Warning: Language, Innuendo

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.

Late autumn has settled over Fort Weyr, though as the sun set on this particular day, as the last of the light drains from the landscape it feels more like winter. And with the sunset come the clouds to darken the sky and with them comes the snow. It's a light snow and most of it melts on contact with the ground even in the cold evening hours. Shenanigan's and the living cavern within Fort Weyr will be seeing a lot of traffic this night, as most weyrfolk seek the warmth of the indoors. But there are a few who brave the skin numbing cold to venture to a quieter location and as such the Gemstone Tavern is one said quieter locale. Only a few weyrfolk and some holders lounge by the bar. There are even a few guards lingering about. But tucked away in one of the dimmer corners, Th'ero has chosen to set himself up there. He can be seen, but it'd be hard to overhear conversations, as his table is the last by the corner, where he can keep an observant eye and not worry about his back. His thick and heavy winter jacket is draped over the chair next to him and he sits forwards with his elbows on the edge of the table, scowling into the depths of the pint of wickedly black-hued, red tinged, stout he has in front of him. The Weyrleader is alone, the chairs across vacant, but from his broody-looking mood and his obvious placement, those currently in the Tavern leave him well enough alone.

There are many reasons in which the goldrider would be fleeing the Weyr, seeking the cold air and the walk to the tavern rather than the close comfort of heat that the inner parts of the Weyr offers. And the fact that the walk would not bring the rosy shades to her cheeks as the air does now. So when she enters the tavern, the tip of her nose is pink and her cheeks match, making the woman look surprisingly innocent for once. Those who know her, however, would never make such an assumption of her. Hands are drawn from her pockets and the jacket she wears is slowly peeled off and hung near the door on the hooks there. None would dare make off with her jacket. There's no hesitation as she strides over towards Th'ero, having seen the Weyrleader in her brief scanning of the area. She plops down next to him, grinning like a fool. "Your drink probably never did anything wrong ta you, Hero." She points out, teasing tone used for the nickname suddenly given to the man. A hand lifts, flagging down the bartender to bring her a drink. She still frequents the area enough for them to remember her order even if the number is pale in comparison to when she was simply a hunter. "Did you and Kimmila have a fight or somethin'?"

Th'ero is one of those who knows better then to assume any innocence on Dtirae's part and so it partly explains the narrowed and slightly suspicious look he gives her when she plops down next to him and grinning like a fool. "Not yet it hasn't. After two or three, it'll have worked its damage." He murmurs, features relaxing into something a little more neutral then his scowl from before. Still not entirely welcoming but at least his thoughts seem focused on the present - or in this case, the young goldrider. The pint is raised, tipped slightly in mock salute and then he takes a generous sip. Grimacing a bit at the harshness, he sets it back down and then snorts. "Shards no. I'd not be sulking in the tavern if that were the case. Was just lost in my thoughts." Th'ero pauses then to give Dtirae a long, searching look. "And what brings you out this far from the Weyr on a cold night?"

"Mm. But, yer doin' that to yerself. It is the poor innocent bystander, and yer abusin' it so. Then claiming it ta be the reason yer in pain." Dtirae points out cheerfully, inclining her head just so and that grin doesn't fade in the slightest. Once he starts to relax, however, she's leaning back and folding one leg over the other as grey eyes drift off to consider the bartender and then her drink as it makes its way over. The mug is settled down and she nods her thanks. It isn't given a second glance, however, as grey eyes return to the Weyrleader before him. "Your thoughts don't seem all that pleasant." She muses idly before shrugging. "P'on and I have reached a sort of disagreement. I'm wondering if he'll call it quits or if he'll stick it out." The mug is then the focus of her attention as she takes it between both hands, twisting it between then before her fingers trail up to the handle and she lifts it to her lips. "Without bein' watched constantly, I figured I'd get drunk."

