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-telling. 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 footwear and other things - that it's possible to imagine the shows put on for the patrons without necessarily seeing the performances.


We'll call it early evening, the sun having just set. As darkness begins to settle on the Fort region the Gemstone Tavern is relatively desolate. A few small groups and individuals are littered about, eating, drinking and who knows what else. The lights are down low, making the pub seem cozy rather than dark.

In one of the far corners of the tavern sits a table isolated from the others. It is slightly brighter lit than the ones nearby, with an oil lantern burning in the center. Beside this additional light, the table is ordinary. Plain even. At this table sits one, Sergeant Yurolt. Waiting, patiently…Well somewhat patiently. He might have just looked to the door for the millionth time.

Hotaru is fashionably late, which is typical for a girl on a date, right? Though Yurolt might not be very appreciative of that fact. She slips into the tavern behind a few other patrons, and moves to hang her coat and hat up once she comes in. It was cold out, but she didn't plan to wear her outside garb inside. No, instead the red head is dressed is something rather unusual for her. Hotaru is in a red dress with a halter top that hugs her curves nicely in the middle and flows down a little past her knees. She's got on real shoes and even a few bracelets to tie everything together. Looking around a bit she spots Yurolt and moves over to his table. "This seat taken?" She teases a bit. Well, assuming he recognizes her.

Oh no worry there, the guard recognizes her. However, that doesn't mean he won't stare. He does stand and pull out her chair, ever the military gentleman. Although compared to Hotaru's dress he feels disgusting in his plain white tunic and grey trousers. Never mind that, he offers the seat to Hotaru and says, "You look…fantastic. Iím glad you came."

Hotaru squeezes Yurolt's arm and kisses his cheek to say hello. Then she sinks into her seat. "Thanks. I'm glad you invited me." She chuckles. Hotaru doesn't put much stock into clothes and such, but she figured Yurolt might like a little bit of a change. Plus it was fun to see his reaction. "Are they gonna have dancing here later?" She asks, looking around. Then she smiles to the guard. "So… How's things? I take it you weren't too swamped under with paperwork since you didn't cancel."

Yurolt grins and blushes slightly at the kiss. "Well, paperwork can wait, especially for you. Anything else, we have Privates for a reason." He smiles slightly at his poor excuse for a joke and takes his seat. The Sergeant glances around the tavern and shrugs. "It seems rather dead tonight. I'm not sure if they'll even have a harper." At that moment one of the barmen arrives to take their order. "A bottle of your best white, and the 'special' if you don't mind." Yurolt looks to Hotaru and says, "I hope you don't mind my ordering for you?"

Hotaru chuckles. "I suppose that's true. Though do you trust the privates with your paperwork?" She raises a brow at him. Or was that a lewd joke? She looks around and nods. "Mm. I guess it is. That's alright though. It's early, too. Though not a typical rest day either." She looks at the waiter as Yurolt gives him their order, then turns back to the guard. She shakes her head. "No, I don't mind. What's the special? I didn't notice. I feel like I ought to be drinking martinis in this get up though. But wine is good, too."

Shaking his head Yurolt says, "No no. I'd not let one of the privates near any paperwork. I just meant they can handle any other tasks, freeing up the Noncoms." As for martinis…well…"Trust me, a good white will go better with dinner. Perhaps something mixed for after dinner." It would appear he won't be letting on to the 'special' until it arrives. However, he does nod to a young man sitting nearest to them. The man stands and produces a guitar. So the Sergeant was playing coy about the harper it would seem. The harper starts to play, nothing to cheesy, just some light dinner tunes.

Hotaru chuckles. "Surely some of them would be good with paperwork. Though I guess it would be your butt on the line if they messed it up." She tilts her head at him. "Noncom?" The red-head nods and grins. "I'm sure it will, but we don't have dinner quite yet. A cocktail might help me relax, if I were nervous. Which I'm not. Well, maybe a little about the 'special'. Not that I'm really a picky eater…" There's a blink at the harper with the guitar. She grins and looks at Yurolt. "Now I'm really nervous about the special."

