Continued from Iaverulth vs Zuvaleyuth...Averted


Emerald Isle - Maiona cothold

Pristine sugar white sands are lapped by turquoise waters in the quiet cove that forms the lower end of this hold. The ruins of what was once a dock, lies bleaching in the sun. Lush tropical growth shades the beach, while the waters, clear-shot with sunbeams, shimmers beyond with an array of rainbow-hued fish. Just at the center of the curve of the cove a stone wall made with blocks of grey lavastone opens in an arched gateway to a crushed coral path that winds through yellowfruit and palm until it tops a windswept, lonely hill, thigh-high grasses rippling in the tradewinds. There is nothing there to show people once lived in this spot save a foundation in blocks cut from the same lavastone.

When they emerge from *Between*, Dtirae is taking a ragged breath, still clinging tightly to the bronzerider. She is shaking, still, pent up emotions still running ragged. Zuvaleyuth's roar that was drowned in the darkness continues, but ends abruptly as the gold is hit with confusion? Anger? But, she is no longer thrashing and is certainly able to be released without worry. There is a soft croon that portrays this.

They emerge high over an emerald island surrounded by a ring of pristine white sand set like a jewel in a turquoise sea. The tropical skies, wrap around them, caressing after the bite of Fort's frigid winter skies. One problem? Their dropping like a stone towards the lovely island. « A little help here, Zuvaleyuth? » Dremkoth's contract is not quuuuite panicked as his great wings spread to slow their descent, but he's also not letting go in the slightest lest the queen try to make a break for it and pop back to Fort Weyr to finish the fight. D'ani retains a tight hold on the Weyrwoman as they plummet downwards, well aware that he didn't buckle the safety straps. Thank Faranth for that iron bar he's added to Dremkoth's harness! He's pinned Dtirae to that and has a death grip on it.

Zuvaleyuth lets out a soft chuff, disgruntled as the bronze refuses to release her. « As mine captor desires. » Wings spread to help slow their descent and there is no struggle as the bronze clearly has no intention on releasing her. Dtirae's clinging tightly, still. If she's aware of their falling? Well, she's not giving any indication.

And so they settle - instead of splatting - upon the beach, Dremkoth humming with smug accomplishment at having averted a catastrophe. The interrupted chasing and thwarted capturing of Iaverulth pales in comparison with the prize he now holds. But, uhhhh… what to do with her now? She's not in heat. This isn't a mating flight, dangit! She…doesn't seem intent on fleeing back to Fort… hmm. « Would you like to go swimming? » the bronze asks with all the nonchalance he can muster. Please don't kill me? D'ani isn't far from the ground since the bronze landed somewhat on his side and so he eases his grip on that bar (but not on the Weyrwoman), swings the both of them to the sand, steadies her on her feet before releasing her. "Are you okay?" Because yes, that was a bit unorthodox. He just kidnapped the Weyrwoman of Fort! Sort of.

« Water, soothing to the mind which tends to move rapidly with very few moments of rest. Submerged in such tranquility oft causes mind to drift towards the images found to be soothing. » Is that a yes? Well, the gold is moving to the water so one can assume she has taken up his offer. Dtirae's still clinging, shaking, but alive and breathing, completely whole. When D'ani finally releases her the woman releases him in response. But, the shaking continues: a testament to how much control she was exerting, to how much adrenaline shot through her veins. And, adrenaline plus Dtirae normally does not have a good reaction. First impulses are not restrained and her fist is drawn back and before she can blink, or even consider her action she's swinging at him. "What. In. Faranth's. Name. Were. You. Thinking?" Comes out in ragged breaths, though, it is hard to say if she question is meant for the bronzerider as her eyes hold a distant haze.