"I didn't think scowling at my drink could have such an in depth and thoughtful meaning." Th'ero almost drawls his response, smirking a little for Dtirae's little game. It would seem he doesn't quite go for the bait this round though and instead settles on another long sip of his wicked, cruel looking drink. "You should know me well enough to know that my thoughts are rarely pleasant." The Weyrleader points out and then grimaces when he realizes how morose and depressing his words sound. "Just a lot on my mind. Past, present, future." He mutters in a low voice, lifting one hand to wave it in a slightly dismissive gesture. The look he gives the young goldrider then isn't exactly sympathetic, but perhaps understanding. Truthfully, Th'ero is uncertain if Dtirae /is/ looking for sympathy at this point. "The boy has proven to have a backbone before, hasn't he? Or does the disagreement reach too far?" Then the bronzerider smirks and his intention isn't to be cruel, but simply warn. "I'm afraid you're being watched here too. Only the folk here are less likely to let their tongues wag and talk if they just so happen to witness something. You will always be watched. You just have to learn where… your allies lie. Understand?"

"Accordin' ta Zuvaleyuth, everything's got some sort of deep and thoughtful meaning to it. Or, 'm thinkin' that is what she was trying to get at." The goldrider teases and then lifts her drink to her lips again. Dtirae's brows are lifting again at his statement about his thoughts, but commentary is kept to herself on that certain subject, giving a soft chuckle of amusement before the mug goes down again. It is rare that the goldrider looks for sympathy, so the fact that the Weyrleader does not give it is a plus on his side. "Mm. Some backbone. He's got to keep up with me somehow." As for the question, she gives a half shrug in response. "Insisting things I can't do, asking for promises I'm not willing to give. Things like that." The final words have the goldrider considering those who are watching them before she's shrugging once more in indifference, "they ain't my keepers like P'on is tryin' ta be. It's entirely different. But, I know what yer saying." The rest of the drink is suddenly finished before she's leaning in to peer carefully at the man across from her. "I have somethin' I really need ta ask you."

"Well, you can assure her that this is merely a pint of stout, nothing more then the ingredients used to brew it and the herbs to spice it and nothing less." Raising his mug again, he tilts it as if to examine the contents thoughtfully and then only shrugs, draining another part before it's cast aside in favor of conversation. "So he's setting his cage, is he?" Th'ero drawls, his voice strangely accented before he catches himself and settles into his usual low, murmuring tone. "If he does have the spine to challenge you, I'd say he's worth his merit. You should try and give the poor boy some credit. He seems faithful enough." Honestly, the Weyrleader knows little of Dtirae's personal relationship with P'on. He keeps both the young goldrider and bronzerider at a respectable distance, bound only by duty, though it may be stretching a little further into an acquaintance that borders on a friend. "Good." Th'ero gives a brisk nod and then lets the matter drop. When Dtirae turns to peer at him from across the table, it has the bronzerider leaning back in his seat, brown eyes meeting hers and narrowing slightly. She has his attention. "Mhm? And what's on your mind?"

Dtirae laughs quite loudly at that, grinning even wider as she flag down the tender once more. There's a brief pause in which her eyes do get that distant look, lasting a little longer than a short conversation normally does before she snaps out of it. "She expresses her greatest regrets that there's nothin' more ta yer drink." The goldrider winks with amusement before her expression begins to settle into something less amused. It doesn't last that long, however, as she's quickly looking startled. "Cage? Shit. He's laying a trap…" The goldrider wrinkles her nose, now becoming the one who wears a scowl as her drink is delivered once more. "Faithful ain't what's in question. I ain't that sort…" She heaves a sigh and then shakes her head before she's pushing that topic aside, saying nothing more on it and focusing instead on the question. "Flights. What are they like? And I don't mean that fluffy shit they tell us in the lessons just to give us an idea of what it could possibly be. I don't think Zuvaleyuth'll ever rise. She's broken. Two Turns and nothin'."

