Who Sephany Eiram Zevuki Risali Riohra Etzlix
What The tumbled skaters seek hot cocoa and dancing; Riohra catches up with an old friend.
When Spring
Where Fort Weyr - Living Caverns


Fort Weyr - Living Caverns
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.
Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.

Crazy people are still ice skating away out in the Bowl. But sane people have retreated to the Living Caverns for much needed chocolate comfort. There had been a happy acceptances of company for cocoa, a quick exchange of ice skates for actual boots again, and then a quad of people retreating to the relative safety and warmth of the Living Caverns. And of course, after taking a tumble on the ice, the only place to retreat to is one of those cozy little corners with just enough chairs for the group who have forever been bonded by briefly becoming a dogpile on the ice. Sephany has her hands coiled possessively around her hot cocoa, though she seems more intent upon staring at its chocolatey deliciousness than actually sipping it, at least for the moment.

Eiram took a couple of turns on the ice before exchanging his skates for boots again. When he finally heads into the cavern it is with flushed cheeks and hair all over the place, his hat forever lost amoungst the skaters feets on the ice. He is trying to smooth down his wild hair as he enters and looks around the cavern, his harper bag hanging from one shoulder. Once he spots a familiar apprentice he waves and makes way and sets his bag down beside a chair before getting some hot chocolate for himself and making his way back with a sigh as he drops down into his seat. "Well that was dangerously fun. Covergence of blades it shall be called. Four warriors met upon a snowy field and their blades became entangled until all were felled!" The epic story is already taking shape.

"I wouldn't dare, ma'am," Zevuki replies to Risali, with utter seriousness. He has like, practiced his serious face like all of his life, clearly, since he doesn't even flicker a smile this time. He keeps a steady pace — not rushing, but clearly glad to be moving in the cold snow, his occasional favoring of his leg notwithstanding — as he falls into step with the others towards the living caverns. There might even be a bit of a grunt of relief as he manoeuvers into a seat beside Sephany, grimacing before he lifts his mug to cover the gesture. "Snow's fun for a short time, but I don't know how you stand it for so long," the Igenite says after he's taken a generous swallow. "Could even go for something stronger, after this," is added, half under his breath. Eiram's arrival and harper-fication of the clash earns a brief grimace. "As long as I'm not the jokester of the tale."

Etzlix steps into the living cavern, rubbing her hands together to warm them. After a glance around, she heads towards the nearest warm drink pitcher, pouring herself a mug before taking a drink. "Ah.. 'tis nay rum, but it'll do.."

"Good, I was starting to think you hit your head." Clever man, Zevuki; Risali bites down on her bottom lip to stifle more laughter and shakes her head before she goes about her business. But she does note the favoring of a leg, the limp in Zevuki's gait, not bothering to school the worry that knits brows together as she watches him walk because he can't see her (she's behind now, remember?). And there they all are, in the sudden warmth of the living caverns, where they all retrieve a mug of steaming cocoa and gather around in seats to start the first annual (bi-annual? Monthly? Weekly?) session of We-Fell-And-Almost-Died-okaythat'sdramatic-So-We-Are-Probably-Friends not-so-Anonymous. Annnnd here is where the goldrider gets awkward, smiling from around the rim of that mug of hot cocoa as Eiram speaks, as Zevuki speaks, as she soaks up their conversation in silence and looks up once there's a lull to ask a soft, "Is your leg okay, sir?" of Zevuki. Because it's important, and she's just awkward duck. It's fine. Grey eyes track to Etzlix with a quiet smile for the woman, but again… not great with people. This hot cocoa is SO INTERESTING.

