Unexpected Crossed Paths

Fort Weyr - Northeast Bowl
The northern end of the bowl can be an intimidating area, being that Fort is the largest weyr. The far north wall contains the gigantic opening to the hatching caverns, and to the west of that can be seen the sprawling ledges and carved stair cases that mark the way to the administration complex and the training grounds were candidates and weyrlings can often be found. The west cliff wall towers up, dotted here and there by darker openings that mark individual weyrs before it tapers to a point at Tooth Crag.


Summer in Fort brings with it cool days and hot days, sometimes seemingly at random. Today is a hot day. Sweltering, some might say, with a hazy blue sky and heat trapped in the bowl, the sun's rays radiating off the tall black stone cliffs and turning the center of the weyr into a furnice. Which is why most people hurry through it to cooler places. Nyalle is one of those people, hurrying, a hand holding up the light weight blue skirt she wears as she moves. Kayeth is on the Star Stones, dozing in the heat and soaking it all in as if she could store it for the cold Fortian winter.

A brief hint of the cold of *between* is what announces the arrival of a Eastern bronze, Sindrieth getting his bearings before descending down towards the bowl area. The dragons wings are nearly translucent, hypnotic sails of bronze that offer a little reprieve from the heat with the wind they kick up when he lands. Necessary greetings are given to the guardians of the star stones, assuring that the bronze and his rider are here to visit or perhaps for business. "And I thought Ista was bad for the heat." R'en gripes a little as he slides out of the straps and down to the foot of his dragon. The bronze offers a little shade for his rider by propping open a wing, but it doesn't offer much relief as he searches through his satchel looking for something in particular.

Kayeth's muzzle lifts, offering a brassy welcome to Sindrieth, shifting to her haunches to spread her golden wings, letting their fire-kissed sails glimmer in the light. « Welcome, » her mind says, reaching out with a scent of the sea and a cool breeze. Below, Nyalle stops to lift a hand to shade her eyes from the sun and the breeze kicked up, surprised to see this particular pair. Blushing slightly, she moves forward. "Bronzerider R'en, welcome to Fort," the young Senior greets, offering a small curtsey.

Honeyed scents of mead accompany Sindrieth's mindvoice, full of warmth and brassy tones as he offers, « Why thank you, lovely. » The bronze remains in the bowl, though his swirling gaze does lift to see the gold on the star stones. R'en just about drops his satchel that he was searching through as someone sneaks up behind him and calls his name - that's the only excuse for it, honest. "Oh. Hi." He offers at first, and then adds, "Eastern's duties." He tries a little more formally, quirking a quick smile and closing the satchel. "Sorry, I didn't think I'd actually run into you."

Kayeth peers down at the bronze, watching him as she soaks in that mead. Reminds her of someone else she knows, with the booze-scented thoughts. « Please help yourself to our lake or our feeding pens, » she offers graciously, after a mental nudge from her rider. Who, below, startles when he startles, and then coughs, and then blushes. "Oh. I, well. I can go if you'd rather not run into me?" she offers, embarrassed. Then, "I'm sorry about the other night." Surely he knows which one she means.

« The lake sounds splendid. » Sindrieth admits, though the mead appears to only be the top layer of the voice of his mind as a brief hint of something more coloured arises, then vanishes. R'en just draws in a sigh at whatever the bronze shares with him as he slings the satchel over his shoulder. "It's not like that. I rarely ever see our Senior Weyrwoman Fi, so I figured it'd be the same for you here." He doesn't know what all keeps goldriders so busy, but he just assumes they're all pretty scarce, he doesn't appear upset about it in the least. Not even upset when the other night is brought up. "I just figured I overstepped your limits. It should be me that apologizes."

Curious, Kayeth's mind seeks that colorful thing, but she does not pry into the other's thoughts. Just a curious brush of cool wind, and then she retreats. « It is still cold. It feels very good on heated hide. » In the bowl, Nyalle clears her throat. "Ah. Well. I try to be out of my office as often as possible. How else to keep pace with what's going on in the weyr?" As for the other night, she clears her throat again. "I…" Did he? Sort of? "I drank too much, but I /was/ excited to get away from the party. But I couldn't. One person after another, and I just couldn't get away. Did you and…" Oh no, she's forgotten his name, "the Weaver have fun?"

