Mountain Pass - Fort Weyr - Snowbound Cottage
Upon entering, one is greeted with a broad, wide and open room of wood and stone. High ceilings allow for more illusion of space, the rafters above arranged in an almost artful and tasteful way to accentuate the shape and layout of the room. Large windows have been set into the wall facing the mountains and lake below and high above closer to the ceilings, allowing much of the natural light to fill the room. For nightfall, there are several hanging fixtures of metal rings, each capable of holding several clear containers of glows, along with several alcoves set into the walls within easy reach, leaving any guests capable to adjust how much or little glow-light they prefer. The rest of the decor is simple and rustic, with some of the wall space taken up by a few small paintings of Fortian or northern landscapes.
A large stone fireplace lines the other wall, the mantel decorated with a few tasteful pieces of pottery, the vases holding no flowers save for those placed there by visitors in the warmer seasons. Around the fireplace three low couches have been arranged around each other with various sized pillows arranged for even more cozy comfort. A large woven rug is spread out on the floor and an equally low but dark wood table rests on top of it, perfectly placed for easy access.
One one side of the wall where the fireplace rests, a small archway leads to a winding wooden staircase that leads to the private upstairs rooms and the balcony that overlooks the room below from the long hallway. The other side also boasts an archway, but it leads to another short hallway that opens up to a full kitchen, capable of keeping food and drink cool and a small stove for preparing meals. The cabinets are fully stocked as well with dishes, utensils and cookware.
Back towards those large mountain facing windows is an almost invisible wooden door. Even it's smaller glass windows look to be part of the design, allowing it to blend in so craftily. If one opens it though, it leads out the large and covered raised patio outside. Another staircase leads to the underside of the patio, where another sitting area is arranged for those wishing to enjoy the outdoors and the fire pit not too far away.

Zuvaleyuth senses that Velokraeth brushes up against her mind, his thoughts a rich and heady bouquet of the sweetest and silkiest golden wines, rippling with mirth as the bronze picks up on the festive atmosphere surrounding the grounds and all the way back to the Weyr. Scent of spice and smoke, the comfort of the warmth of one's hearth and home against the chill caresses fully if he's granted the audience he seeks. « Good day, m'lady. Beg your pardon, but mine wishes to speak to you at the earliest convenience? He awaits in the cottage and only wishes to have a few private words with yours before the festivities make such things impossible. »

Velokraeth senses that Zuvaleyuth accepts the touch into her mindscape, shifting to adapt cold from frozen glaciers into a gentle stream that warms with the presence of the bronze. The inverse aurora slowly fades, allowing a bright sort of sunshine that is reserved for very few. « Your seekance of pardon, my darling, is without a doubt, granted as they will always be should you seek. She will make her way to the building of wood that rests near the lake of ice. » Her tone is a gentle purr, happy, delighted, and more than pleased at his intrusion. While her voice may fade, her mind lingers with gentle droplets of water seeking to fill every space.

Zuvaleyuth senses that Velokraeth will bask in that sunshine, adding its warmth to the warmth already present by the hearths always lit and roaring in his mind. Nothing like home, hearth, wine and a beautiful woman to warm his side (or in this case, his mind) to put the bronze in a spectacularly good mood. « I will remember that for future times, m'lady that I am always welcomed. Let it be known to yours that mine is pleased that she is answering his summons so timely. »

True to Velokraeth's word, the Weyrleader is in the cottage and he is waiting by the winding wooden staircase, dressed still in his formal outfit though his cloak is folded over his arm and he has the overcoat unfastened. Decked out in black, with accents of bronze, russet and gold, he is quite the sight given it's a rare day he ever dresses in such a manner. His dagger and sword are belted to each hip and he waits, hands clasped behind is back. The cottage itself is deserted, save for the workers in the kitchen though from the racket within it's unlikely they'll hear much of anything unless it's shouted.

