meant for running and Kimmila will hold her lead but not by much! On the ledge, Velokraeth is stretching and he has picked up on his rider's mood and rumbles in a pleased and eager way. Time to fly!

Kimmila snickers, stretching her legs as she runs, joyful and swift. Up those steps and onto the ledge, only…"Where's Varmiroth?" It's a stupid thing to say out loud, but she does anyway, hands on her knees and panting as she scans - mentally and visually - for her wayward blue. "Velokraeth? He's being coy…help?"

Th'ero skids to a stop, almost colliding with Kimmila (by accident, honest!) and he too bends forwards with hands on his knees to pant and catch his breath. Maybe they should run more often? "Does he usually go wayward like this on a whim?" he asks with a crooked grin between breaths. "Velokraeth would be happy to help." Sure enough, the bronze whuffles reassuringly to Kimmila and almost seems to wink coyly at her. Anything for such a beautiful lady! « Varmiroth! Little brother! Where are you? » the pale bronze calls out, extending his mind in search of the blue.

Kimmila shrugs, her smile crooked. "Sometimes. Sometimes he just wants to be alone, other times he wants me to come and find him. Varmiroth's thoughts are distant and hazy, instinct. Hiding. He's there, he's certainly not /that/ far away, he's not in trouble or pain or fear. He's /hiding/.

Oh, ho! There's a game afoot? Velokraeth gives himself a shake and then rumbles low and deep in his chest, tail flicking from side to side. Not in annoyance, but in eagerness! « Come now, little brother! I sense you are hiding and I can tell you are away from the Weyr. But could you just not give a small hint? Just to start! » And then the hunt will begin! Th'ero's eyes have unfocused as he speaks with Velokraeth and blinking, he focuses back on Kimmila with a grin. "Looks like he wants to be found? Velokraeth sensed that he's hiding. Shall we, then?"
Kimmila snorts softly, her expression fond and amused for her lifemate's decision of a game. "Yes, let's. Thank you," she adds in advance, for Velokraeth being willing to carry her. But Varmiroth gives nothing more away, his mind a gentle night with soft breeses tickling through evergreen trees.

Velokraeth whuffles again and this time fondly towards Kimmila. No thanks needed, the bronze does not mind carrying her at all! The pale bronze gives Varmiroth a mental nudge, playful and teasing. Fine! Be that way! Th'ero laughs and walks into the wallow to gather the flight straps and begin slipping them on to Velokraeth's hide and buckle them, gesturing for Kimmila to help if she's comfortable in doing so. Checking to be sure he has all his gear and all is set to order, he grins to her and gestures for her to mount up. "Ladies first?"

Kimmila grins, pulling on her riding gear and shaking her head. "You guys up for this?" she asks as she climbs up, and up…and up. "Faranth you're huge," she says affectionately to the stunted bronze, rubbing his neck when she's settled.

"We are," Th'ero states without hesitation. This is the sort of thing he needs after the little episode out in the tavern! He'll follow Kimmila up the straps, waiting on her to settle before slipping in behind her and buckling them both in. Velokraeth's neck arcs and he puffs up his chest at Kimmila's praise. Some would be offended by being called 'huge', but not him! Oh no, he's pleased as punch and shows it. Tells it too, by breaking a few taboos and speaking directly (but very gently) to Kimmila knowing how his presence sometimes makes her dizzy. Just a little sip of wine soaked thoughts! « How kind of you to say! » he muses and then in a voice laced with wicked humour he adds wryly. « The golds and greens would agree with you. » Yep. He went there. With Th'ero oblivious, no less! "Ready, Wingmate?" he asks. "Any idea where he is?"

Kimmila rubs the bronzes's neck and then she pauses, listening, appreciating that he's so gentle with her mind. She bites her lip, sharing her amusement, and with Th'ero none the wiser. "No clue. Let's start flying, he'll give us some idea at some point."

Velokraeth would never intentionally hurt Kimmila or bring her discomfort and he will withdraw once he senses her amusement. Th'ero will sense some sort of shift in his lifemate and he frowns, glancing from bronze to Kimmila. Nah, couldn't be! "I sure hope so! Fort is vast." he muses and slipping his arms around her to grip the straps, he adds. "Alright, Velokraeth! Let's go find Varmiroth!" With a warble that echoes over the Weyr (so much for a private exit?), the bronze leaps forwards and then springs aloft and sweeps his wings. Up and up he goes, as fast as a bronze his size can and then he levels out, only to drop down again to gain speed and snag a thermal as he veers out to the forests.