The colourful thing is neither here nor there, in every thought yet in none - a paradox, perhaps, for those who don't know Sindrieth well. « I like to look at lakes, see the reflections. » The bronze admits, as it was not his intention to go wading into it. Shifting away from his rider, the bronze leaves R'en in the direct sun which gets him a bit of a glare. "Really, Sind?" R'en just shakes his head and lifts a hand to shade his eyes as his own shade has decided to leave him abandoned. "Somehow, I'm sure she keeps up with it. How, I don't know." He admits that he really knows nothing about Fi at all, other than she exists. "Such is the trouble with responsibilities…." He admits, and then scrunches his nose. "Gerazal ended up joining some other group on the beach. Sindrieth and I went back to Eastern. It was getting late and all."

Kayeth watches Sindrieth for a moment and then she spreads her wings again, almost blinding in the hot sun, and kicks herself off the bowl rim. Catching a thermal, she glides down for the lake, swift and fast, to land in the shallows with an encouraging croon. « Then come see ours. » Nyalle pushes hair behind her ear, watching the bronze go and her gold follow, and then fans herself. "Ah. I am sorry you did not get to visit one of your Istan spots, then…would you like to come in out of the heat?"

Sindrieth is unapologetic as he follows after the gold, though it does get R'en to arch a brow and look after the pair as though it's the first time the bronze has ever just left him like that. Quirking his lips, R'en shifts to adjust the satchel over his shoulder, "Ah, yeah. Sure. I've never been here before." He admits a little sheepishly, though his reason for coming isn't offered. He is here, none the less. "Lead on."

Nyalle looks a bit surprised. "Truly? Never? Let me show you around then," she says, holding out her arm for him to take, as is proper. "What is your business here? Perhaps we should take care of that first?" she suggests as she leads him towards the entrance to the living caverns.


Fort Weyr - Living Caverns
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.
Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.


R'en shakes his head, "Nope. Not ever." He admits, though he reaches to take her hand and guide it around his so he can walk with her properly. "I came to see a couple of the healer apprentices in your infirmary. I'm one of the better surgery Journeymen, in my humble opinion, and wanted to see if their stitching was up to par." He says with a smirk and a shrug, before looking around the living cavern. "Seems larger than Eastern."

Nyalle ahhs, with a small and thoughtful frown. "Are they expecting you? Or is this a surprise visit? Are you acting as an official liaison from the Healer Hall?" She certainly /hopes/ her Healers are up to par. "Can I get you anything?" she asks, stopping near an empty table and taking her arm back, gesturing towards the food and drink tables. "I think we even have iced drinks today, with our young riders practicing their between points to the glaciers."

"Expected, but hadn't given a specific time. I'm sure everything's fine, Nyalle." R'en says with a grin, "Besides, it's just Apprentices. They should learn from as many people as they can." That's his opinion at any rate, as it was when he was being taught at the hall. He considers the food and drink tables before saying, "I fixed you a drink, so now it's your turn to give me a suggestion. Is there anything in particular you think I should try?"

Nyalle darts a glance at him, considering something for a moment. "Weyrwoman, if you please, while we're out and about," she murmurs. "I suppose that is true, yes. There's nothing wrong with having others teach you more skills." She looks to the drink tables, considering for a moment, and then she smiles. "Yes. I will be right back." And she's off with quick steps, her skirts swishing against her calves.

R'en tries not to look disappointed by the first statement, but it's still apparent as he just gives a solemn nod in response. "Alright." He says in response to her leaving, though his gaze slips off to look around the living cavern for a place to sit and wait for her to return. He takes a moment to tug off his jacket and tossing it through the loops of the satchel.

Nyalle had left him beside an empty table, but he can choose to sit wherever he likes. She is not long before returning with a simple wooden tray, upon which are two iced drinks that look to be juice, but with lots of small ice chips in them. As well as a few cold sandwiches and some crunchy veggies.