Th'ero quirks a brow for Dtirae's message from Zuvaleyuth and after an awkward pause of silence, the Weyrleader breaks out into a vague grin. "Nothing to regret." He murmurs and then promptly finishes off the last of his drink. That may earn some regret and he has to clench his jaw to keep from pulling too obvious a disgusted face. He's the odd drinker, who only touches it if it kicks him back. Then it's back to casually observing Dtirae as their conversation continues. "Mhm, I see." Is all she'll get at first as advice on the matter of P'on and his traps. Then he only spreads his hands out in an apologetic gesture. Again, he has no idea what the young goldrider's personal life is like. Th'ero is all too aware that he could inadvertently insult her though, which likely explains his silence. Her question though, throws him completely off guard. "Shards. You have to ask one of the toughest questions, don't you?" the Weyrleader grumbles, shoving his now empty pint to the end of the table for pick up while he leans back heavily into his chair. Crossing his arms, he dives Dtirae a long and level look, as if assessing if the goldrider is serious. "I wouldn't count her as broken yet. I've heard of some golds being older before their first flights. But why the interest into the gritty details?" And its obvious Th'ero could be a little uncomfortable with the topic, though he's trying to keep up a confident and calm mask. His lack of straightforward response is a key that most would be able to pick up.

Dtirae is smiling at the grin she earns from the Weyrleader, but saying nothing more of it and instead, considers her drink silently while they linger somewhat on the topic of P'on. Though they aren't saying much at all about it. It's when he responds to her question that she's giving him a rather serious look in response to his assessing look. She's serious. The mug is lifted again, but she does not drink from it. "If she hits three Turns and I'm not seeing anything, I'm declaring her broken. We'll just have to find another gold to have dragon babies. I'm okay with that." She sips at her drink, then, her gaze suddenly avoiding his. "Because. I figured if it is eventually coming, it's better to know the truth than the fluff. Besides, I'm sure you've got /wonderful/ stories about Neyuni."

Th'ero is silently wishing he had another drink by this point. It was one thing to discuss P'on and the traps set by those in a relationship. But Dtirae is pulling him into topics rarely touched and ones he normally does not /wish/ to discuss and so the moment he can, the Weyrleader is signaling a nearby tavern worker for more of the same red-tinted, black hued poison he calls a stout. "A Dragonhealer has to declare her broken. Each dragon is different. Could be Zuvaleyuth is a late bloomer. Later then most." Seeing that the young goldrider is serious, so is Th'ero and his tone and expression reflect it. His gaze, when it does fix on her, is steady and honest. His features, however, are set in a flat and neutral state for the most part. Unless he's smirking, which he does for Dtirae's little remark. "Don't count yourself out quite yet." Then he snorts and his neutral facade crumbles for a moment for an incredulous, narrowed look. "Neyuni? Shards and shells, girl. I slept with her once and that once was from the flight. She and I have no interest in pursuing… anything of the sorts of that kind. Surely they taught you that in your lessons? Most flights result in one-time only encounters. My true partner is a bluerider." Which just might raise even more questions. None of which Th'ero pauses long enough to be asked. "Well. If you're so dead set on dragging it from me… where'd you want to start? Ask and I'll answer, if it's not too personal." And there will be her only warning. Push him too much and he'll close down. Subtleness works well here.

If the goldrider's original plan was to make the Weyrleader uncomfortable, it doesn't show, she doesn't even gain that telltale smirk that she normally does when tormenting the poor man. At least she hasn't thrown anything else into the mix of her torture. "She could be. She's always so set on being first that I figured she'd've been at it a long time ago." The goldrider shrugs before she presses the mug to her lips and takes a sip. The neutral expression he wears does little to keep her gaze from leaving him, until it crumbles and there's the slightest twitch of her lips as she resists a smile and instead drowns it out with another drink. "/That/ was a joke." She supplies, hoping to spare him some bits of embarrassment. She doesn't question who his partner is, as she's likely drawn that conclusion about the pair quite some time ago. "What's it like? The flight? I mean, from your perspective? Does it make you hazy?" She questions idly, "do you remember anything after?" It seems, for now, that her questions are entirely serious. Lucky man.