Kimmila leans back against Th'ero as they rise and as they fly, smiling warmly. "Have to admit," she calls over the rush of the wind, "it's nice to fly /together/."

Th'ero supports her easily against his body when she leans back and smiles down at her lovingly, enjoying the contact and the sensual feel of having her so close while they fly. "Have we not done this before?" he calls over the wind, trying to keep his head close to her ear. Velokraeth soars on at a level height and good pace, while his mind reaches out for Varmiroth again. Where oh where are you little brother?

Kimmila nods, "I think we have, yes, but it's still nice," she replies. Elsewhere, wherever he is, Varmiroth's thoughts continue to drift with the scent and sound of wind through the evergreens. A faint trickle of water edges in, and then vanishes.

Th'ero chuckles and tilts his head to nuzzle her, which is tricky given the flight gear but the gesture is still the same. It is nice and he's enjoying many aspects of it! Velokraeth rumbles under them as he absorbs what precious little Varmiroth shares. That could be anywhere! Yet the trees beneath him have so few evergreens… Ahh, is that a clue? Suddenly the pale bronze surges upwards in a tight spiral, a feat of agility rarely seen in a bronze but costly in strength. Startled, Th'ero grunts as he has to shift in the saddle against the force of Velokraeth's change in direction, easing back only when the bronze levels out again to hover. Evergreens… Evergreens… There! "Take it easy!" Th'ero's words can be heard drifting on the wind, but Velokraeth folds his wings and dives down, dropping several feet as the winds whistle and race by before he snaps his wings open and soars, drifting into another thermal as he veers towards a thick expanse of evergreens. One of many!

Kimmila yelps in surprise and then whoops in excitement as Velokraeth takes such a bold move. Atta boy! "I think he's got a clue," she laughs. Varmiroth is amused, indeed, but the bronze is no closer to finding him. That is not the grove where he is nestled hiding, among the rocks…

Velokraeth take delight in the whoop from Kimmila and turns his head slightly as he rumbles towards his rider. Lighten up, Th'ero! Shaking his head, the bronzerider can't help but grin. "What tipped you off?" he drawls, only to clutch at her by tightening his arms around her when Velokraeth surges forwards again. Over the evergreens he goes, swooping and sweeping in great arcs and seeing no sign of a pale blue hide he darts upwards again and sends the ground zipping away. When the bronze gets his boxy behind moving he gets it going! He'll tire himself out to the point of exhaustion at this rate though! Up and up and another pause as he scans the forests. Where oh where can a blue hide?

Many, many places. The evergreens, the wind…it's chilly. Very chilly. The water trickling by across the stone has a musical quality to it, and a tinkling of water on…ice?

Velokraeth's head swings as he surveys the land below (HIS land!) and then it clicks. Ice? Ice! His whirling eyes fixate on the glacier mountain and pick up speed as excitement trickles through him. A babbling brook, by chance? Clever blue! With a roar that signals Th'ero to the bronze's next move, he leans forwards and heavily against Kimmila's back. "Hold on!" he calls by her ear and then voices a whoop of his own as Velokraeth dives again but this time with a bit of a corkscrew spin before he straightens out. Why fly straight? The bronze gives himself up to the wildness of the winds, chilly or not, and his path is fast but chaotic. Up and down, side to side, slipping from thermal to thermal as his wings beat and carry them on and on towards that mountain. Hot or cold?

Kimmila hangs on and whoops encouragingly to the bronze, pressing back against Th'ero s they fly together. And Varmiroth…is getting warmer, warmer, warmer…the blue is amused and /pleased/ that the bronze picked up on the subtle clues so quickly. Come find him, but he's a bit hard to spot, his blue hues blending in very nicely with the shadows across the ice.

Velokraeth surges onwards, encouraged by Kimmila and now by Th'ero as well as the bronzerider allows himself to be swept up into the moment and unwind. Laughing by her ear, he hugs her close and grins, spurring his lifemate farther. Varmiroth's choice to camouflage is brilliant and it does take Velokraeth time to find him. Several times, he will soar right on by and circle back, reaching out with his mind in an attempt to pinpoint the blue that way. When he zips by again for the third or fourth time and arcs up towards the mountain itself, Th'ero peers over his shoulder and then shouts over the wind, his body tensed with strain to stay forwards in the saddle at the angle Velokraeth takes. "Shards, Velokraeth! He's back there, don't you see?" The bronze snorts. He does! But… Aha! Snow is spotted and landing precariously, he hastily grabs two great handfuls of the powdery snow before pushing off again and arrowing right for Varmiroth's blended form and his mind exuding nothing but mischief and laughter.