D'ani is not expecting this. Though to give him credit, he has no idea what it's like exerting his will over a queen dragon. So while he's witnessing Dtirae's shaking, he's likely attributing it to weakness rather than strength. That’s Mistake #1. He's also leaning in to peer with gentle concern at the poor woman. Aaaand Mistake #2. POW! His nose connects with her fist. And the woman can pack a wallop! Before he knows it, he's on his back in the sand with a look of surprise on his face that is almost comical, the stars that dance in front of his eyes totally blocking out the sight of Dremkoth following Zuvalayuth into the cove waters blissfully unconcerned for his rider’s plight. It's reflex that has both hands clamping his nose while he blinks watery - and disbelieving - eyes at Dtirae. Switching gears is a slow process, but he manages to answer her lamely, "Uhh… getting you guys to safety?"

It's the contact of her fist with his face that's jolting Dtirae out of wherever she was mentally, likely still completely wrapped up in Zuvaleyuth. Though, she is now completely free and the sight of the bronzerider on the ground, with his hands clamping his nose has her blinking at him with complete and utter shock slowly filling her features. His answer, along with blinking his watery eyes at her has the woman paling. "Oh, D'ani. I— It was… I didn't…" Replacing shock comes guilt as she's moving to crouch before him. "I… Shells… I didn't…"

Let no one say D'ani doesn't have a sense of humor. Even while reeling with pain and shock he employs it. "… miss?" he fills in for her. Becaaaaause her aim was certainly impeccable! He drops his hands from his nose to plant his elbows in the sand and thus lever himself up, sniffing as he does so. Big mistake! His eyes squinch shut and when the world stops spinning, he opens them again. "I'm fine," he assures her sitting up. It's a lie. His nose is probably broken but heck, he's tough? He'll ignore it. A peer at the limpid waters of the cove assures him that Zuvalaeyuth has been sufficiently distracted and still here, safe from a fight with Iaverulth. Back to Dtirae, his main concern is her. Glassy-eyed and throbbing nose ignored, he repeats his question, "Are you okay?"

Dtirae flushes a shade of red as he fills in, bringing some color back into her cheeks. She, however, doesn't laugh. at least, not when she's concerned about him. She's watching him and then slowly leaning in to look at his nose while his eyes are closed. "No, you're not. I /punched/ you in the face, D'ani." Distress lingers in her tone. His gaze drifts and then, her own follows to consider her lifemate. His question earns a frown, "I'm more worried about /you/. I'm fine. I've still got some adrenaline in me… But, I'm whole." The situation really could have been worse. She's relaxing slowly, and as she does so, she's leaning in to kiss D'ani firmly on the lips. Maybe it's still the adrenaline.

D'ani almost laughs. But something tells him this would hurt. He does manage to say, "I know." Because really, how could he not? But she's been telling him how lethal she is and he can't help it - male ego dictates he respond with a chuckle (ignore the weak timbre of it) and a wry assurance, "I think I'll live." He's half-sitting when she leans in, her lips finding his. The lingering flight effects have little to do with his response; one arm snaking to catch the back of her head in the crook of his arm so he can return her kiss properly, his mouth capturing hers firmly with an enthusiasm that might be explained when he finally releases her to ease back and grin rakishly up at her. "Welcome to Maiona?"

His refusal to admit the fact that he's in pain, and hurting doesn't bother her so much as the fact that he's trying to play off that she punched him. She at least drops it when he gives his reassurance. "You'll live, but it'll hurt setting your nose if it is broken." An idle note that she doesn't expect a response to, not when she's gone and cut off any response. When he kisses her back, arms are shifting to wrap around him as a support as his arm settles around her. When he finally draws back, the woman is flushed another shade of red though she says nothing as that grin settles on his lips. Then, there's a realization of what he's said and she's drawing back to properly look at where they are. "Oh. I… Wasn't expecting that."