"She technically is first." Th'ero points out in a distracted tone as he frowns heavily. "Among the juniors. She is the only one. Unless Zuhth flies, Zuvaleyuth is the only other viable gold. Wiyaneth has retired and even so… her wing would make a flight difficult." Then he offers a shrug of his own, as if to dismiss his assumptions and theories like they were nothing. In fact, he does toss them out almost carelessly. It's his way of indirectly reassuring Dtirae without laying it on thick and obvious. Again, he's skirting around showing sympathy. That and the Weyrleader has always been a cryptic bastard with those he's on uncertain grounds with. It's one of his many tests. The fact that he misunderstood the young goldrider's joke is met with a snort and another dismissive shrug. Where is his drink? It arrives, right after Dtirae lays out her questions. Sparing his embarrassment or not, it's clear she's touching on sensitive subjects and Th'ero's smirk soon twists into something more of an uneasy grimace. So much for neutrality. "Hazy? At the start. Gradually you loose sense of yourself and become more of /them/. Or so it's been the case with me. I've heard tale of some riders who can keep a hold on themselves but I call bullshit on that. In my experience…" Th'ero falters here, clearing his throat and muttering something into his drink as he lifts the new pint to his lips. It sounds close to a curse, whatever it is. He shifts uncomfortably in his seat and his gaze drops finally from Dtirae, to focus elsewhere. "… I can never remember it all. I remember knowing the flight is about to start and getting to where the rider has holed themselves up to wait out the storm. Then it becomes hazy. Then it's blackout." The Weyrleader's grimace takes on an almost bitter edge to it now and he moves his hand to tap his fingers against the side of his mug to emphasize his next sarcastic point. "Like drinking too many of these. Scraps of memory, little hints. Mostly emotions."

Dtirae's mouth opens and then closes again, lost in how to retort to that statement as it is technically true. She takes another drink from the mug, downing more than the simple sip and finishing the rest of her second drink, settling down the mug none too quietly as Th'ero's drink arrives. She nods once, indicating to the tender to bring her another one. Certainly downing more than has been normal recently with the young woman. The grimace that settles on his features does draw her attention to him, focusing solely on his answer. A soft chuckle as he grows (or so she assumes) uncomfortable with the subject. "Forgot that you still have most of yer Holdbred sensibilities. Figured you'd've been over all that by now." She rolls her shoulders in an idle shrug and offers a rather sympathetic smile though it does lack the understanding one would expect from someone showing sympathy to another. "Well, that's good. Would be like trauma rememberin' the whole thing, I imagine. It must be violent." From her tone, she's certainly not talking about the dragons' part of it all. Grey eyes fill with mirth and delight once again, settling into the lighter mood of things. "It's easy ta make you squirm, The Hero."

Th'ero likely has no idea how close he came to the truth and only takes Dtirae's lack of retort in stride. It's not like the Weyrleader has long to linger over every last word they share. He does note however how quickly the young goldrider seems to be going through her drinks. That has him taking a long sip of his own before he gives a nod of his head towards her recently emptied mug. "Might want to pause for a breath there. I'm not about to drag you back to Fort and damn if I'll call for help." Because that'll just lead to unpleasantness on both their sides and more so because Th'ero knows exactly who would answer Velokraeth's summons and he's going to avoid that at all costs if need be. "It's hard to change something ingrained into you since your birth." He mutters for her jab at his breeding and then leaves it to fall untouched again as he deftly moves on in topics. "Violent? Not always. Depends on the flight. Rough, yes. The emotions are… pure and raw. Mostly lust and instinct, rather then love and I suppose it's a twisted sense of passion." Th'ero murmurs, turning to his drink again to avoid the awkwardness of having to meet Dtirae's eyes during his little reflection. They do snap up abruptly though for her little nickname and he pulls a bit of a face. "Must you insist on calling me that?" he grumbles and sighs, but soon dissolves into soft chuckles. It worked, to ease some of the tension from their awkward conversation.

Th'ero's suggestion to slow down earns a quirk of her brow, "didn't know you cared so much." She teases easily, making a kissy face at the Weyrleader. "I'll be fine. I can get a room here if 'm needin' ta. Besides," there's a gesture towards the bar where one particular man seems to be looking in their direction. "He's been payin' for my drinks all night, figure he'll get me a room, if I ask nice." She chuckles lightly and leans back in her seat, arms folding easily over her chest. As for defending his breeding, she simply shrugs one shoulder and makes no comment on it any longer. Instead, he focuses on her question of the violence and considers the description of it. "I hope, for yer sake, that Zuvaleyuth doesn't inspire violence." Now she's just teasing, not that she wasn't before. "Why not? I quite enjoy callin' ya Hero." The chuckling earns a wider grin from the younger woman. "It's better than some of the other things I can think of. Which I'd be happy to switch to if yer not likin' this one."

