Keroon Hold - Gather Grounds
A dance square has been laid down, quite large and expansive. By one end is the Harper platform, where they go to play. Ringing the other sides are a few benches and tables for any Gather goers wishing to sit and recover in time for the next dance set.

Ezra saw to Anrila's comfort and a new tunic, and then they wander together, shopping. She heads off to look at the animals again, or something, and Ezra browses through secondhand stalls. Deep beneath a table, almost hidden behind a chest, he finds something. Swift bartering ensues, though Ezra ends up paying far more than what he could have. He doesn't care. Take his money. Package wrapped in simple brown cloth - he stopped her before she could tie the ribbon - he goes in search of his brother, package held in the crook of one arm.

Tsk, tsk! That isn't good bartering at all. Not that anyone ever has to know about it. Rayathess will be easy enough to find. Where else will a Harper be, than near the entertainment? He's just finished his final set and is on "break" again and has taken a nearby seat on a bench by some of the lit lanterns to enjoy some food. Though it's more like wolfing it down! Despite wanting to find some while he was still entertaining Lana, he never got the chance. Such is the way of Gathers, isn't it?

Ezra finds Rayathess and his steps carry him forward. Sitting down, he nudges any food aside and sets the package in his brother's lap. "Open it." There's a tension to him, an almost nervous energy that he can't quite contain. Open it now, before he bursts!

Hey! He was enjoying that food! Rayathess grunts, startled and his curses muffled by a full mouth of food. Glaring at Ezra, he's about to try and reach around his brother only to have that box dropped on his lap. What's this? Swallowing, he wipes his hands clean and gives him a puzzled look. "I didn't know we were exchanging gifts…" he says but he can see that Ezra's is fit to burst and so begins to unwrap the box. What's inside?

Ezra shakes his head. "We're not. I just found this." And as Rayathess unwraps the gift he'll find…his tool box. And inside…his missing tools. The heirloom tools. The ones that were stolen from Stonehaven. Ezra fidgets, barely able to contain himself. "I found them. In a stall. Over there. She said she got them from a trader from Fort." Faranth only knows what path those tools have taken…

Rayathess was expecting some unique knick knack or maybe something in relation to his rank as a Harper. Instead, in his lap, are his tools. HIS tools! His mind reels and he is stunned speechless. Utterly speechless. This is a dream, right? One of those one's that taunt him with false hopes and mirages? Nope. When his fingers reach out to touch the tools, they're very real and his exhale is shuddered. Faranth only knows where they've been! "These… how? They were lost! What… what are the chances?" he manages to choke out, glancing from Ezra to the tools and back again. Don't worry, his brain will stop frizzing in a second. "Ezra…" Rayathess' voice is choked now and he has to swallow thickly. "… Ezra I don't…even have words." Harper fail! So he'll just have to settle for a hug. A very tight, fierce, hug and the box holding the tools gripped safely between them.

Ezra shakes his head, not saying anything as he's wrapped in the hug. He returns it, tight, fierce, and holds it. When it's over he wipes at his eyes and shakes his head again. "I've always looked," he murmurs. "Every gather, every second hand stall, everywhere I could, I've always checked, just in case…" So /that's/ why he wanted to look at the thrift store stalls. Looking for these tools. "The odds? Astronomical, Raya, but I /found/ them. They're /yours/ again."

Rayathess has to wipe at his eyes as well and do a few other sneaky little tactics to hide the fact that he's tearing up. Crying. Ezra will know and he doesn't mind his brother knowing. He doesn't want the rest of the Gather goers catching on though. So he shouldn't be alarmed if he keeps his head lowered and turned away, his fingers still sneaking a quick touch of one tool or another. It can't be real and yet it IS. Against all odds, it IS! "I can't believe that you kept hope for so long… When for all you knew they never reached human hands again." It's sinking in, slowly but surely. Rayathess looks down at the tools and his smile is fond. Remembering. GOOD memories and a touch bittersweet. "Ezra… these should be yours now. They're Stonehaven tools." Heirlooms. "And are passed to the heirs. I… am not heir to Stonehaven anymore." He is.

Ezra blinks in surprise, his mouth opening, closing, and then…"But they're yours." The thought that /he/ would get them never even flickered across his mind. They are /Rayathess'/ tools. As for hope… "I'm good at keeping hope." And there's a little smile for that, as he grips his brother's shoulder tightly.

Rayathess shakes his head, but his hands remain gripped to that box. REAL. So very real. "They are mine." he agrees. "But they're also Stonehaven's. A part of her traditions. I can't… keep these, as much as seeing them again, touching them again has… made me so happy." Understatement! There's a dry chuckle and a faint smile given to Ezra. "So you are. All the more reason these tools could, and maybe should, be yours. You never gave up hope finding them. I did. I was heir, but I am no longer. They would serve better to be with you." There's a pause and a thought strikes him and his smile broadens. "They can be ours."

Ezra smiles lovingly at his brother, nodding his head as he speaks. To have found them again, for Stonehaven yes, but mostly for Rayathess…it means more than anything to him. He opens his mouth again, and then considers. He really doesn't want to argue about this. "Alright," he agrees. "They can be ours. The sons of Stonehaven's."

Rayathess nods his head and is silent as he continues to struggle with absorbing all of this. "Shards and shells… I still can't wrap my head around it." he murmurs and again, as if stuck on endless repeat, he touches those tools. Twisting on the bench, he sets the box down between them and as though it were just yesterday that he did it, he goes through the familiar routine of taking each tool out and examining it. Testing to be sure all is in perfect order. There's a pattern to it and Rayathess goes through it slowly and without explanation, but done in a way for Ezra to watch. And to learn.