Varmiroth surges upwards when Velokraeth /finally/ sees him, the nimble blue roaring in delighted laughter as he pushes himself skyward, twisting and turning to try and avoid that snow. On the bronze's back, Kimmila grips the straps tightly and /laughs/, squealing in delight.

Velokraeth roars back as Varmiroth surges upwards, delighted and amused. FOUND YOU! Let the snow fly! The bronze will toss it at the blue's twisting and turning form, the powdery stuff hardly a threat but meant to be a mock-threat all the same! Lets see how nimble and defensively the blue can fly! Th'ero grips the straps and Kimmila tightly as well, laughing almost breathlessly and adding in his own whoops and calls as Velokraeth twists and turns, spins and dives after his "target".

Varmiroth is quite the nimble one, but still, some of the snow manages to hit him and he ducks down to grab a handful himself, surging upwards in all his chasing eagerness. Rising, he attempts to twist around the bronze and toss it down on top of him - and his riders too!

Velokraeth warbles in amusement as Varmiroth grabs some of the snow. That's the spirit! The bronze goes on the defensive then and only at the last moment does he catch on to the blue's ploy of dumping snow from above. Clever move! He twists, rolling his body as he folds his wings and his passengers will just have to cling and hold on for dear life as the world goes spinning! Th'ero is NOT used to this sort of flying, but he grits his teeth and withstands it, even if his stomach is a bit uneasy. The snow strikes, but hits more of Velokraeth's ticklish underside and with a roar, he veers off and straightens out, going for more snow and zipping back after Varmiroth and letting it all fly once he can get close enough. One more round! Velokraeth challenges his friend, having strength for one more game before he has no choice but to land for a bit and recover.

Varmiroth turns, twists and roars his delight, dropping to fetch more snow himself. He heads straight at the larger bronze in a game of chicken, though it doesn't last long as he's quick to veer off, more nimble than his ledgemate, sending the snow flying head-on as he zooms upwards with a mental laugh.

Velokraeth does not shy away from a game of chicken and with a rumble so deep that his rider and Kimmila are likely to feel it he surges forwards, only to twist as Varmiroth veers off. Nimble the blue is and nimble the bronze is not! That snow smacks him right in the nose and he sneezes and coughs with force, his flight staggering and stalling. Gah! That was sneaky! Velokraeth twists again, beating his wings to stay aloft and roars to Varmiroth. He wins! The bronze concedes and soars down towards the ground and despite his "defeat", Th'ero is thumping the bronze's neck all the same.

Varmiroth turns and follows after his friend, rumbling and warbling, praising him with a childish glee that he found him. That hiding spot was /hard/. Landing, the blue goes in to nuzzle Kimmila first, and then Velokraeth, pressing close with a near purr.

Velokraeth is panting a bit from so much flying and daredevil stunts, but he basks in the praise from his friend and from his rider both. The bronze LOVES clever games and Varmiroth gave him the perfect puzzle to solve that wasn't some dry political humdrum situation. THIS was just pure, raw fun! Pressing close to Varmiroth, he rumbles low and deep and nose-bumps the blue's neck fondly. Th'ero has his arms around Kimmila still, leaning in tight and close to her body and grinning from ear to ear.

Kimmila laughs, leaning back against him and smiling. "Was that fun?" she asks. Perhaps she's a bit concerned her blue's surprise stunt was ill received?

Th'ero laughs as well and she'll both hear and feel it. Once he's recovered, he will shift against her and lifting a gloved hand he will slip a few fingers under her chin and tilt her head up to kiss her soundly and deeply. His other hand slips up along her thigh and grips firm as he draws out the kiss, breaking away at last to inhale deeply and then exhale as he grins. "What do you think?" he drawls. Of course that was fun!

Kimmila returns the kiss, happily leaning into it until it breaks, and she laughs. "Well then, there's my answer," she chuckles, rubbing Velokraeth's neck fondly. "Does he need to rest for a bit?"

Th'ero grins all the more broadly when Kimmila catches on, his eyes bright and his whole demeanour lighthearted and utterly relaxed. Still riding that buzz from the flight and midair "snow scuffle" between the dragons! Velokraeth arches his neck into Kimmila's rubbing, curving his body to lean a little more against Varmiroth and he rumbles as he lowers himself to his belly. "He asks if you would mind terribly if he could rest for a spell?" Th'ero passes on with a crooked smirk and a wry look to his eyes.