The cocoa IS fascinating! At least, Sephany can't stop staring into hers, so… "Dangerously fun," she murmurs, repeating Eiram's words back at him. And then a lift of her eyes, a flash of a grin that says she's OK now, no more stressing. And then a little bit of amusement for his dramatic retelling. "Well. If you're going to paint this as an epic battle, I suppose you can make a song of it." A little bow of her breath across the surface of her beverage, to cool it. "Just… don't paint me as a damsel in distress, OK?" which comes on the heels of Zevuki's request to not be the jokester. A glance for the comment about snow, a little shrug of her shoulders, and she offers an honest, "I haven't been here long enough to tell you," she admits. "Only a few sevendays. And I came at the end of the real vicious stuff, so…" no help! "It is fun to make snowmen. And snowball fights seem nice in theory… And cozy fires are just amazing!" There is an upside right there. Risali is give a wide and TOTALLY affectionate smile. Bonded for life now. Get used to it. "Wait… you hurt yourself?" to Zevuki. And all that care-free just kinda goes out the window as she pulls her mug a little closer, shoulders hunching. "Ugh, now I feel terrible…" Terrible enough to finally lift that mug and take a drink. The visiting Etzlix is, unfortunately, missed by the apprentice if just because Sephany is currently shrinking in her seat and wanting to hide again. There is just a whole lot of awkward going on over at this table.

Eiram shakes his head at Zevuki, "Of course not sir, this a serious tale of strife and battle. Of four strong warriors meeting, blades clashing and yet it is the elements that defeats them in the end…and in that moment.." he pauses for dramatic effect his face open and expressive, "The four warriors realize they are not enemies after all and take to the local tavern and rejoice in their battle over large tankards of warmed mead!" He raises his mug of hot cocoa in a toast to the fabulous retailing of their collision on the ice. Harper bred this boy is, that is clear. As it is noted that one of the great warriors was indeed struck a mighty blow he looks to Zekani, leaning forward in his chair to hear the answer to the question posed by the women folk.

"Might've," Zevuki allows, of the state of his head, lifting a hand to brush at it. "Could hardly tell with all the cold." But he seems to be in one piece, so all to the good. As Risali asks her latter question, he eyes her a moment. Just long enough for him to compose a convincing reply, "Very good, ma'am. And yours?" maybe it's just some weird game they're playing; if so, he's playing along, game-ly, even. "Not hurt," he repeats, strongly, to Sephany, giving Risali a look. See what you did there? Shh! "A few sevendays is more than enough. An evening is more than enough. We get cold nights in Igen, but at least the days are warm. Mead?" The Igenite's brows rise at Eiram's tale. "Not quite, but it'll do for the time being." Being that he's a guard, he's often looking around, so he catches Etzlix's entrance, but the woman in unfamiliar, so his gaze moves on.

Etzlix isn't very good with people either, at least not when she's sober. Any looks her way get a haphazard wiggle of finger greeting, but the Iernien decides to settle away from the group, setting booted feet upon a chair opposite her body. Once she has made herself comfortable, she can watch the room over the rim of her mug, and not interact.. or something like that.

Riohra walks in from the bowl, taking off his jacket and over cloak, hanging them to dry hear the hearth he will wander over to where the Klah pot has been set out and refill his rather large mug. He looks about the room and grins as he sees the group from before and salute to the others, but he will turn and frown seeing the Ierneien gold by her self. Nope not in his Weyr missy, he will walk over and sit down right next to his friend and grin at her saying "Evening Lix, it has been a while."

Risali ducks her head, hiding another smile behind her drink as Sephany asks not to be the damsel in distress, a softening of grey eyes as she gets an affectionate smile from the Newly Fortian and returns it. Because they are bonded for life. Because Risali could use more people like Sephany and fewer people who don't like her. Still, Zevuki's question about her leg has Risali's brows knitting together, and then more muted humor curling her lips as she responds with, "Very good, sir. Thank you for the place to land." Speaking of making friends, would you look at that. Risali's already on the right track: asking Zevuki about his leg, making the younger woman shrink into her chair and in on herself, trying to disappear while Eiram regales them with stories of their not-so-brave bravery and Zevuki shoots her looks that have grey eyes shifting towards the wall and then back down to her very interesting mug of cocoa. One, two, three beats pass in silence as Risali tries to find words - those things that are so difficult for her to conjure up, and even harder for her to share - before she finally shifts from her seat and gives up on words all together. Zevuki is on one side of Sephany, Risali will sit opposite, pulling her chair in as she settles and leans sideways with a gentle shoulder-bump. But she doesn't apologize, she doesn't bring it up again. Instead, she puts on a smile and, "I could use something stronger myself," because people, that thing she's showing she's bad at as she waves to Rio and then looks at Eiram. "I think there should be some dancing, too." In the story, she means. Maybe also in the living caverns? Maybe.