Setting the bag down on the table, R'en sits where he was left rather than moving somewhere else. His gaze flickers over the occupants, though his attention gets drawn back to Nyalle when she returns. He waits for her to sit down with him before he peruses the food and drink on the tray, "Those look pretty refreshing." He comments, though the drink is what he reaches for first. "Summers always so hot here?"

Nyalle sits down across from him, serving him first before she takes her own things. "Not usually, no. This is hot, even for us. Must be compensating for the blizzard we had at the beginning of spring." If only weather worked that way, right? "How is the weather in Eastern? That is someplace I have never visited, so perhaps when I do you could be my guide?" Only fitting, right?

R'en takes a drink from the cup, "This is good." He compliments before scrunching his nose about the weather. "It's alright at Eastern, hot in the summer and all. But, it's not the same heat as other places. Ista is hotter in some respects." He admits, but those are the places he's most familiar with. "I.. could. But, maybe someone else would be better." He figures just about anyone would be better than him for such a task. "Like the Weyrleader or something… You know, someone more important and knowledgable."

Nyalle can take a hint, and when he rather neatly dodges her request, she dips her head. "Ah. Of course, that would make more sense," she murmurs in quiet agreement. Lapsing into silence, she fumbles for another topic of conversation.

R'en tilts the glass so that the sound of the ice against the edges can be heard by those that're close. He takes a breath and sighs, "Sorry. You're not really the kind of person I spend much time with. Used to the rowdy girls that are more like one of the guys, not so prim and proper." He admits, so he feels like every step he's taking is breaking the eggshells that are spread around.

Nyalle blinks a little bit, trying hard not to feel hurt by his comments. "Ah. I…I see," she murmurs, looking down at her drink and then getting to her feet, drink in hand, sandwich untouched. "Well, then, I…I should leave you to your duties, then. The Infirmary is right through there," she says, pointing towards the inner caverns. "Please, enjoy your stay and do let someone know if there is anything else you need." Out in the lake, Kayeth snorts. « Yours does not like mine? »

R'en seems surprised that she's getting up to her feet, and scrambles to get to his own in response. "Nya..Weyrwoman, it's not like that. I didn't mean it like that." He thinks well enough to correct himself, though he refrains from trying to grab at a hand and keep her from leaving, even if he might actually want to. He doesn't look at all pleased by the fact she's pointing him to where he needs to go, and just sinks back to his seat with a nod. He won't stop her, if leaving is her goal, it'd look bad - and he doesn't want her upset with him. The bronze looks like he's about ready to head back to the bowl, though he pauses after the first step. « Mine does like yours. Mine is just unskilled at making relationships. »

Nyalle hesitates when he gets to his feet as well, and is so hasty to correct himself. Taking a slow breath, she tries to keep the hurt from her eyes as she asks, her voice quiet, "How did you mean it, then?" Outside, Kayeth snorts again. « As is mine. » Blind leading the blind, anyone?

"How would it look if I led you around the Weyr? You're concerned with appearances, aren't you?" R'en asks, since it seems obvious to himself that she is. "You can play it of as politeness to show a lost rider to the infirmary… It's not often Weyrwomen from other Weyrs come to Eastern." He certainly seems lost as to how to deal with the whole rank difference. « Mine should probably stop talking. He only makes things worse. » The bronze says with a disgruntled tone, since he is -so- much more suave than his fumbling lifemate.

Nyalle looks a little confused, as she stays standing there. "It would look…fine? There is nothing wrong with being shown around another weyr by a bronzerider. I would certainly have to meet the weyrleaders of Eastern, as I've been meaning to do anyway, but after that, perhaps…I don't know." She fumbles again, shaking her head. So very, very awkward. « At least he is explaining himself, » Kayeth says where she floats in the lake. « Mine was hurt. »

R'en looks confused himself, like he's just got everything all wrong somehow. But, this is probably the worst place to go about confessing any sort of attraction he might have to her, too. "People gossip. Who knows what kind of stories they'll make up." He admits, and then shrugs his shoulders. Doesn't affect him much at all, he's not the one concerned about appearances. The bronze just gives a brief sigh, curling up on the shore of the lake with his gaze lingering across it. « Mine was hurt too, but I don't know why. »