If he lets them set it. Right now he doesn’t want anyone to touch it. D’ani's still got that crooked grin on his lips while watching her reaction to where they are. "Surprise?" Yeah, it's been that, huh? Grabbed and whisked *Between* without so much as a by-your-leave. He pushes to his feet, offers her a hand up. "So I'd take you surfing, buuuut it might not be such a good idea right now. Would you like to see some of my former home, Dtirae?" He knows they've got some time to kill before she can return to Fort Weyr.

"Surprise indeed." Dtirae agrees as she's taking in the surroundings, taking in the sight of the bronzerider's former home and her expression softens into something that doesn't usually settle on the Weyrwoman's face. The offered hand is noticed after a moment, her hand lifting to gently grasp his. "I've never surfed before. We can do it some other time." She promises and a smile, shy in nature settles on her lips. "I'd love to see your former home, D'ani."

So they'll do that another time when he's not seeing double. D'ani retains her hand, lacing his fingers with hers, the other hand makes a sweeping gesture towards the cove, "So this is the beach," he says unnecessarily. They're standing in a near-circular beach with pristine sugar white sands lapped by turquoise waters in the quiet cove. The ruins of what was once a dock, lies bleaching in the sun. Lush tropical growth shades the beach, while the waters, clear-shot with sunbeams, shimmers beyond with an array of rainbow-hued fish probably darting frantically out of the path of the swimming dragons. Just at the center of the curve of the cove a stone wall made with blocks of grey lavastone opens in an arched gateway to a crushed coral path that winds through yellowfruit and palm until it tops a windswept, lonely hill, thigh-high grasses rippling in the tradewinds. "The cothold was up there," he says pointing to the hilltop. He doesn't take her up there via the path though, instead he walks towards the lush jungle flanking the edge of the beach. "We'll take the scenic route," he tells her with a mysterious air.

The fact that he's seeing double would likely cause Dtirae to fret, seeing as she's the one to cause such a condition. Good thing he's playing it down. As their fingers lace, she's quite content to make sure that hers are locked carefully with his. "It's a lovely beach… I think I'd like to come here more." A smile plays on her lips before she's shifting ti lean in a little more closely to her boyfriend. "It's such a lovely place in general, a nice place to escape." Her thoughts are not kept to herself right now, especially since this is his home and the fact that she appreciates it should be known. When he points out the former location of the cothold, she's looking up that way with a slight frown etching onto her brows. She doesn't let it linger, however, as he leads them towards the jungle. "Scenic is wonderful… Could use a walk." She pauses, hesitating for a moment before she's giving him a skeptical look. "Is there another surprise I should be aware of?" She can't get any more kidnapped than she is, at least.

It's temporary - D'ani's sure of it. Typical male, he'll downplay it even in his own head. When she leans into him, he nudges her gently with his shoulder, then casually allows their hands to swing as they walk, shoulder bumping now and then. "Only a few thousand more," he says with that dimpled grin returning. They're at the edge of that jungle now but there is no path. Instead he steps into a shallow creek bed, the black lava rock worn smooth over the turns by the rush of water. Today it is mostly empty, giving them an easy walkway up a gentle incline. The way is twisting, the lush greenery enclosing them within the deep shade of canopy. The sounds of the sea and splashing dragons fades within a few feet in, replaced with birdcalls and the musical tinkle of water over stone. Large flowers, deep pink, vibrant yellow and creamy white grow on vines and bushes here and there, while enormous butterflies drift from blossom to blossom.

Hopefully, he doesn't end up fainting due to his downplay of his current state. As his shoulder bumps hers, she'll do the same with soft laughter starting up after. "Hopefully not all in one trip, I might become overwhelmed that way." She teases easily as they continue to walk along the path he leads them down. Her gaze strays away and falls to the scenery, looking every which way in an attempt to see it all as they pass. A hum of appreciation leaves her lips and her hand gently squeezes his once in a silent thanks. "You used to /live/ here."