It must be 'dress like you normally do not dress' day because Dtirae's outfit is far from her usual clothing. Her outfit is a little more on the feminine side of things. Almost entirely pure white is her outfit, with tell-tale signs of most of it being assembled by animal pelts. The hoot of her jacked is lined with a white fur, and she looks almost as if she'd blend into the snow if it weren't for her black boots and her hair. Gloves are slowly pulled off as she omes inside, tucked into her pockets while she seeks the Weyrleader. There is a very slight limp in her step, with a clear effort of trying to make it appear otherwise. "Th'ero." Comes Dtirae's greeting, grey eyes searching and attempting an innocent look. "Is something wrong with the preparations?"

"Nothing is wrong with the preparations." Th'ero replies, his tone reserved and formal which is the immediate sign that something is wrong but he's going to be a cryptic bastard about it and make her dance around a bit before he spits it out. His eyes follow her approach, brows knitted together. Admiring her new look? Very unlikely, though truthfully he'd admit under great pressure (or while drunk) that it does suit her. No, there's another reason for his lingering stare. "Follow me, if you would, Dtirae?" he asks and for a moment it seems as though he is going to climb the stairs. Wouldn't that be a cruel test? Instead, he simply walks by them and down towards the hearths where a small nook holds two chairs and a small table for some personal conversation. Not private by far but there is no one close at hand to overhear them. Settling himself, he cants his head a bit to the side, eyes still drifting to note that limp. "How have you been? Enjoying the festivities?"

Cryptic bastard, indeed. Dtirae knows and dreads this game, but, she certainly plays along. She will not, however, change her demeanor to match and simply feigns innocence instead. She attempts at walking as if her stride is purposefully stopped somewhat short. "Of course." She maintains a straight face as he looks as if he would go up the stairs, almost forgetting to hide a momentary disdain towards her newly acquired nemisis. She goes up and down her own stairs on a daily basis, slowly and when no one is around to see, if Zuvaleyuth is occupied. But when he doesn't, she bites the corner of her lips to keep from grinning and falls in line behind the man. The seat he does not take is settled in, and her leg is crossed with the previously injured resting above the other. Her hands come to rest on the calf, a subtle squeeze is applied. "I've been doing wonderfully. You know I enjoy when we have festivals like this. And, how have you been?"

Th'ero only two can play the game and if Dtirae ceases to, he will fold and that will either result in him leaving or with him getting to the point of the matter. For now, he settles on the formalities, the same old rehashed routine as if simply greeting her in passing in the Weyr rather than having Velokraeth summon her through Zuvaleyuth. "So it would seem that many are enjoying it, despite the location and time of season." he drawls with a faint smirk. Wonderfully? He's not buying it. She pretends to hide her limping so carefully but the Weyrleader has had a few occasions now to note it and begin to assume that there is more lurking beneath her clever attempts to mask it. "I've been well. Enjoying as much free time here as I can, while still seeing to a few duties about the Weyr." Pause. Now it's awkward, as he's left the conversation to drift into that silent spell when there is obviously more to say but he is stubbornly refusing to say it. Until, at last, he sighs. Now is not the time for his games. There's a festival outside and who knows when they'll be called back to it. "Dtirae, be honest with me." Th'ero begins, levelling her with a long look. "Is your leg mending well?"

It isn't as if Dtirae likes playing the game, but, it's certainly easier to play along then force him to ask the question she doesn't want to hear. So, she'll play. "I think it'll help them forget about the cold… And some get to show off their new winter clothing." She's among those who would be showing out her clothing, after all. A smile plays on her lips at the statement and she lets it linger there. She knows he's watching, she knows he sees her attempts at hiding. "That's good. You're really deserving free time." After all, he never took that vacation. But, she's not going to push him on that note anymore. Her hands tighten again as the silence begins, an attempt at a subtle massage on her leg. Cold weather and injures never mix well. And maybe that trip *between* did not help, either. When he asks for honesty, grey eyes dart away and finally break contact. "My leg is mending fine. The bone is healed… But, the muscle needs to be built back after being immobile for so long. I have a minor casting on my ankle and I'm doing rehabilitation for it. I'm fine… It just aches." It's stubbornness that keeps her from using support whenever she can. "The healers say I should have some support, just so I don't fall but I can walk."