Ezra does watch. He saw their father do this, and he's seen Rayathess do it of course, too. But he never paid that much attention. Those tools weren't for him. And while part of him as a kid was jealous, the other part was just fine with that. The weight of heir rests in those tools, as he watches, and he's suddenly /very/ glad he can share them with his brother.

Rayathess places the last tool back in it's little slot and passes his fingertips over them again. One final time before closing the lid. Still his hand lingers, as if he's worried that if he lets go entirely they'll vanish again. Aware in some way that Ezra was watching, he smiles. Just like old times, but not quite. "Would you mind… if these stay with you in Stonehaven? They'd be safer there." he murmurs.
Ezra shakes his head. "I wouldn't mind, but are you sure?" He hates to just…take them away again.

But are they being taken away or just wisely stored in their proper place? "I'm sure. I could keep them in my dorms in Harper Hall but… I'd always be worrying about them." Rayathess explains, reaching out to loop his arm around Ezra's shoulders and draw him into another brotherly hug. "Thank you." he adds, in a voice thick with emotion once more. "For doing this. For always looking and searching and bringing them back to me."

Ezra nods, before he's pulled into the hug and he returns it tightly. "You're welcome," he whispers. "We're rebuilding. This is just a piece…"

"An important piece, though." Rayathess murmurs as he slowly lets his brother go from the hug with one last brotherly pat to the back. "I'd say lets drink and toast to the new Turn but…" He has no glasses, no wine. Can he even have alcohol? Probably not.

Ezra grins, shaking his head. "To the new turn." They don't need drinks to do that, as he looks fondly at his big brother. Pleased. Beyond pleased. "The turn of Stonehaven's rebirth."

Rayathess discovers that he doesn't need a drink to toast with after all and returns that brotherly fond look to Ezra. Clasping his shoulder, he grips it firmly and his eyes do not waver from that of his brother. "To the new Turn and Stonehaven's rebirth." he murmurs. Turning his head to glance out to the dance floor where couples are still enjoying the music, Rayathess sighs but it's a happy sound. "Enjoying yourself?" he asks.

Ezra nods with a smile, "I am, yeah." He scans the area and then has the slightly uncomfortable realization that two girls - lovely teens - are looking his way and giggling. Ah…cough. He looks back at his brother. "Are you?"

Rayathess spots those lovely teen girls too but his reaction isn't as uncomfortable as Ezra's. Yep, he's totally looking but in as unobtrusive way as possible. After all, they're giggling at his brother! "I am, even if I am partially on duty. And you bringing me the tools… It couldn't have been a better night." He chuckles low in his throat. "Why don't you go see if those lovely ladies would like to dance?" he suggests with a crooked smirk.

Ezra smiles at his brother and then shakes his head with a grimace. "No, I don't-" but they snuck up on him while he was looking at Rayathess. "Heir Ezra?" one of them - the bolder of the two, no doubt - asks with a sweet smile. Ezra turns, putting on his Heir-Face, straightening his posture. "Yes?" They both giggle. "I'm Jillian, from Southcourt, and this is my sister Jazelle. Would you care for a few dances?" Ezra turns to look at his brother, and though he's smiling and getting to his feet, Rayathess will no doubt see the 'siiiigh' in his eyes. "Certainly. Would one of you like to dance with my brother?"

Rayathess's quick to hide his laughter, though it may still flash in his eyes when the two girls sneak up on Ezra. As for that implied 'sighing', he just shoots his brother a 'oh, it's not that bad!' look. Which he may take back by the end of the festivities. Standing, Rayathess straightens his dark blue, almost black clothing and then neatly half bows to both young teens. "Evening to you both." he murmurs, only to glance sidelong to Ezra for "offering" the dance. Uh, thanks? Are they even focused on him or on pining over Ezra?

Both girls glance at Rayathess and dip into a curtsey, smiling sweet and polite. "Oh that's okay," the younger sister says, "I can wait." Ouch. "But thank you." Then she's turning and flouncing off into the crowd. Ezra frowns a bit, but Jillian gently takes his arm. "Let's dance," she says quietly. Persuasively. "I'll be back," Ezra tells his sibling, before he's led to the floor.

Rejected! Rayathess takes it in stride however and doesn't even so much as twitch an eye at it. "Have fun!" he calls back to his brother and once he disappears onto the dance floor, he sighs. Sitting down on the bench, he will finish off the meal he had been so ravenously devouring before and will open the case holding his tools again. Yet before Ezra can return, Rayathess is being summoned back to play and while part of him wishes to ignore it… he can't. "Sorry, Ezra." he mutters under his breath and making sure to tuck the case under his arm, he'll vanish up onto the Harper platform to take his place.

Ezra doesn't make it back to his brother until late anyway. Dance after dance after dance. Dinner. Drinks. More dancing. He keeps trying to get away but they keep coming. Relentless. It's not until late, when many have gone home, that he finally manages to get free and look for Rayathess again. Even if it's just for a quick goodbye and to take the tools before he's grabbing a ride on one of the last dragons back to Fort.

Rayathess was caught up in his duties as a Harper regardless and when he does escape, he just catches Ezra on time. That quick goodbye will happen, with him hugging his brother and handing him the case. Knowing it will be safe and secure in his brother's care. Then he too is rushing to join the last dragon riders bound for Fort Weyr, though he will be returning to the Hall with his Journeymen. The brothers will have to catch up another time!