Hopefully not! Though his nose is swelling nicely and turning an awesome shade of purple. It doesn't seem to bother him, though and he presses his fingers gently at her hand-squeezing, turning a lopsided smirk down at her. "Never know when a surprise is coming, Rae. Keeps you on your toes, eh?" Golden shafts of sunlight slant through the trees overhead, illuminating a pair of birds preening their rainbow-hued plumage. "Yeah," he says almost wistfully of having lived here. "I come as often as I can. I'd be happy to share it with you as a getaway." The creek bed is slowly rising in elevation as they walk, the slabs of rock forming shallow, easy-to-climb stairs. Ahead of them the rush of falling water whispers, muted by the foliage. They round a bend, finding themselves in a steep-sided, fern-covered bowl around fifty feet high, a thin stream of water plummeting towards a small pool at the bottom sends mist to kiss their faces. Such is the small amount that it remains quiet and tranquil here. "We built a log dam here. Used to swim," D’ani muses, kicking a half-rotten log with his toe.

She's wise and bites her tongue on commenting on the swelling of his nose, and the shade of purple that it is taking. Instead, she's smiling back before chuckling. "So long as you don't tease me by saying that a surprise is coming, then that's fine. It has to be a complete surprise, no hints or I'll go mad." Her gaze is drifting away again to take in the scenery but his offer has her instantly looking at him again, cheeks flushed with a shade of pink. "That would be very nice… I think it'd be lovely to build a cabin here." She's quick to look away, to take in the rest of the scenery. Then, they're rounding the bend and she's pausing even if he continues to walk. She's taking in the vriew for a moment before she's quickly making up lost ground if he hasn't stopped to wait for her. "Oh. That must have been a nice swimming spot."

"I would never do that to you," D'ani assures her gravely, though a warm twinkle lurks in his brown eyes. He pauses whenever she does, allowing her to take her time, watching her discover his home, soaking up her wonder and pleasure. "I plan to," he assures her about building a cabin. Just ask him sometime! He's dreamed about it, probably has several dozen sketches of plans. "It was," he says of swimming here, "When you wanted a cold dip rather than a warm one. The sea is like bathwater. Silky and relaxing, but on a hot day…" He leaves that unfinished. "Rae," he says after a short pause, using his nickname for her, "stay here for a moment?" He lifts her hand, brushes his lips to the back of it and disengages, stepping away and around a broad-leafed tropical. There's a sound of rustling, snapping of leaf and vine, then he's back into view, a mass of golden orchids in his hands, the blooms flushing a rich pinky-peach in the throats with brown freckles speckling them. He offers them into her arms, but he's not finished. He's got a supple lime green vine in his hand, takes one flower at a time, twines it with the vine in such a way that gold is variegated with the heart-shaped pale green ivy leaves and within moments has a lei for her which he lifts over her head and settles onto her shoulders. Leaning forward he tenderly kisses her lips and murmurs against them, "Welcome to Maiona, Rae," while looking into her lovely grey eyes. His shimmer with moisture as he straightens, clears his throat. "Our way of saying welcome to Maiona," he explains. "In times past you'd have been met at the beach with this."

"Hmm. I'm less inclined to believe that. Just keep in mind that I'll play by the same rules." Dtirae teases. The fact that he's stayed by her as she looks around and observes is noted, a smile playing on her lips. "Before I Impressed, I had an idea to build a cabin in Fort's forests…" Clearly, such a plan never came through. "Warm sea water must be nice. The lake never gets warm." She's only ever really swam in Fort, grew up in Fort, never been away for leisurely purposes nor has she ever taken time to enjoy the scenery of somewhere else. This experience is entirely new for her. The nickname draws her from her silence as she looks to him. Cheeks flush as his lips brush against her hand, "I'll stay put." She promises. She keeps her word as he's stepping away, instead, focusing again on the scenery and the beauty. The sound of him returning is what draws her back, a smile settling on her lips as she turns to look at him but surprise quickly replaces fondness at the sight of the flowers. They are taken as he offers them, then watching in wonder as he twines the flowers with the vine. Curiosity keeps her from looking away as cheeks take on a darker shade of pink. They only close when he lifts the lei over her head, only to be surprised as his lips brush against hers for a kiss and eyes flutter open in response. "Thank you, D'ani." Her tone is wrought with emotion, grey eyes dropping down and away from him. Clearly, there is more than one meaning to the simple statement. She's reaching for his hands after a moment. "This is beautiful."