"Hmm. I like this story," decides Sephany, perking up just a little. "Valiant warriors, daring battles, courage for the ages… of course we all get defeated by… wait. We're drinking mead?" and a peek into her mug of cocoa. "Sure." And up it goes, to join Eiram in a quick victory toast. Because they survived right! Zevuki's reassurance that he is not hurt gets a narrowed, assessing look from the blond, though she can't exactly see through tables and chairs, so he's off the hook after a moment. "Alright, well… if you say so." But her tone clearly says she does not believe him. "It's not so bad, really," she promises the guard for the weather. "I've been assured that I will adjust and become used to it. And so far, I am enjoying the change. I've only lived warm places. I hadn't seen snow until a few months ago! Igen is all sand and sun and heat I can't stand it. I'd rather the brisk chill against my cheeks. Because," and she sets her mug down to point a finger slender finger at him, "You can always put more clothes on. But there comes a point, sir," mimicking Risali's inflection, "where you cannot take any more off." Shrinking into the ground is only going to get you so far, and wallowing in self-pity can become rather boring when you don't have the right people around to coddle you. So she's shaking it off quickly and lifting that mug once more, poised at her lips before… "Dancing?" And why yes, that is eagerness in her tone. "I am much better at that, than ice skating," she assures her table companions.

"I like em both really. There is just something magical about snow and all the fun you can have in it, but being out on the water down south..the warm air, the breeze in your face as you sail. Well nothing quite beats that either, its like another type of magic." Eiram responds about the weather and grins as Risali mentions dancing, "I don't mind playing for you all if you want to dance." He says patting the instrument bag beside him. There is a look up at Riohra as he joins the cavern and lifts a hand in greeting, looking curiously to the rider he is talking to before looking back to his little band of warriors…drinking cocoa.

Even if it's awkward, Zevuki weathers it with the same stalwart expression which he weathered getting landed on by a bunch of people. "You're welcome, ma'am," he replies easily to Risali. And for Sephany, there's another, level look, because he's totally telling the truth. "I do. Igen at least gets cold nights, so you can sleep well and tucked up with furs. This—" he gestures towards the bowl, with a grimace. "I don't know." Sephany's litany about clothes earns a surprised look, and finally a low chuckle by way of reward. "I suppose there's that," he concedes, though there is a little furrow of a brow and a glance at Risali at that 'sir'; this is clearly all her fault. With another gulp of his cocoa, he pushes to his feet as Eiram offers to play for dancing purposes. "Something stronger then. Wine, ma'am. And for you two?" he makes the offer to Sephany and Eiram, with a lift of brows. They're talking about dancing — what a perfect time to happen to be somewhere else.

Etzlix does allow a small smile to curl her lips as Rio joins her at her table. "Well, h'lo thar Rio m'boy. Aye, been awhile, s'rry 'bout that, things kept me close t'home." And, well, that's her explanation, sorta. "I d'nno how y'live 'ere, 'tis outright freezin' out thar." And, as if to emphasize, she gives a bit of an exaggerated shiver. "Tho.. Tzenx seems t'be enjoyin' th'cold white stuff, crazy gold anyway." A chuckle, briefly. Ah, yes, warm klah, she almost forgot about it and so takes a deep drink from her mug.