Th'ero chuckles dryly at her remark about the winter clothing and absentmindedly tugs at the cuff of one of his overcoat's sleeves. Not his usual tastes at all, but for a festival he will make exceptions! He scoffs a bit at the mention of deserving free time, leaving that argument and no doubt further comments about taking vacations for another time. The Weyrleader isn't wanting to draw this out any longer than it needs to be and while he misses her subtle attempt at massaging her leg, his concerns are valid enough without witnessing it for him to continue. One little push of honesty is all he needs for her to spill it all? Brows lift and Th'ero leans back into his chair so heavily that there is a creak of leather and fabric. Arms crossed loosely over his chest, he fixes her with another look, one meant to come across as scolding and serious but they both know by now that that is Th'ero-speak for 'I'm concerned and worried'. "Then why aren't you heeding their advice? Shards, Dtirae, you're out here in snow and ice! If you were to fall now…" How much setback is she willing to take? "And you've been flying too in this condition? Betweening?"

Dtirae notices that tug, smiling absently and almost a touch distracted. Well, far more than a touch, really. She's more or less preparing for the lecture, for him to become angry. At least he doesn't attempt to completely chew her out, now. So, when he leans back into his chair her gaze lifts to meet his. And that look he gives her earns an apologetic smile, even if she isn't entirely in that mindset. "I am heeding their advice. When I need it, I use it. But, I'm never going to get better if I have constant support." That's her own diagnosis right there. There's a helpless little look, "I'm careful. And if I fall, I won't fall on my leg." Not that she can promise that, either. Fingers tighten more firmly on her leg and a downtrodden look settles into her features. "I've been avoiding flying anywhere if I don't need to. I only betweened to get to D'ani… And the candidates. I… I know Dremkoth said he was fine." But, she still had to see. "Th'ero, I'm fine. I promise I'm not pushing myself more than I should, but I can't handle using a cane or crutches anymore. I'll be able to walk completely soon."

It's good that he's hiding his anger, or at least keeping it under control. Not that he really frightens her that much anymore, however, there's no accounting for how anyone else may react to an angry Weyrleader. "I'll just fall on my rear if I slip." There's a quick pause and a carefully restrained comment is hastily smothered behind her lips and a very slight smile. Not the time for such lines! "I'm certain. If I was doing something that would be endangering my leg, do you think the Healers wouldn't come and get me? Shells, I think they'd keep me sedated for another three months if I was doing something that could hurt myself." She promises, "they recommend more… Precaution, but I know I can do this." As for the cane? "Well, it isn't on me right now, but… I could always send someone's firelizard to get it if I absolutely need it? And, it isn't like we don't have a good amount of trees with branches that can be used?"

Most don't know the Weyrleader and so seeing him angry is often not a pleasant experience. They do not know to look beyond the flaring temper and heated anger to really see the motive behind it. Th'ero is trying to keep from being too overbearing with Dtirae, though it's gradually becoming more difficult for him to restrain and hold back. Now would not be the time to snap at her how he feels she's being foolish and putting too much at risk for her pride. "I know that it's easy enough to evade and fool the Healer's when one really wishes too," he counters back, mouth drawing back into a thin and tense line. "Just because you know you can do it, doesn't make it right." Th'ero continues on stubbornly, only to scrub at his face and exhale heavily. "Honestly, in the end it IS your decision and I am not going to nag or argue this endlessly into the ground. Just … " Be careful? "… don't push yourself. No one will look down on you." Pause and he peers at her long and hard again. "You're certain all is well?"