Yurolt smiles and tilts his head slightly. "I'm sorry; I forget not everyone speaks 'guard'. Noncom is short for Non-Commission officer. Corporals and Sergeants. And you needn't be nervous." Annnd the wine has arrived. It is soon poured and ready for immediate consumption. The harper continues to strum his little tunes.

"Ah. Sorry, I'm pretty useless when it comes to guard speak." Hotaru eyes him. "I'm still nervous about it. The wine will help." She lifts her glass to him, and then takes a sip. "Mm. It's good. Looks like it's a Benden. Probably a good turn, but I don't know my wines too well." She twists the glass a bit between her fingers idly while they talk. "So… any more sparring sessions with the weyrleader lately?"

Yurolt laughs outright. "No, no matches of late. I've been busy and I'm sure he has too." He takes a sip of his own wine and lets out a satisfied sigh. "That is good." After a few more moments their dinner has arrived. Never mind it being quick, it's here. "Thank you, I believe we'll be fine for the time being." This is said to the barman, who curtly nods and shimmies away. As for the dinner, it is a seared whitefish fillet, drizzled in a ginger sauce. On the side there is garlic and butter baked tubers with caramelized sweet carrots. Placed in the center of the table is a basket of steaming yeast bread.

Hotaru grins. "No? That's a shame. I was hoping maybe to catch a round of you and the weyrleader going at it. Maybe in some mud…" Even Kimmila couldn't say no to that! Hotaru's eyes light up at the dinner when it arrives. She nods to the barman in thanks, and then turns back to Yurolt. "Okay, you win. This looks delicious." Hotaru starts in on the fish, first. Then tries a bit of the tubers and the carrots. "Mm. You don't like carrots, right? You'll let me eat yours?" She grins at him. "I'm teasing. It would be mean of me to take your carrots, even if you didn't like them."

Yurolt heartily offers his carrots to Hotaru. "I can always make some more." OH did he forget to mention, he cooked this? As for mud…well I guess mud wrestling. "I'm sure something could be arranged, but I doubt Th'ero would enjoy mud in that hair of his." And true, Kimmila probably would approve.

Hotaru blinks. "You can? Anyways, no no. This is enough food for me. I'll stuff myself full of carrots if I eat yours, too." Though she might swipe a few once she finishes her own food. She giggles. "I didn't think Th'ero was that vain about his hair? We could sell tickets to the event. I'm sure there are plenty of other girls who would like to see some men mud wrestling."

Well that's not entirely a bad idea. Possibly earn some extra marks, or fund something or another. "Well, one never knows about Th'ero. He's a hard shell to crack. And yes I can. One learns to cook when you live in the field for long periods." Yurolt pops a bite of fish in his mouth and grins. "So you like it?"

Tickets might sell better though if it were girls wrestling. Or some combination of guys and girls. "That he is. You guard types always seem to be. Though… I think I heard that Th'ero had a rough childhood. So… maybe he's quieter than most." Hotaru grins. "Living at a weyr though cooking sort of becomes… not a necessity. I can make a few things. I help when I'm at the cothold. But when I'm at the weyr everything is cooked for me." Even when she's out on a date. She nods and grins. "It's all really good. You didn't have to go through all this trouble though, Yurolt. But it is really sweet of you."

Yurolt smiles. "No trouble. Honestly, I usually eat something like this. I just made a bit more than usual….Well, perhaps not as fancy as tonight, but you catch my meaning." He hopes. The guard does nod at the Th'ero comments, because, well why not? "So, tell something about the Hotaru I don't know."

Hotaru blinks. "You always cook for yourself then? Instead of eating with everyone at the caverns?" Did all of the guards do that? She picks up her wineglass to take a sip. She giggles at him. "What, you don't know everything about me already? What do you want to know? You already know about my childhood. My parents… where I was born, where I grew up. What I like to do… right?" She ponders. "You know about my aspirations at this point… or can guess them by now. I uh… I don't much like crawlies. That might be something new. What about you, Sergeant? I don't recall you talking about your past in great detail."

