Warning: Language

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.

Peace never seems to last for long in Fort and it's not a scant few hours after Th'ero found some quiet and solace in his weyr that Njordeth was informing Velokraeth of the location of a certain wayward gold. Reluctant and grudgingly, the Weyrleader once again gathered his clothes and steeled himself for a meeting he was not at all prepared for. He wanted to stay with Kimmila, savor the calm and comfort he had found with her. The wounds are still too fresh and his temper still too fresh regarding the situation. But he goes once Velokraeth has donned his straps. Then they're gone, with only the knowledge that it's Ierne Weyrhold they go to and that Elara and Wiyaneth are joining them.

That was late afternoon. Time passes and the sky darkens, the skies go dark and the winds cold and bitter. It feels like there will be snow but none falls. Most folks would stay indoors in times like these. And it's to this that Velokraeth returns, alone, to the ledge. The pale bronze has his straps but there is no rider and while his movements and posture are tense and stiffer then usual, there seems to be no alarm. But his mind extends, perhaps stronger and more forceful then one normally would need, to Varmiroth. «Yours is needed at the tavern near the forests.» Comes the message in a rolling, honeyed tone bereft of his usual sarcasm or humor.

Kimmila exits the weyr while pulling on her warmest jacket, frowning at Velokraeth. "You want me to remove your straps at least?" she offers, and whatever his answer is she'll do, before she heads down the stairs and makes her way quickly towards the tavern. Pushing open the door she slips inside and makes sure it shuts securely behind her before she looks around, searching for Th'ero.

Velokraeth's reaction is one of actual genuine surprise for Kimmila's offer and is obvious only by the way he shifts his weight and his wings twitch before folding neat and tight again against his sides. The bronze chuffs then and lowers his head in a way that would be considered a polite and thankful nod if he were human. But he isn't, so he sends his gratitude through Varmiroth, as is proper to do and promptly settles himself to allow the bluerider to slip off his straps. He'll be a good sport about it too, ever the gentleman before stretching out comfortably on the ledge. One to pay his debts, Varmiroth gets the choice of the warmer and sheltered wallow, if the blue wishes it.

The Gemstone Tavern is nothing like Shenanigan's. This one is rustic and usually the territory of Fort's hunters, guards, woodcrafters, smithcrafters and beastcrafters, with a few other folk mingled in and a rare number of riders. Not being actually in the Weyr itself, it's more of a halfway point where most gather after a shift or before one or to wait out some nasty weather. It's also a good place to be if you're looking for some privacy and obscurity in a public place. Why Th'ero chose it and not to come back is the mystery. The Weyrleader is not down in the common area. But when Kimmila does slip inside, the bartender must have been watching for her arrival. He signals to her and then points to one of the private like tables set far away from the main areas. It seats two and is set in a spot where the occupants can easily watch those around them, but with walls on either side, it makes it hard for eavesdropping.

Kimmila nods her thanks to the bartender, ordering herself an ale before she slips into the private area and seats herself, shrugging out of her jacket and draping it across the chair behind her. Green eyes search Th'ero's face as she does so, brows furrowed and curiosity and concern written on her face. "So?" she finally prompts. "What happened?"

Th'ero is hunched over his mug, head turned to one side and downwards so that in the dimmer light it makes it hard to see his full features. His eyes are visible though and then turn up to meet Kimmila's as the bluerider settles in. One quick look also shows he's barely touched the black red-tinted vile looking stout he favors when he's really in a mood, yet the Weyrleader already looks partially into his cups. "What happened?" Th'ero drawls and immediately his voice sounds… off. As if he's trying to work his words around a clenched jaw. Surely he's not /that/ angry, is he? "We'll be the talk of Ierne Weyrhold is what happened. The rest of Pern by the time spring arrives. You were right, it may have been better if Wiyaneth had rose in favor of Zuvaleyuth." But even as he says it, with his words oddly clipped and mumbled, his tone doesn't seem entirely serious and there is no force behind it.

