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.

Night falls bitingly cold and icy…though at least it's not raining or snowing anymore. Brennan has been out in it most of the day, however, the ruddiness in his cheeks leftover from his excursions as much as from the soak he's just finished and the alcohol he's been imbibing to warm up. Favoring the Gemstone Tavern over Shenanigans as has become his habit, the tall hunter is stretched out in a chair before the big fire, off his feet for the first time in hours and enjoying it very much…as he is the mug of steaming spiked klah in his fist.

Indeed the weather is downright awful out there, not that it stops people from coming out to get a drink and spending a bit of time near a fire and so forth. Abigail is making her way on into the Tavern with a curious look sent around the room. There is a pause at the bar in order to get herself a drink, which - seeing whom she is - doesn't take her that long before she has it. With a nod to the tender she moves on towards the fire to take over a seat at the other side of it. Best place to go to get warm is near the fire, after all. "Evening," is sent to Brennan; she recalls him from the feast the other night.

Brennan blinks a bit sleepily when he's addressed, but the buzz he has going alongside all the heat from the fire he's taking up has him being a bit more sociable than he might otherwise be. "Lady brownrider," he returns, inclining his head at the woman as he watches her take a seat. "Abigail, wasn't it?"

Abigail lets her hand ress upon the warm mug of hard hot cider she has while smiling a moment, and soon nods. "Aye, that be right. Yer Brennan, aye?" she questions while watching him curiously as she sips at her mug. Plenty of talk to be had on a cold night like this, thanks to a warm fireplace and hot drinks, after all. "Yer new to Fort, I do believe?" She'll get the conversation going if she can, it seems.

"That's me," Brennan affirms with a small hoist of his mug, from which he takes a sip. "I am new. Got here by accident. A hunting accident, actually." He snorts a bit at the memory, taking note of the way the brownrider speaks. "You from here? Or somewhere else?"

Abigail ahs softly once the explanation is given as to why he is here. "At least it was before the snow set in." She glances to him curiously. "No, I'm from Fort Hold actually. I came here some turns back for some lessons with the guards and just felt the need to stay." This said with an amused tone. "Though I didn't have a choice once Niumdreoth found me, I do suppose."

Before the snow set in. Brennan's brows tick up a bit at that, his head shifting back and forth a bit in thought. "Well, it wasn' exactly clear of snow while I was trackin' around out there," he says, drawling slightly. "Might've kept me from gettin' hurt worse, actually." He nods when Abigail reveals her origins, sipping away. "So you were a guard before, then?" he asks. "And y' don't really know what got you to stay? Other 'n your dragon, obviously."

Abigail points outside slightly. "Fine, then before more snow set in," she points out faintly. The weather here turns from bad to awful to 'what-the-heck' in no time flat. "Snow tends to stay more months out of the turn than none, I've found." She lets her fingers faintly tap against her mug. "Well, there was talks of me going home and honestly a large brown dragon would sort of stick out like a sore thumb." This said with an amused tone at the thought. "Though mostly it was thought of before I Impressed honestly."

Brennan nods to each of the first points Abigail makes, intermittently continuing the process of draining his mug. "I know," he says of the weather. "Might be new to the Weyr, but Fort's always been one of my favorite regions for hunting. Been caught in the thick of some o' the nastiest weather out there." He juts his chin toward a dark window, his eyes stuck staring at it for a moment before returning to the rider. "No 'sorta' about it," he says with a snort, equally amused by the notion. After a long moment of quiet, another question emerges. "When'd ya Impress your brown?"

Abigail curiously watches Brennan, a soft smile and nod seen to his answer, which she doesn't linger on. "Aye, so have I. Beautiful place to get caught out at times." She really does enjoy her time spent out in the forest when possible. She chuckles softly to the statement on her 'sorta' comment. "Indeed." As for how long, there is a moment in thought. "Seven turns now, actually. Feels somewhat longer than that, I have to admit."

"It can be, certainly," Brennan agrees with a nod about Fort's beauty, a small smile perhaps a bit enigmatic playing at his lips before being hidden behind a mug again. Then he looks at Abigail curiously. "What makes it seem so long?" he questions, shifting his feet back in to bend his legs out of their lazy stretch.

Abigail nods slightly to the bit dealing with how beautiful Fort is. "When I was a guard I often went wandering and hunting throughout the forest around the hold." Maybe that's why she enjoys the Search and Rescue Wing so much. As for the rest, she sends a slight glance to Brennan, a soft smile seen. "It's not like it's a bad thing; it just feels longer than seven turns I suppose. I've enjoyed it all. Just a lot has happened off and on, good and bad." Like anyone's life, really.