Riohra laughs and will pull a small flask out and hand it to Etzlix saying "we learn to survive" he will grin over to the other table becuase being nosey is a thing right Risali! "There will also be fireworks and if we can see about getting some kind of aerial show from those who participated but I am not holding my breath about that."

Dancing! Sephany is not the only one to look eager when the word surfaces, and the once harper, now goldrider (Risali, in case you missed that) nods and then sets down her mug of cocoa before breathing an ecstatic, "Yes!" DANCING. Which is something she is also much better at doing even if she had to give ice skating a try - because Risali's that kind of a woman. The undaunted, fierce, bladed ice-skates conquering (okay so she got conquered, but shhh) kind of woman. There's a flicker of her attention for Eiram then when he mentions being willing to play for them so that they can dance, and Risali's smile turns into something else entirely. "Please," she breathes out. "But something fast paced." Something they can HEEL TOE POLKA TO, MAYBE. … Or that Zevuki can maybe run away from. SPEAKING OF ZEVUKI, that look for Sephany's (lip-biting, Risa will not laugh) smile inducing 'sir' has Risali looking back at the Igenite with her lips forming her name soundlessly: 'Ri-sa-li.' It doesn't need to be said: she'll stop calling him sir when he stops calling her ma'am - and she's unrepentant and unapologetic about it, even as he gains his feet and talks about drinks and Risali's giving Sephany a look. "I think he's trying to run away from us," the goldrider informs on a stage-whisper, already leaning forward so that she can fist one tiny hand in the hem of Zevuki's JACKET. FIGHT HER. "Don't you want to dance with us, sir?"

"Warm salt breeze in your face, the clear sunshine of a perfect day…" says Sephany without a single hint of dreamy wonder, "when the temperature is cool but not too cool… yeah. Then it's great. But then you get months of nothing but endless rain. Cracking lightning storms and humidity so thick you can swim through it. That makes your hair either too limp to do anything but hang there like dead grass, or frizz up into something resembling a dead wherry wing." In other words, no thank you. "I'll take the snow. For now, at least." A sip of cocoa, and then she's bobbing her head in agreement to Eiram's volunteering to play them something. "Oh… well. I know most of the gather songs…" she offers, glancing at Risali in a way that clearly says she knows the goldrider had other ideas about what sort of dance they should be doing. And then Zevuki is offering drinks, and Sephany is more than happy to say, "wine sounds great!" because hey. Why not? Only Risali's astute observation makes her frown just a little, a thoughtful furrow in her pale brows before mischief dances in her eyes and her frown becomes an all too expressive sort of grin. "I think he is, too," she agrees, unable to help a little giggle of mirth, finding the whole situation incredibly amusing.

Either Zevuki doesn't get Risali's not-so-subtle correction, or (more than likely), he's stubbornly persisting, because he says, "It would be unfair to indulge you, ma'am, given there's an uneven number of people, if," he gestures towards Eiram, not knowing the younger boy's name, "The harper intends to play for you as offered. Perhaps you and Sephany can partner each other." And he can get something to drink: everyone wins! Except that Risali has hold of his jacket, so that makes things difficult. "I've never had a problem with my hair," the guard tells Sephany blandly. Probably because he keeps his hair so short, but nevermind that. "Yes. See, Sephany wants wine, too. You two dance, and I'll get the wine." He takes a step towards the drinks table. Tries to, anyway, assuming Risali relinquishes her hold.

Eiram shakes his head at the offer of something stronger, "The masters would tan our hides if they smelt something on our breath tonight. Another cocoa would be great though." He responds with a grin as he reaches into his bag to pull out the pipe he was playing earlier. As it is intonated that Zevuki is trying to escape, he grins up at him, "Surely not. He looks to be a man of honour, he would not leave you lasses to dance by yourselves?" He winks at the guard before covering up the cheeky look with one of sweet innocence. He places the pipe to his lips and blows a few notes before playing a brisk dancing tune for those present.