Yurolt shrugs. "I often cook for myself when I'm out and about. I do eat in the caverns when I'm home. I just make sure I always have spices packed in my ruck whenever I'm out." Sipping his wine he ponders over what he does know about Hotaru, never mind anything that's on public record that he might or might not have read. Perhaps if she had a history of crime she should be worried. "Well…my past is rather bland to be honest. I believe I told you I'm from the High Reaches originally?"

Hotaru smiles and nods. "Spices are key. Do you guys do a lot of recon missions around? With what's-his-face gone I would think things are a lot quieter now. This might be good or bad depending on how you look at it." She finishes up her meal and does indeed swipe a couple of his carrots if she can. Hotaru doesn't have a record of crime! She's just not the type really. Not even really for pranks or skipping out on her chores. Other than her big mouth, the red head is generally passive and respectable. She leans her head on her arm, swirling her wine in its glass. "I think you mentioned that. I'm from Igen. So I guess that makes me fire and you snow. I can't remember… do you have any siblings?"

Recon missions aren't really in season, no. "Not so much recon, but since Laris, Th'ero wants a better network and more training to all surrounding areas. To prevent a spread like his again." He drains his wine and finishes off his fish. "SO we have longer patrols, so to speak." Yurolt nods, remembering she is from Igen. "Your grandparents live in the Fort region though, correct? As for me, I have the one sister, and brother I've not met. You are an only child." He doesn't ask this last part, he remembers.

"Sounds like a good idea to me. Lessons learned and all of that. Hopefully it works, though I'm sure you guys aren't happy about longer patrols. Might be a good excuse to hire on some more guards though." Hotaru nods to him. "Mm. Their cothold isn't far from here. It's not very big, just enough to keep themselves comfortable, with a little extra going to the tithes." She grins. "Yep. Only child. And the only grandchild of my grandparents with the cothold. So I guess I'm spoiled. This probably explains a lot. You've seen me play pool before, right? That's my game."

Yurolt smiles and nods. "Yes, one of the first times I saw you, you were hustling pool." He grins even wider, "And we won't have you playing pool shark in tonight….Well, maybe if you ask nicely." More nodding and listening, and even a refill on the wine. "I certainly hope you're not too spoiled. I don't know how I'd ever manage that. I was bottom of the food chain in family."

Hotaru grins. "Well I do hustle pool a lot. They keep coming back, thinking they can beat me…" She wriggles her eyebrows. "Pool is hard to play in a dress. Though it might help to distract the other players." Hotaru takes a sip once her glass is refilled. "I dunno… you're doing a mighty fine job keeping me spoiled. What with the cooking for me and the wine and the music… I guess it's sort of luck of the draw with families. You like the weyr though, right? That's sort of its own family."

The man has reached the rank of Sergeant; he'd better like the weyr. "I do, I honestly can't stand farming. I wasn't cut out for our cothold. And I've managed to make some great friends. And meet some wonderful people." Yurolt raises his glass in a toast to Hotaru. He then winks and smiles. "I think you're right, we could win quite a few games with that dress. Split the winnings?" The guard laughs loudly.

Hey, he could just tolerate it because of his job? Hotaru giggles. "Me either, really. It's not really my cup of tea. But then again my grandparents didn't settle into that life until they were older. It was too much for them being on the road all the time." She lifts her glass back to him, and shifts in her seat to cross her legs. She laughs. "Oh sure. Siphon off half my winnings, when I'm the one doing the work -and- being ogled at." She looks down at their plates, then back up at the guard. "What's the after dinner plan?"

And Yurolt is stumped; he hadn't thought that far ahead. I mean he's good, but he's not THAT good. "Um…well…" Stalling…stalling. "What would you like to do?" And he cops out on that one. Oh well, it's a safe option.

Hotaru wasn't trying to trip up Yurolt, she really wasn't! She was just wondering if he had anything else planned. "Me?" She laughs. "I dunno… We could just sit here and enjoy the wine and chat. Or we can dance maybe, if your harper wants to play. Or we could sneak off to a private booth for uh… dessert." She giggles. "I'm not too hard to please."