Kimmila sits up straighter when her ale is brought, and she curves her hands around the mug and leans forward, peering into the dim light to try and better see his face. She frowns, glancing at the ale and then to his face, head tilting as she does notice the change in his tone. "There's a rumor going around that Mother /is/ Senior," she admits, before she lifts her ale to take a long pull and sets it down again, still waiting for his full response.

Th'ero snorts and curses under his breath, making a dismissive gesture towards the rumor Kimmila mentions. It's obvious what he thinks of that. "/Acting/ Senior. Until she feels Dtirae is ready to shoulder the burden responsibly on her own. It doesn't change that Zuvaleyuth rose first. But seeing as Neyuni has stepped down so abruptly, the girl /needs/ support… so who better then Elara to shadow?" he mutters and finally leans back in his seat and raises his head just enough that more of it is visible. Nothing visible at first, until he lifts his mug and part way to taking a full sip he flinches. Frustrated, he returns the mug to the table with more force then needed and when he lifts the back of his hand to wipe at his mouth, one would see then what's wrong. In the shadows the vague bruising is nigh invisible. The swelling, however, is not. It only distorts his features by a small amount but to those close to him, it's clearly unusual.

Kimmila smirks a bit, shrugging one shoulder. "No one better," she says, because despite her issues with her mother, she is still a firm believer in Elara's abilities, just like any daughter would be. But then she's frowning when he doesn't take a sip, and the expression only intensifies when the swelling is noticed. "Th'ero," she says, her voice firm as she leans forward again, this time really trying to get a good look at his jaw. "What happened."

Th'ero doesn't argue Kimmila's beliefs, likely sharing the same despite it. The Weyrleader is having a hard time accepting the rapid changes in Seniority and likely has conflicting thoughts on the whole matter, beyond what just happened with Dtirae before and after the flight. It's all just stacking up and by the time the bluerider's expression intensifies and she's leaning forwards for a better look, there's little to no fight left in the bronzerider. That and if he's already been drinking, his mind is mellowed enough to keep his temper at an even level, though it's very much there and simmering. "Elara and I went to Ierne Weyrhold. She was there, along with A'lin and Thea, Xanadu's Weyrwoman and gold Seryth's rider. I lingered back, while Elara went ahead to talk. I said nothing save for make eye contact. Next thing I know Dtirae is moving towards me and," Th'ero pauses to lift his shoulders in a slight shrug. "She slugged me right in the jaw. Girl can throw a damn good hook." He remarks dryly and sarcastically. "And that's the gist of it. Elara was furious and had Dtirae marching off to some private room. A'lin, Thea and I retreated to one of the taverns till things settled again. But the damage is done."

Kimmila's eyes narrow to mere slits, fury boiling in those green orbs. She pushes to her feet with her palms flat on the table, leaning even closer until she finally gets a good look at his jaw. "That fucking bitch," she says, and it might be unnerving how quietly and calmly she says it. Despite the rage in her expression, her words are calm. And then she's leaving the table, spinning away and marching back towards the bar, stride long and posture rigid.

"Kimmila," Th'ero replies in a low and calm tone, instantly on edge from her reaction. He can see the fury in her eyes and knows how she can be when well and truly riled. So his calm tone also comes with a warning. "What's done is done," he almost growls, his voice drops so quiet and then she's leaving. The Weyrleader makes an attempt to grab her but misses his mark, so he's followed only by his curses. "Shard it! Kimmila, wait, damn you." A heartbeat later and he's pursuing her, shrugging back into his heavy flight jacket as he does. It slows his pace but once he's done, he surges ahead and attempts to cut her off before she can make it to the crowded part of the tavern.