Th'ero's frown increases and his eyes narrow a little for Dtirae's little kissy face. He doesn't quite stoop so far, though his grimace is enough to show his disapproval. "Why wouldn't I?" he asks in a rather cool tone. The young goldrider's admittance to a suitor startles him enough that he flashes her an incredulous look before regaining control. Shifting in his chair, his disapproving grimace becomes all the more pointed and visible. "I doubt a room is all he's hopin' for." The Weyrleader mutters so low it may as well be growled and he's giving said mysterious man a darting and narrowed look. He has his reasons to be suspicious and not entirely borne from being protective over Dtirae. It's likely not that at all, since Th'ero figures she's more then capable of handling herself and making her own mistakes. "Why for my sake?" Th'ero asks, his attention suddenly drawn from suspicious to alert for what she's suggesting, teasing or not. He fixes her with a long look, frowning now as if he's trying to solve some sort of puzzle. "Do you think you won't be able to control her?" Doesn't seem like the bronzerider is teasing, he sounds as serious as he looks. Until she's taunting him again over nicknames and that earns a disgusted snort from him as he waves a hand dismissively. "Well I don't. And I /don't/ want to know what other one's you've cooked up." He says with a smirk before raising his drink to his lips again, but not before muttering a sighed, "Shells and shards," over it.

If there were awards for making the Weyrleader change expressions rapidly, Dtirae would be winning in each category for each expression shown. But, there's no such thing so her only reward is amusement as his expression shifts once more. "Hm. Not sure 'bout that, you've got plenty of reasons ta concern yerself over me." She leaves it at that and turns her gaze back to the man as Th'ero turns to consider him, giving him that dirty look before the goldrider chuckles. "I know he ain't just wantin' a room, but, nothin' is stoppin' me from throwin' his ass out and locking him out of it." Her finger nails idly tap along the wood of the table, amusement still playing heavily in her expression. "Nah. I ain't goin' ta have an issue controllin' her. Been fighting against her since I Impressed, we have a good understandin'. Nah. I'm more worried that I'll end up givin' you a few scars." The grin that spreads upon her lips is entirely predatory as she focuses her gaze upon him, letting it longer before fading just a bit into something that only reads amusement. "Good choice, yer not wantin' ta hear the other names."

Dtirae should be happy that she's seeing any emotion at all with the Weyrleader. Normally Th'ero is unsettling in how neutral and unreable he can be, especially around those he does not spend much time around. It makes for a few awkward political situations, but the young bronzerider has begun to learn whom he has to thaw a little for and how to play the games. He hates it, but he does it. "Oh? Is that so?" Th'ero drawls, curious now as he fixes his gaze on the young goldrider, not letting it drift even as he goes through the motions of taking another sip of his strange and wicked strong drink. For chiding her on drinking so fast, it's not like he'll be far behind her at this rate. "Not exactly behavior one expects of a goldrider. But yes, you could toss him out. But what if he over powers you, hmm?" The Weyrleader is careful not to say outsmart, he figures Dtirae is smart enough. But he's still giving that stranger quick, darting looks when he can spare the attention. Her comment on her struggles with Zuvaleyuth since Impression would have been commented on, but Th'ero's thoughts are thrown straight off track by the last part of her statement. In those few words, he's far more uncomfortable then when she was pestering him for the intricacies of mating flights. His expression falls and he gives Dtirae a long and level look, eyes narrowing a little. "And what of P'on?" he asks, in a voice that is too low and too calm to be normal and clashes with the predatory and amused look she sports.

Dtirae is indeed pleased that there is some sort of emotion going on there, otherwise, she'd likely think something was horridly wrong with the man. "Mhm. Could give you the list, if yer wantin'. But, yer capable of thinkin' of the reasons, yerself." Her finger continue to tap along the table, though coming to pause when her next drink arrives and she nods her thanks to the tender, smiling pleasantly before turning her gaze back to the Weyrleader. "I ain't aimin' ta be a goldrider that everyone expects. Gotta be unpredictable at somethin' or another, I figure. It's easy enough ta out maneuver someone who's bigger'n me, and more powerful. I know all the right spots ta hit." Her grin grows wider before she's lifting the mug to her lips, considering idly as she drinks before giving a shake of her head. "Nah. It ain't likely his bronze'll catch Zuva in her first flight."