D'ani merely chuckles. He's given zero warning thus far for surprises, case in point: this little outing. He rather likes surprises. Even more, he likes springing them on the unwary. Of the cabin, "This one will need to fit the tropical setting. Large floor to ceiling windows, wide porches that wrap around the entire building, maybe a thatched roof…" Don't get him going, he'll become completely side-tracked. And right now… he doesn't want to be. He's off then collecting those orchids and when the task is complete, he's got both of her hands. "Maiona thanks you for gracing her." The words are spoken before he's aware of them; the tradition lives within him and he's shaken for a moment before grinning like a little boy and saying, "C’mon!" He drops one hand, and drags her with him as he dashes into the shallow pool, splashing heedlessly through the ankle-deep water, runs through the gentle sheet of water that forms the falls and into a recess behind it. From there, he leads her more carefully; wet rock is slippery, after all. They find a pitch-black manmade tunnel, the floor formed by cleverly-cut stairs that ascends sharply. If Dtirae doesn't pull back, he'll lead her up them with a confidence borne of familiarity. They emerge on a windswept hilltop, clear of trees, long grass rippling in the brisk breeze, a spectacular view of the aqua seas dotted with the nearby Emerald Islands… and a blackstone foundation bereft of the home that once nestled upon it.

Dtirae will only smile at his plans for the cabin, keeping commentary to herself and not mentioning the plans for her own cabin. Not that there are any plans any longer, having been swept away Turns ago. When he gives the thanks, she's squeezing his hand again, perhaps having noticed that he was shaken. Or, maybe in thanks once again before he's grinning again. His smiles are contagious as she's smiling widely shortly after his. Then, he's taking off and she has really no choice but to follow along. She'll laugh as she follows, no longer taking the time to observe so that she doesn't lose her footing. She won't pull back, nor will she take her hand from his. For D'ani, she is content to follow his lead. And when they emerge, she's left looking in awe at the scenery before her gaze settles on the foundation that once held the cothold. She says nothing, her hand tightening on his.

D'ani hasn't missed her remark about her cabin, nor has the tone in which she said it fallen on deaf ears. He's a reason for so abruptly hauling her here. He's familiar with the scenery up here - he's seen it almost every waking day of his life - and so while she gazes at it, his eyes remain on the bleak foundation. His hand responds, squeezing hers back while she beholds the ruins of Maoina. His voice is gentle when he asks, "Why didn't you build it, Rae, that cabin of yours?" That's all. No lamenting the flood that took his, no bewailing his lost family. Today he is focused on her.

His question has her shifting to gaze at him, a slight frown etched into her brows. But, not for his question more for the ruins of his home. The sorrow for his loss. She does not press for him to say more, instead, she gives a shrug. "I had no reason to after A'lin and I Impressed. He started dating K'hys, I weyrmated with P'on and he wasn't fond of the idea. I turned my weyr into what I had planned for my cabin, with a few things missing but done all by my own hand." She gives a slight shrug as her gaze drifts off to the scenery again, searching silently.