Kimmila wasn't actually leaving, as it turns out, as evidenced by her stopping at the bar and then turning to face Th'ero approaching. "I'm not going anywhere," she says in a low, controlled voice as the bartender reaches beneath the bar and hands her what she requested moments before Th'ero made it to her side. It's a straw. Thrusting it at the Weyrleader, Kimmila swerves past him to return to their table, sitting heavily in the chair and downing the rest of her ale, a hand lifted and fingers snapping impatiently to signal for another.

Leave it to Th'ero to always assume the wrong thing. So he can only stand awkwardly as Kimmila turns to face him and then proves his suspicions entirely wrong, both verbally and by handing him the straw. He takes it, but he doesn't quite hide the embarrassed look that crosses his expression. Whether the Weyrleader is embarrassed over having leapt after Kimmila in the first place or the fact he's reduced to using a straw… it's evident enough it's likely both. Shrugging out of his jacket, he tosses it to the seat next to him when he returns and settles himself heavily back into the chair he so hastily vacated. The straw is set next to the mug, but he seems disinterested in the drink now.

Kimmila has her second drink delivered, and she seems to want to drink this one more slowly as she slouches in her chair and looks at him, shaking her head. "I want to," she finally says, her words muttered and irritated. "But I know better than to go hunting after the Senior of Fort. But…Faranth, do I want to." She growls a bit and takes another sip of her drink, intending for it to calm her - or at least make it more difficult to follow through on any vengeful thoughts she has - of which there are many.

"I know," Th'ero growls from his resumed hunched position across from her and a heavy frown settles on his brows. He gives Kimmila a long and measured look before reaching for his mug but not the straw. He can only manage a tiny sip, but it's done and he does it purposely to prove he can. Pride, it's an awful vice. "But what purpose would it prove? What's done is done. It'd only be pouring salt into the wound." Setting aside his mug again, he closes his eyes for a moment, his hand now lifting up to rub at this forehead. The Weyrleader looks tired then, exhausted and probably more buzzed from previous drinks then he's letting on. "And truthfully, I probably deserved it." Th'ero admits as he exhales heavily.

Kimmila snorts softly. "I would feel better," she says, her voice flat and unforgiving. She watches him take that tiny sip and she rolls her eyes at him. "You stubborn ass," she mutters, but it's really not unkindly said. She smirks, then lifts her brows. "Tell me, Wingmate, how you earned a punch in the jaw."

"I'm afraid you'll have to find another outlet to vent your frustrations," Th'ero insists in a low and slightly colder tone. He trusts Kimmila but that doesn't mean he takes any pleasure in her reply. The Weyrleader would have smirked for her remark on his stubbornness and still tries, though only one side of his mouth quirks up and it quickly dies. He opens his eyes then, turning them to meet hers as he straightens his posture and leans back in his seat. The mug of stout he leaves untouched, save to rest his hands around it. "I was less then kind to her before the flight and more so afterwards. And before you consider it, I don't mean the physical nonsense. I mean verbally. I reacted poorly to her teasing when I should have remembered how trapped and stressed she was when I found her holed away in the Headwoman's Office. I felt stung by her behavior and so I sought to hurt her in kind. That's why, Wingmate, I deserved it." Th'ero waits for her reply, but not without lifting his drink up to his lips and despite the discomfort, takes a generous pull of it this time, draining almost half of it before he has to lower the mug. The grimace that follows could be from the pain or from the harshness of the drink.

Kimmila's frown deepens at his cold tone, but she doesn't remark on it. Then she just looks startled when he clarifies that it wasn't physical unkindness, as that thought never even entered her mind. "Ahh," is all she says in the end, scowling into her mug. "Still, that's no reason to haul off and punch you. In public, none the less. That's hardly Weyrwoman behavior… That's something stupid blueriders would do."