At least Dtirae finds this side of the man endearing? Like an overbearing, overprotective, paranoid older brother. It's cute? Only, she'd never ever tell him that to his face. She knows what's good for her! A sheepish look crosses her face, "I promise I haven't been avoiding them or fooling them. I'd like to be able to walk as soon as possible." At least she's learned that they're not out to get her, especially since she couldn't actually run in her recent experiences with the Healers. Her leg is rubbed idly, considering the stubborn words of the Weyrleader and her leg. "I know it is my decision, and I do appreciate your concern, Th'ero. I'm not pushing myself harder than I should. Besides, I don't think D'ani would really let me get away with it…" As for looking down on her, there's a brief frown and then a reluctant nod. She doesn't quite believe that statement. "I'm certain. It's just minor aches in the muscle, my ankle getting used to the movements again. That's all. All's well and going as it should."

Th'ero would probably not take that lightly or all that well if she just threw that in his face. Never mind that he considers Dtirae much like a younger sister, perhaps close to the one he's more or less estranged from. He will nod his head at her reassurance that she is not evading the Healers, finding no further reason to push or pry at her. He wanted the truth and got it, so he may as well call his victory now? "Then I won't doubt you, Dtirae. I trust you have your well being first and foremost in your mind." Gee, there's a lesson he should learn for himself! The Weyrleader seems further mollified when she mentions D'ani and how the Weyrsecond would also be looking out for her. That he cannot deny either and so his shoulders drop and his arms rest more or less in his lap now. It's done and there will be little else from Th'ero now on the issue. He has all he needs. "I'm glad, then. But you had me assuming that there was more at fault!" he chides lightly, followed by a vaguely crooked smile. "Not that it's any of my business to know of every single ache and pain of yours but…" He shrugs. What more is there to say? Without outrightly saying that he cares and was concerned.

One should always celebrate the small victories, as they're still a victory. "It is, I promise." Though the urge to cast him a look that says maybe he, too, should consider his health and wellbeing more often is entirely resisted. Dtirae knows better than to push. She's learning! "Well, Th'ero, I would tell you if I couldn't perform my duties, not if I'm perfectly capable of doing them. Perhaps I should take to telling you when I'm fine versus when I'm injured?" She offers in a way of preventing further issues, with just a hint of teasing. "But really, I'm sorry I caused you concern. We're partners, and I'll be more upfront when I can't handle things. I've been cleared to help with the fesitivities again tonight, but, I won't be on my feet very much if I can help it. As much as I love walking, the muscle does protest and would like to rest more often. Luckily, we'll have a large supply of ice."

That hint of teasing goes right over him and Th'ero only shakes his head, grimacing. "That won't be necessary," he murmurs and nods, only to give her another one of those long looks he seems to favor so much. "I'm just glad that my assumed concerns are unfounded and that you are indeed perfectly fine, despite the limp." And he means it too. He is relieved that it is nothing serious, that he doesn't have to pull her aside and beg her to take it easy or worry that she will injure herself beyond repair. "I won't keep you then, Dtirae. We best both return to the festivities, before our absence is noted." Which means that they're likely to be hunted down soon, if they don't resurface in the public eye so word can spread.

Dtirae resists the urge to laugh, again, at the grimance from the Weyrleader. She only nods her agreement before he gives her another look. "Thank you, Th'ero." She is again, pushing to her feet and giving the Weyrleader a smile. She'll shift closer, for a brief moment to offer the man a pat on the shoulder. Be glad she didn't go in for a kiss on the cheek! "I'll go see how things are doing." And with that? She's taking off. The limp? Not as notable after a bit of rest.

If she had, it would have ended badly and likely with Th'ero falling out of his chair in an effort to scramble away from her. The Weyrleader will accept the shoulder gesture however and reaches up to clasp her arm in return in the manner exchanged between most riders and weyrfolk. "Be well, Dtirae and clear skies!" he calls after her and waiting until she's gone he exhales again. Only this time there is a small smile and he pushes to his feet, fastening his overcoat and slipping his cloak on overtop. Time he face the public again as well, though now he can do so with a lighter conscious. Who knew this could be resolved without either of them being drunk!