Etzlix smiles, a fuller smile this time, as Rio offers the flask. "Ooh.. anti-freeze?" She nearly purrs as she unscrews the lid and lifts it to her lips for a sip, and a very appreciative sigh follows once the liquid slides down her throat to warm her from the inside out. "Now that's wha' I be talkin' 'bout." Wait, dancing was mentioned? Hmm, well, she won't be hopping up and volunteering for that activity anytime soon, she's not that de-soberfied yet afterall, give her a bit then maybe she'll join, maybe, no guarantees. She watches the group of younger folk amusedly. "Rio, are ye gunna dance?"

Riohra grins and knows he isnt getting that flask back saying "I don't know it will have to see if I have to work durning it tomorrow evening. But if you show up and are there I will save you a dance." he grins at Eirams antics shaking his head that boy is going to catch them but also going to be a hand full for someone else one day.

Risali's eyes are on Zevuki again, a quiet smile that persists as stubbornly as his stubbornness and refusal to indulge the ladies in their dance as Eiram gets his instrument out and Sephany - asks for wine. Risali's expression changes, but it's a subtle shift as Sephany's mischief catches up with maybe bullying Zevuki into a dance. "I think," Risali says softly, lifting her chin, tilting her head to look at Zevuki, "that Sephany wants to dance, sir." And no, she doesn't let go of his jacket - not right away. "I'll sit this one out," comes quieter, around another smile that's… muted (but not sad) as she shifts to gain her unimpressive height with a shoulder bump for the guard as she moves beside and then past him. "So I'll get the drinks, and you can do the dancing." Which is where those grey eyes jump to Eiram, another smile, and Risali ducks her head as she takes not-nearly-long-enough strides to try and BEAT ZEVUKI TO DRINKS in case he got any bright ideas when she finally let his jacket go.

Etzlix will probably give Rio back his flask, eventually.. or not. The goldrider pushes to her feet with a shake of head. "How in th'name o'Faranth did ye get y'self stuck?" This is asked of, well, no one in this room as she's hurrying towards the exit, cheeks a bit flushed in her hurry to get out to, well, whoever is apparently stuck wherever they're stuck. "Tzenx got 'erself stuck in th'snow.. or somethin'. I'll catch ye later Rio m'boy." And with that, she disappears out into the cold.. probably without her gloves, silly woman.

"Wonderful!" as Eiram produces his pipe with the clear intention of providing music. "Something familiar, please." Which… doesn't really give much help to the song selection. Sephany, at least is up on her feet quickly enough, with the clear intention of turning this dance idea into a reality. Fingers work at the clasp of her cloak, so that she can leave it draped over her chair. The unwinding of her scarf comes next, only now there is a question as to partners. "Oh…" because Zevuki is suggesting Risali as her partner, and Risali is countering by offering up Zevuki as tribute. And Sephany is just… partner-less and dance-less. "I suppose I could dance by myself…" but that sounds a bit awkward, and she's met her quota for the night, thanks. A little nibble of her lower lip, a thoughtful glance between the opposing sides, contemplation and curiosity as to how this will end. And then Risali is going for wine, and Zevuki is either… defeated or chasing her. "I promise I won't step on your toes. I really am better at dancing than skating." And just to provide added reassurance, her mischievous sort of look will soften into a much more sincere smile. But she won't force him, and if the answer is still no then she will dance by herself, at least until Risali returns with her wine.

Riohra grins and shakes his head but he too will get up and retrieve his coat and cloak before saying to the group "sleep well when you all get there, the guest rooms are cleared and stocked if you all will be staying." He looks at the fortain's and grins "and you two don't get caught getting into trouble" he didn't say don't do it, just don't get caught, worlds worse role model there. he will wave and head down to his room and hopefully to sleep for a few good hours.