Inclining his head to concede Abigail's last point, Brennan smirks a bit. "Guess I was just wondering if havin' another up here," he says, tapping his temple to indicate the bond of lifemates, "ever makes things feel twice what they are. Twice as good, twice as bad, twice as long…y' know. But I bet I don't have it quite right, eh?" He chuckles a bit, then empties his mug and sets it down on a nearby table with a light clack.

Abigail ahs softly while nodding a moment. "Well there is that. I didn't think I could adjust well to the thought of another inside my head all the time, knowing everything about me and so forth." She pauses a moment before shaking her head. "In the end, honestly it wasn't that bad. I made it seem a lot worse than it actually is, truthfully." She smiles a moment. "I also have one heck of a hunting partner at times. Be it most of the time he scares off the prey if he moves the wrong way, but no felines ever try to come after me again when he is around."

Brennan actually looks extremely thoughtful at the idea of hunting with a dragon. "Wouldn' it be best," the hunter speculates, fingers scuffing at his cheek, "t' have him overhead so he can scout out the quarry for ya? Unless y' want him to do some flushin'…though I suspect y've got a good system worked out." He waves off his musings, almost returning to his mug before remembering it's empty. There's a quick flash of a smile. "Can't imagine a better bodyguard 'n a dragon. Still baffles me sometimes, how big they are. Hadn't been up close to one before bluerider Kimmila's carried me back here." And he doesn't remember a thing past the size.

Abigail nods and smiles a moment as she finishes her drink and sets her mug down. "He does that most of the time. Every now and then he'll send some prey running, which makes it easy." She chuckles softly. "Niumdreoth is a great bodyguard - rather protective fella, honestly." At the bit on their size she grins. "Aye, I have ta agree with that. I still get a bit surprised at their size at times, especially when I have to oil Niumdreoth down." It is not always that easy with a dragon his size. "Ye have to meet Niumdreoth sometime if ye think Kimmila's is large." And for a blue, the other rider's dragon is a rather good size.

"Y' have to oil the guy?" Brennan gives another snort, considering this for a moment. "Can their hides get dry 'n' crack, then? Pardon my ignorance; I just know I have t' do that with certain hides I take on, like whersports. Seems like the same idea." At the idea of meeting Abigail's brown, the hunter runs knuckles across the bristles beneath his chin. "I reckon I might be alright with that, sometime," he supposes, though the thought heightens his heart rate a touch. "I've gotta get used to 'em somehow, if I'm gonna be around here much longer."

"Indeed, their hides must be oiled daily when they are young dragons. When they get older it can go so many days with just touchups here and there over dry areas," Abigail offers at the thought. "If the hide is not taken care of it can dry out and crack, causing them large amounts of pain." She chuckles softly and smiles. "Niumdreoth is a friendly one, I can assure ye on that. He does enjoy meeting new people. If ye plan on sticking around then yes, it would be a good way to get used to them."

More nodding comes from Brennan over the matter of oiling, and he shifts forward, rubbing his hands together in the fire's warmth. "Well, since y' say he's friendly…" the hunter says, smirking a bit as he trails off. Then he yawns, glancing off toward the exit. "Should probably think about headin' back to the Weyr," he speculates. "Findin' my cot, gettin' some sleep before I head back out for more searchin' about tomorrow." He eyes the brownrider thoughtfully. "Wouldn' happen t' be going back that way yourself just yet, would ya?"

Abigail shakes her head slightly at the bit on her dragon. "Not all dragons are. Not that they would hurt anyone, mind you." This said with an amused tone as she is standing up when Brennan says he is thinking about leaving. "Actually, I was going to get heading back as well." Her gloves are pulled from her jacket while she nods to the door slightly. "Going in the same direction. Can wander back in the same direction for a bit even." Knowing her luck, Niumdreoth will be waiting not too far off, actually.

"Wouldn' mind it," Brennan says, standing and shaking his head to clear a bit of a haze away before tugging on his own jacket and gloves. Crossing to the exit, he opens the door, fighting off a shiver the pointed cold brings about, and gestures out into the night for Abigail to precede him. Then, reluctantly, he shuts out the warmth and the firelight in favor of the frigid trek back to the Weyr with the brownrider.