In a sense, there is something wrong with Th'ero, but mostly when it comes to social issues. He's come a long way over the Turns, but still has so much to go. Her cryptic response leaves him frustrated though and some of that flashes in his eyes before he's grunting in reply and dropping his gaze to his drink. It's promptly drained and he's flagging for another. The Weyrleader is beginning to feel some of the effects, though he's still well within his senses. "Perhaps I need some enlightening or at least make sure my notes are correct." He murmurs, drawling his words a little in obvious sarcasm. The frown settles itself again for Dtirae's confidence and for her admittance for not wanting to be the typical or expected goldrider. "I'm not faulting you for that. But this," And he gestures roughly towards the mysterious man or vaguely to him and then upstairs. "Will only bring more trouble then it's worth. Folk gossip. And they can be /cruel/. I won't try to rule over your actions, but just… be cautious." Th'ero doesn't challenge her on her fighting capabilities, letting that slide unchallenged. There are other subject that earn his renewed interest. The grin has him confused and perhaps a little unsettled and he tilts his head just a fraction, eyes studying the young goldrider thoughtfully. "If not P'on's bronze then, what makes you think Velokraeth would be a likely suitor? You may wind up with another Fortian bronze. Shells, it could even be another Weyr's rider."

Poor, socially awkward Th'ero. Fortunately for him, the woman has no such issues. The cryptic answer is left in silence, even as he asks for enlightenment on her ideas of why he would concern himself over her well being. Her head tilts just a bit and she smiles a little wider, the mug lifting to her lips as she consider the drink rather than the man himself. She lingers in silence a moment longer before smiling. "Because yer the Weyrleader and I'm the Junior, keep me in line, making sure I'm not making a fool of myself. Not ta mention, got ta make sure Zuvaleyuth is safe. Not that 'm goin' ta be doin' anything ta get her inta danger." The drink then is tilted back and downed, but not completely drained as she moves to set the mug down. "I know, I ain't goin' ta make the Weyr look bad. Promise. I'll politely remove him from the room." Another smile and she leans back just a fraction. "Zuvaleyuth likes Velokraeth. It ain't a secret. He's got experience. He's a fighter. Ain't sure how she'll be in a flight, but, if she's anythin' like me: she'll appreciate strength. Strength makes a good clutch."

Th'ero masks his annoyance well if he has any towards Dtirae for avoiding his attempt to pry more out of her. But he can be patient and so he allows the silence to go on, even if it drags into the realms of uncomfortable and awkward. Leaning forwards, the Weyrleader reaches for his mug, but only so he can nudge it a little from side to side between his hands. He tries not to let the younger goldrider's smiles irk him either and for that reason, he stares down at his drink as well, frowning as he considers her words. "Never said you'd endanger Zuvaleyuth. You're smarter then that. But I'm not here to hold your hand either. Just give you some advice and a warning. And I did. So now it's left for you to heed it or learn from mistakes. And you'll make them." When she mentions the stranger again, Th'ero only smirks and shakes his head, one hand freeing itself to scrub along his jaw as his gaze wanders across the bar. "Promise noted then." The Weyrleader mumbles and he leaves it to settle at that. Then his dark eyes dart back to Dtirae and his brows rise a little in surprise. He was not expecting that at all. "Velokraeth is her sire. Of course there's some connection." He tries to point out, to find some flaw in her logic or observations. When she mentions the pale bronze as a fighter, Th'ero suddenly looks close to bursting out into laughter. Only he bites it back at the last second and instead chuckles deeply, finally lifting his mug up again to drain his drink and mask his grin. "Fighter would not be how I'd describe Velokraeth. But yes, he has strength. Strength in wit and cunning and beyond that… he's hardly a fitting specimen of a bronze."