Kimmila shakes her head. "Not at all. Of course not," she reassures, rubbing the bronze's neck again. "That was delightfully fun." Varmiroth twirls in place and then bounds off, his mental presence opening up to the bronze and to his own rider, and he vanishes around a bend in the ice, showing them the ice doodles he made with his talons, carving designs into the melting glacier wall.

"Would you like to dismount?" Th'ero asks while Kimmila rubs Velokraeth's neck, grinning as he rests his head over her shoulder. "It was very fun! We should take them out flying more often." he suggests before tilting his head again to nuzzle her. Looking up as Varmiroth bounds off, both Th'ero and Velokraeth are curious as to what the blue is up too now and once it's revealed there are appreciative comments and many compliments from both. "Are there no bounds to his creativeness?" Th'ero murmurs, while Velokraeth rumbles, tilting his head to admire the work. How long as Varmiroth been out here?

Kimmila shakes her head with a fond smile for her lifemate. "No. At least, if there are he hasn't reached them yet," she admits. Unbuckling, she swings off to dismount with a low sigh of pleasure, stretching and rolling her shoulders, peering around. "It's so nice up here." Fresh. But freezing.

Th'ero chuckles and leans back to allow her to dismount. "Hopefully he never does reach a limit then," he murmurs and then swings down to join her on the ground. Stretching with a groan, he rolls his shoulders too and shakes out his legs a bit before stepping up to her side and slipping an arm around her. "Peaceful, isn't it?" he agrees.

Kimmila smiles, looping her arm around his waist in return and leaning against him. "Extremely," she agrees, her voice a hushed whisper even though there's no one around to hear them.

Th'ero leans back against her and then laughs (softly!) for her hushed whisper and he ducks his head down to do the same by her ear. "Why are we whispering, love?" he teases as he begins to step back towards Velokraeth's side and drawing her with him. It is cold out, but the dragons are warm!

Kimmila shrugs, walking with him back to Velokraeth. "It seems appropriate," she answers honestly, with a smile. "It's so calm, and peaceful. I don't want to disturb anything." She shivers though, reaching up to unfasten his riding jacket so she can slip inside of it, her arms around his torso beneath the back of his coat, nestling in close to his warmth.

Th'ero chuckles for her honest response. "Can't argue with that," he says in a lowered voice and when she shivers and unfastens his jacket he does not protest and even helps draw it around her when she nestles in close. "Cold?" he whispers with an amused tone and he will turn so that she is tucked up against Velokraeth's side and benefiting the most from the bronze's warmth.

Kimmila nods, "A bit," she murmurs. "But mostly I just wanted to be resting in your arms…"

Th'ero laughs and doesn't hold it back this time. "You do know you never need an excuse to be in my arms, right?" he teases her and kisses her forehead, then tilts his head to seek out her lips.

"I know," Kimmila whispers against his lips, before she laughs. "But I was still cold," she adds, lips curling in amusement.

Th'ero chuckles and hugs her close to him. "We'd probably best head back then, before we both freeze." he suggests, already beginning to slip his arms free and reclaim his jacket. He may try to playfully swat at her too before the opportunity passes and with a mischievous grin. "Spend the rest of the day by the fire with some warm drinks?" Does that sound tempting enough?

Kimmila dips her head, flashing him a grin. "Yes. That sounds like a perfect ending to today, wingmate. I'd challenge you to a race but Varmiroth is pretty tuckered out. Shall we just between back?"

"No racing," Th'ero grins crookedly, giving her a gentle nudge to the side. "But why waste a good clear evening like this? We're not too far and Velokraeth says he'd be alright with some straight flight." Velokraeth pushes to his feet and stretches his wings, giving himself a good shake as he rumbles in agreement. He can do it!

Kimmila nods, "Alright then," she says, reaching back to rub Varmiroth's muzzle when the dragon approaches. "Straight flight it is, and then warmth and cuddling and a bath?" Maybe? Please?

Th'ero will reach out to gently run his hand against Varmiroth's muzzle too if the blue doesn't protest. "How could I say no to such things?" he teases her with a playful grin as he takes a hold of Velokraeth's straps. "Shall we, Wingmate?"

Varmiroth doesn't protest at all, and Kimmila smiles. "Yes, let's." She's eager to get home and be warm.

"Come on, then." Th'ero flashes her another grin and mounts up, settling into the saddle and buckling in. Once he's readied, he'll wait on Kimmila and Varmiroth to be ready before giving Velokraeth the cue and go ahead to spring into the air and begin the calmer flight home.