Th'ero is puzzled by Kimmila's startled look, but doesn't comment on it, only giving her a slightly questioning sidelong glance before he's looking away and lifting one hand to gingerly touch the swelling along his jaw. He withdraws it quick with an abrupt hiss and then grunts softly. "What's done is done. Ierne will have the story of the Turn to gossip about now and nothing can be done." The Weyrleader pauses then to take a slow and steadying breath, temper still simmering behind his tone. "Perhaps. Or foolish bronzeriders, but Dtirae likely got an earful by Elara. Which she needs."

Kimmila snorts softly, staring down into her drink for a moment. Then a rather wicked grin curves her lips as she looks back up at the bronzerider. "I'm sure she did. My mother's not the sort to stand for such behavior - especially not by the Senior and especially not in public. And it sounds to me like she needs a swift kick in the ass, as well as a dressing down. It's dangerous for a Weyr to have a weak Senior."

"I know that, Kimmila." Th'ero murmurs and then grows all the more curious for the wicked grin that curves along her lips. "And I hope never to be on Elara's bad side. Not after what I witnessed." The Weyrleader shakes his head a little then and reaches for his drink once again. This time his sip is a little slower and not as long. "Fort will not have a weak Senior. Dtirae has the ability. She just needs someone with the experience to guide her that way and out of her immaturity."

Kimmila shrugs, "I'm not sure she does have the ability," the bluerider remarks, leaning back in her chair and swirling her drink a bit in her glass. "Well," she amends, hopefully before Th'ero can argue with her, "I'll just say I'm not sure, but she has a /lot/ of ground to make up in my mind." She looks pointedly at his jaw and her expression tightens as she pushes back her fury once again. "Did you put ice on that?"

She knows him well, as Th'ero is ready to argue almost immediately after Kimmila makes her first remark, but bites it back when she amends quick enough to effectively block him. From the heavy frown and narrowed look he gives her, he's not exactly thrilled but he leaves her to her opinion. "Perhaps," he drawls, before smirking vaguely again from only one corner of his mouth. "Earlier I did. Thea got some when we all went to the tavern in Ierne. I suppose the swelling is back though." And he knows Kimmila is furious and it bothers him, though he keeps it well masked save for a brief flicker of concern in his eyes.

Kimmila downs her second ale and looks at him, green eyes flickering over his face. "Well now I've got all this pent up energy. Want to go try and kill something?" Hunting. It's a solution to everything apparently.

And just like that, Th'ero's mood switches and all the anger and frustration are gone, along with the remaining tension in his shoulders. Though that could be all the alcohol and exhaustion settling in too, but his eyes flicker with anticipation. "Shards, yes." He growls, lifting his mug to drain the rest of the contents despite the pain from his swollen jaw. "Which region, Wingmate? And which prey?"

Kimmila grins an almost feral grin when he agrees so quickly, nodding her head slightly. "Southern. Felines," she says without hesitation. "I'll get some provisions from the bar and meet you on your ledge in a few. We'll leave from there."

"Felines?" Th'ero echoes and the challenge has him echoing her feral grin, though soon he's frowning again. Can't separate the Weyrleader from the bronzerider it seems. "Risky." He murmurs and for a moment it may seem like he's about to wave off the hunt as his duty-bound mind rebels at the thought one of them could be mauled. Then he blinks, snorts gruffly and straightens his shoulders, decision made. "Understood. I'll inform M'lo that he has Fort while I'm gone. My ledge then, Wingmate." And he's pushing back his chair and rising to his feet. He lingers long enough to give her a gentle kiss, though he'd have loved to have done more, but is hindered by his injury. Then he's gone, disappearing from the taverns at a brisk walk.

Kimmila stands stubbornly, ready to argue with him if he protests her choice. But when he agrees, her grin returns full-force, and even shows some teeth. "Excellent," she half purrs, rising to her tiptoes to gently kiss him back. Shards, that injury sucks. Suddenly she realizes what else he can't do, until that's healed, and she's ready to go kick Dei's ass all over again. Thankfully she has hunting to do, as she turns and walks to the bar to see what snacks she can scrounge up for the two of them.

'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.