Dtirae's gaze is lingering on the Weyrleader, searching his expression for some sort of hint to how the man may be feeling in regards to the silence. But, nothing betrays him and she does lose interest in making him squirm: at least, on that aspect. Fingers tighten around her mug as she considers his response but that smile lingers in place. "Yer a better man than most. 'm sure there are a lot of Weyrleaders who would straight up tell me no and make sure I didn't go and do what I was wantin'." That smile grows a little wider and the promise being noted draws no more attention than that of a fly on the wall, instead, her gaze is focusing on the mug. "Nah. Nothin' ta do with being her sire. I would be able ta tell the difference in that." Her head tilts slightly and she offers up a teasing little smile. "Looks ain't got nothin' ta do with strength and bein' a fighter. So, who cares if he's lookin' a little off?"

Th'ero could very well be squirming on the inside and if Dtirae just pushes ever so slightly more in the right way, his mask will crack and she'll be able to catch a glimpse. And if she's luckier, snap it entirely. "Oh, there are. And some days I am tempted to tell you no. So don't push your luck." The Weyrleader warns, leveling her with a look that is serious, though his smirk seems to hint at some amusement lurking there. The flush that's creeping up along his neck and a bit to his cheeks also hints at the alcohol finally kicking in. In a few moments, his head will be pleasantly buzzed but for now he's clinging stubbornly to his senses. "Just don't go too crazy on me. Else folk will turn to me and then I will have to put my foot down." Finishing his drink, he pushes the mug aside but doesn't signal the server for another. Instead, he simply fishes out his payment, setting the marks next to the discarded drink and then leans back in his seat. He brings one leg up to rest over the other and then loosely crosses his arms over his chest. All the while, his gaze lingers on Dtirae and his frown deepens, especially for the teasing smile. "Perhaps," he murmurs, still not wholly convinced or wanting to be convinced both on Zuvaleyuth's preferences and what lies in strength and a fighter-type. "I don't, but some may. I'm surprised that his first clutch hatched with no serious physical oddities. Who's to say the luck with last a second time around?" And here Th'ero's expression takes on a bitter twist.

Lucky Th'ero is lucky, because Dtirae does not push anymore on the Weyrleader's control. For the moment, at least. "Hm." She chuckles softly, lips slowly curling into a wide grin for the smirk that plays slightly on the man's lips, the amusement that lingers there. The rest of her drink is downed and she suddenly rises from her seat, moving to lean against the edge of the table. "Nah. Crazy is for the older, senile ones." A teasing wink is given to the Weyrleader, gaze lingering on him as his grown deepens in his expression before laughter bubbles forth. "Don't worry on it. He's strong, it ain't like he's ugly or anythin'. He works just fine, the babies came out just fine. Yer not needin' ta worry about it. And, it ain't luck." And with that, she's pushing off the table and moving closer to the Weyrleader, leaning in. And if he doesn't flail, or push away suddenly, she presses a light kiss to his cheek. "Thanks for answering my questions." The goldrider then strides away, to the bar to chat up her suitor, the conversation ever so soft before the pair are heading up to the rooms. Notably, the man did hand the keys over to the goldrider.

Th'ero's arms uncross as Dtirae is suddenly rising from her seat and the Weyrleader sits up straighter in his. "Is it now?" he asks, sounding amused as his mouth curls into a bit of a wry smile. The teasing wink is met with a quirked brow and nothing more. The Weyrleader is further puzzled by the laughter, but his mouth twitches up into another smile all the same. "Isn't ugly? Have you /seen/ Velokraeth closely?" he snorts then, shaking his head. But the young goldrider's words must sink in to some point, as the bitterness doesn't return to his expression. Then Dtirae is approaching him and Th'ero tenses, eyes narrowing to a suspicious and wary glance. For his credit, he doesn't flail or push away. Neither does he loudly exclaim or try to hinder her. The bronzerider lets the gesture go and perhaps unsettling in the way he doesn't react beyond a startled look. Words fail him too, as Th'ero can only nod briskly to Dtirae's thanks and then he's slowly and awkwardly getting to his feet. Thankfully she simply strides away, because the Weyrleader is in too awkward a spot to keep his thoughts straight - or that could be the alcohol making him buzzed and muddling his head. Either way, once Dtirae has left with her suitor, Th'ero makes his slow and quiet getaway out of the taverns and to the cold night air.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.