Well shells and shards. The girl is basically narrowing down his options from 100 to 99. Let's see if he can be diplomatic about all this. "Suppose we could have dessert and then dance. I've got the harper all night." He grins a little and motions to the barman to come their way.

Hotaru wasn't that bad! Was she? It doesn't seem like he quite got her quip about dessert if he's about to order something. She just giggles at him. "All night, hm? That's rather optimistic of you, Yuri." When the barman comes over, Hotaru eyes Yurolt. "Can I order, or do you have some secret dessert planned, too?" She didn't want to ruin any of his carefully laid plans. Though it doesn't seem like they stretched on past dinner.

Yurolt can say that he assumed he got the 'dessert' reference, but is one to never overplay his hand. So for safety's sake he'll at least order something, should he be wrong. "By all means. I have nothing special this time. And I wouldn't say optimistic…Should things turn for the worst, I can still have some sad songs." He gives a wink, and silently kicks himself for being so shortsighted.

Hotaru is looking for Yurolt to sort of overplay his hand. At least a little. Even Hotaru has her insecurities, and she's expecting him to make a pass or two at her. She smiles to the barman then. "We'll get a red fruit bubbly and some ice cream to share." She grins at him. "That would have to be some turn. Speaking of turns. It's your turn to tell me something about you that I don't know."

It's possible that Yurolt will 'make a pass' so to speak at some point; however, he is a highly respectable military man. He can't be setting lewd examples for his junior guards and such. Well maybe a little. But for now it seems he must reveal another little tidbit of his person…The guard scrunches his face and tuts his tongue as he thinks. "Well…I've never had the pleasure of meeting someone like you." Technically that works, it's something she wouldn't know and it's a compliment. Double points.

Too respectable! Maybe. Or maybe just enough. Or Hotaru will just have to be the lewd one. She was mostly just a weyrbrat after all. Of course apprentices weren't really supposed to be too lewd either. Even if the rules are relaxed a bit for older crafters. Hotaru blinks at his bit of information, and then she laughs. "I don't know how to take that, Yurolt. Most people think I'm too forward or disrespectful. I don't mean to be. I just have sort of a big mouth." An awkward one, too. "Do you ever miss High Reaches?"

Oh, something the Sergeant has thought about in a while…He'll take a moment to stare thoughtfully into space. "I miss my family occasionally. Especially my nephew. However, the area, I care nothing for." Perhaps it's somewhat odd that he has no attachment to his place of birth, perhaps not. As for his strategically placed compliment he'll says, "I find your attitude refreshing. Such a contrast from how I have to be professionally. I'm rather reserved, by force of habit, but reserved nonetheless."

"Mm." Hotaru nods when he mentions missing his family. "I don't have any nephews. But I do miss my parents. I don't see them as often as I did when I was a kid." He has about as much attachment to High Reaches as Hotaru does to Igen, really. So she can relate to not missing the place of his birth. Though the red head was rather attached to Fort. "I guess we balance each other out then. You can let me be the obnoxious one. Though… you may get tired of that after a bit." She giggles.

Yurolt shrugs. "I doubt it; I'm consistently awesome enough to handle any obnoxiousness. Probably…" He does nod understandingly about not seeing family. "It's hard to find time, especially with responsibilities. Although you may get some chances to see yours while youíre selling booze around the planet, eh?"

Hotaru laughs. "Well, that's good to know. That I can be as obnoxious as I want. Probably." Hotaru shrugs and nods about seeing her parents. "I suppose so. It would have been easier if I'd impressed, though. At least my parents write a fair bit." More often that she writes back, at least. Hotaru looks up when the barman comes back with dessert. Hooray! Pie and ice cream! "I'll let you have the first bite. It'll be my way of saying thank you for all of this. And… Maybe I'll thank you again a little later."

Well that is a mighty pile of ice and pie. Looks like Yurolt will be the first to dive in. Grabbing a spoon he scoops a bit of pie and the ice cream and plops it into his mouth. Mm mm good…But wait…somethingís not right. "Um…I do hate to be a bother…this is quite tasty…however, I beliebe there are nuts in this ice creab…" Oh dear.