The names, all referenced in the past tense, mean nothing to D'ani. He doesn't ask, but his dark brows knit in concern for her. He merely searches her face, seeking something, perhaps a longing for something she wanted but never had. Or lost. He understands loss. "I'll help you, if you ever decide to do it," he murmurs. She's eyeing the area and so he fills in for her: "Over there under that tangle of vines was the coldhouse. The spring that feeds the falls and creek rises there. We kept fruit, milk, and fresh meat in it. And there," he points to waving grasses, "Was my father's vegetable and herb garden. There…" he points to an open space, "is where the great tree grew - it shaded the house and we built a wide seat swing the whole family could sit in and swing while my da played his guitar and my mother sang the songs of our ancestors. My sisters and I begged them to tell us the stories behind the words. And there…" he points to a depression in the ground, "Is the pit where we roasted the porcine and vegetables for family gathers." All gone, but the memories remain.

"It's okay. I don't need it, not anymore. It was a silly bargain." Dtirae offers him a smile in response to his offer before she's looking back as he points out the coldhouse. Her head is tilting slightly, curious. And then, he's gesturing to another spot and her gaze follows along. Her hand slowly squeezes his tighter as he goes on, trying to offer a silent comfort. "It must have been very nice."

Bargain? This earns a curious headtilt and a quirk of a dark brow. "Not silly if you want a place of retreat closer to Fort Weyr," he says finally, but lightly so as not to press her. He does know she needs respite at times. "Oh, it was," he agrees of Maiona being nice, but the casual tone he uses come at a cost - the floods pushed as far back in his head as he can get them today. He clears his throat roughly. "My da's liquor cabinet is still down there in the cellar. I have the key. We can… marinate some shellfish and have a succulent seafood roast down on the beach if you'd like? Before we head back, that is." Stall her, stall Zuvaleuth just a wee bit longer to be safe. It's a selfishness impulse motivating him at this point so he can monopolize her company and attention. Though in the back of his mind, answering to the Weyrleader and the Weyrthird regarding his swoop-snag-poof with their Weyrwoman can be put off for a little while yet too. He's going to have hell to pay and he knows it.

"Oh." Dtirae looks at him again, cheeks flushing. "I thought you were talking about the one in Fort. Not offering." She smiles and gives his hand another gentle squeeze, "if you're offering, I'm accepting." She'll leave it at that. Her gaze is settling on him, searching his face. She looks as if she may press him to talk, but, she allows him to say what he will rather than to speak of his thoughts and, perhaps sorrows. "I'd love to have a roast, I think that'd be fun." Of course, they'll have to return to the Weyr and face the music. Him for making the stealthy grabbing of the pair and her needing to face the fact that she could not rein in Zuvaleyuth quick enough. Guilt is quick to show on her features for a moment before she's hiding it with a smile. "Seafood is some of my favorite food."

Indeed they shall face that music back at Fort and won't that be fun in and of itself? "I meant," clarifies D'ani, "That if you'd like to make that forest cabin you wanted in Fort’s forests, I will help you because it's not silly to want a refuge." As for Maiona, he considers the now-lifeless place where memories dance like ghosts. "When I have the time, I'd be honored and pleased for my friends to help me rebuild." His friends, even though girlfriend is… something in a class all its own, he considers her among them along with Ezra and Inri. The time will come when he will share in more detail with her what has happened here. But today? He's focused on her. And so he removes the rum from that abandoned liquor cabinet, re-locks it and leads her down that crushed shell path to the beach, demonstrates how to catch enough spiderclaws for an impromptu lunch and builds a fire over which to simmer them in their own juices. While this isn't the classy date he had in mind, somehow it is fitting in the natural spontaneity; Dtirae wearing the Maiona lei, gold for her status. An unplanned, far-from-perfect date but somehow… this is D'ani.

"Ah. I see… Hm. I'm not sure, I will think on it and let you know." Dtirae murmurs, "the need for refuge is something that I don't think I can afford." She says nothing more on that, but nods once. "I think that rebuilding your home would be a wonderful thing." She leaves it at that, simply watching and following him along. She's quick to pick up catching the spiderclaws, finding amusement in the activity, even playing around some. The date isn't classy, but: Dtirae has no complaints. She'll find a way to keep the lei safe for their trip back home, just so she can keep it for as long as it lasts.

'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.