Nyalle exhales, and she slowly sits down again, since it's awkward (and people are looking) to stand talking to someone who is sitting. "People will gossip no matter what. There are plenty of stories going around already, and almost none of them are true. Just have to let them talk. Nothing you can do about /that/," she says quietly. Kayeth holds herself still in the water, watching the bronze on the shore. « Was it something mine said? »

R'en secretly hoped that would be the result, and gives a faint smile when she sits back down with him. "And me calling you by your name rather than by your title would be any worse?" He asks, fairly bluntly since it was that which caught him off guard. "People call each other by their names all the time, it doesn't have to mean anything other than you're more than just an acquaintance. It doesn't imply anything more than walking around Eastern with me." He keeps his hands around his cup, and looks away from her. « Perhaps. It's not normal for him to be so touchy. I do apologize for mine. »

Nyalle's cheeks color a bit at that, since his logic /is/ rather sound. "Ah, well. I…it was business." They were having a business conversation. She struggles with this. With these lines of friendship and business, of when to be Weyrwoman and when to be Nyalle. "I…I suppose you're right," she fumbles, pushing hair behind her ear and finally taking a sip of her drink. Kayeth rumbles, a bit amused. « It is fine, he has mended it. Mine is no longer hurt. Thoughtful, though. She wonders who she should be. »

"Is your being here with me right now, just business?" R'en asks in a tone that sounds as though he's seriously curious. There's a disappointment in his tone, as much as on his features. Reaching for some of the vegetables, he toys with it before eating it. "If it is, then I do know where the infirmary is now, and I do appreciate Fort's hospitality.." He offers, trying to sound formal as possible to allow her to excuse herself. Sindrieth falls silent, contemplative, as he watches the reflection of light off the lake water.

Nyalle shakes her head after a brief moment's thought. "No, it's not. This is both. I do enjoy your company."

"Think I'll have to steal you away from the eyes of everyone to see who you are when you're not in the middle of a room full of people." R'en suggests, since places such as these are great for some things, but not so great for those that love propriety. But, for now, he seems content with just sharing a table with her. "Do you even get time away? Ever?" He wonders, even if time away was for the Ista gather, it isn't the same.

Nyalle glances at him in some surprise at his boldness. "I am much the same, I'm afraid," she admits with a small laugh. "I'm not sure you'd find me that different, in all truth. But perhaps." There's a small smile for him and a small nod, before she chuckles. "Of course. I have one day off every seven, and when times are quiet I like to travel and visit other weyrs. It's how I get to meet new people. A Weyrwoman should be connected."

"I'd have less people judging how I talked to, or acted around you, though… and feel a little more like I could be myself." R'en admits, since he might be bold in some ways and might even talk her into doing things she'd never do otherwise. That is half the fun, after all. "Well, for one of those days off, I'd like to spend with you alone. Well, you and your dragon, of course." He offers, lest she feel unprotected - wouldn't be the case with a gold protector.

Nyalle clears her throat a bit, her cheeks coloring in a blush. "Are…are you asking me on a date, R'en? Because…I…there is someone…" Cough.

R'en lifts his shoulders in a light shrug, trying to play it off as though it hardly matters if she accepts or not. "Well, it doesn't have to be. No." He says, taking a drink before adding. "I didn't know there was. I don't mean to be disrespectful, of course."

Nyalle pushes to her feet with a slightly embarrassed smile. "Well, it's not like it's something people are expected to know. I…we shall see? I will come visit Eastern soon, and you can show me around. For now, though, I'm afraid I do have a meeting to go to and I just saw the Cook leave the kitchen and head to my office. So I'd best catch her up."

R'en nods, though his expression has turned more solemn and a little disappointed, even though - he pushes through a smile and lifts a hand. "Alright. Just get Sindrieth to tell me if you're around. I'm usually busy." He admits, staying to finish up the food and drink that was brought out for him before heading off to the infirmary himself.

Nyalle nods, "I will, thank you. Clear skies to you, R'en." Then she is gone, back to her office and to that meeting with Cook.


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