Hotaru will let Yurolt have the first bite like she promised, but after that, she's digging in as well. Or at least, she would be. Instead she blinks at the guard. "What was that? Yeah, I think there are nuts. Are you allergic to nuts? Do you need to go to the infirmary? Spit it out, Yurolt!" Anywhere. Here's a napkin, waving in his face.

His face is already looking a little puffy. So much for dancing, but it still promises to be an exciting night. Nodding and standing quickly Yurolt says, "Yesp, I neeb the infirbary. Now." Nothing is more romantic than anaphylactic shock. Will Hotaru be escorting the swollen Sergeant?

Hotaru won't just be escorting him, she'll be dragging him. She gets up then and pulls Yurolt to his feet by his arm. "Well let's go!" She tugs him to the door and throws her coat on. There's a moment where she's considering taking off her shoes, but the ground is too cold to be running about without them, so they stay on. She'll have to risk a broken heel. "Come on! You need to tell me if you can't breathe, okay? Or tug on me or something." Since it'll be hard for him to talk.

Yurolt nods and follows with Hotaru, breathing louder and more ragged with each step. However, it doesn't appear that he's going to pass out just yet. There's a good chance he'll make it all the way to the infirmary. It seems this may have ruined the whole mood of the evening, but at least it's exciting, isn't it?

Sure, it's exciting! Running for Yurolt's life. It will be up until he passes out on her and she has to hoist him up on her back to drag him to the infirmary. Or run for help. At least the tavern isn't that far outside the weyr, and once they're in the infirmary isn't that far of a run. The question is though will they make it there before Yurolt's throat swells shut?

And the answer is yes. The do indeed make it to the infirmary in time. The healer on front desk duty doesn't even ask Yurolt or Hotaru any questions. Instead she calls for help immediately, recognizing the signs of a severe allergy. In a relatively short amount of time Sergeant Yurolt is lying in a hospital bed surrounded by all sorts of healers wielding needles and other tools of torture.

Hotaru is at least relieved about making it to the infirmary. There's not anything the red head could do for Yurolt, he needed medical attention. Despite her being obnoxious, Hotaru doesn't get in the way of the healers. Instead she'll linger in the waiting area, poking around at things. Waiting for someone to come out to tell her that Yurolt is fine and she can go in to see him.

Lucky for her, the wait is not long. A healer comes out shortly and informs Hotaru that Yurolt shall be fine. They were quick enough getting to the infirmary that a small dose of steroid was sufficient to cure him. The healer also says she is free to see him, though he may be out of it for a bit.

Hotaru moves over to peek into Yurolt's cot area. She sits down on the edge of his cot and looks down at him with a frown. Her hand finds his and she pats him gently. "Sorry, Yuri." She says softly. He might be too out of it to really know anyone's there, but still. It was her idea that brought him here!

Yurolt is awake and somewhat lucid. He does look up at Hotaru, "Sorry Red…I didn't think about checking before I dug in." He smiles weakly and winks. "At least I know you care about my health now. Sorry about the evening." The guard reaches out and squeezes Hotaru's hand.

Hotaru smiles down at Yurolt. "Don't worry about that. There'll be other evenings. At least now I know to look for nuts in things before we eat them." She chuckles and rubs his hand in hers. "Did they say how long it'll take before you can leave? Or are they just going to keep you here overnight?"

Yurolt shrugs. "I'll be out of here by tomorrow either way." He gives a roguish smile and touches his finger to his nose, "Mum's the word." The guard looks into Hotaru's eyes and says softly, "I'm truly grateful for this evening. Regardless of how it turned out." He laughs and lays his head back into the pillow.

Hotaru nods. She chuckles and bats his finger away. "Mum's the word? About your allergic reaction?" She laughs. "Fine, if you want. Though I don't see why it matters. It might be helpful if other people knew, just in case." She leans down to give him a brief kiss. "I had fun. Even while we were running to the infirmary. But I should let you rest, before the healers come chase me out." She gives his had a squeeze. "I'll come look for you tomorrow, to see how you made out." She chuckles and then heads out.


'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.