The harper's words earn what might be an unthankful look from the Igenite guard. Zevuki says, "Better to make sure their thirst is sated before any dancing," to try and hedge out a bit of leeway to escape. Except Risali's cut off that escape, both verbally and physically, since she's already pushing ahead of him towards the drinks table. He can't even use the excuse that his leg hurts since he persisted in it being fine not too long ago, and so, after a pause, he extends a hand towards Sephany. "Dance?" he inquires with a light smile, like it's totally his idea and he was totally not forced into it. Assuming she takes his hand, he'll lead her out into a more open space, quick to lead the way through the steps of a fast dance. If nothing else, he's been well-taught and seems to know how to dance, even if there's an occasional misstep that favors his left leg, but totally nothing to see here, nope. Any time that happens he'll just distract Sephany with a handy twirl.

"I've got the thirst covered, sir," And Risali does! She retreats, she gets drinks - more hot cocoa for Eiram, wine for herself and Zevuki, and juice for Sephany because the goldrider has questions and doubts about the legality of that girl partaking in the booze. Just kidding, she brought her wine too (BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FUNNY). Regardless, she's stopping by the table to deposit those drinks and then… settling herself in a chair as she leans against the table, watching Igenite and Fortian dance.

Nothing makes a girl feel special like knowing her dance partner had NO OTHER OPTIONS and pickers her as a LAST RESORT rather than admitting he lied about painful injuries (thanks, Zevuki). But Sephany will go with it, if just because she wants to dance and dancing alone is embarrassing. Her smile is bright and genuine, and her hand is given over quickly; delicate fingers with a firm and steady grasp. And her delight only grows at discovering he actually knows how to dance. And she does, too. That was no idle boasting; Sephany knows how to keep dance and dance well, with all the appropriate twirls and twists to send a much-more delicate fabric to fluttering around her body; her current winter attire is not nearly as suited to the task, but still managers to allow enough freedom of movement that she's not hindered. Those little missteps may be noticed despite handy twirls and idle distractions, though it is just as likely that her own enjoyment of the activity is just as good for having her ignore those little errors in form. And then there is laughter, bright and amused, and full of joy for the sheer fun of moving feet and twirling bodies and quick, upbeat music.

To his credit, Zevuki might redeem himself by being a good dance partner. He hopes, anyway, because he's already injured enough! And it's very possible he's enjoying the fact that Sephany is a good dancer partner too, a hint of a smile appearing on the guard's face as they move about the space, keeping his hands in safe places like her shoulder, her waist, and her hand when the twirls are called for. At this rate she'll probably beg out for dizziness, he really does seem to enjoy those twirls. When the song winds down (all credit to the harper with a nod), the Igenite seeks to escort her towards where Risali is, because drinks. "You're well taught," he offers to Sephany as they head Risali's way.

And Risali? She looks like she's enjoying herself too; there's life in her yet! She joins in the song with her voice, clapping her hands, and stomping her feet, and laughing between versus because she can appreciate that twirling, and she can certainly enjoy the spirit of dance even if it's not her body moving in tandem with the beat. But it comes to an end, doesn't it, as all good things do, and Risali's giving Zevuki a quiet look as they come again, grey eyes flickering to his leg, then back to his face as brows rise and then she turns her attention onto Sephany. "He's right. You dance well." A beat, and eyes go to Zevuki, "And so do you, sir."

Clearly, Zevuki underestimates Sephany's power of equilibrium. There is no dizziness here, just the quick footwork to keep up the pace and all the flair necessary to make a dance truly enjoyable. Breathless, laughing, eyes dancing still, she will allow him to lead her back to the table for her much-needed beverage. "Mm. I am well practiced," she corrects. "I am blessed with six older sisters, all of whom wished to attend each and every Gather held, and drag me along with them." Though clearly, she did not seem to mind. "But thank you," for the compliment. For the dance. "You're rather good yourself," which is quickly followed with, "You should dance more." A little squeeze of his hand and she releases him to take her seat once more. "And thank you," this time for Risali, for her accompanying compliment as well as her acquisition of the beverage. Which is quickly taken up and sipped at. "Mm!" in appreciation. "This is good."

"I can see how that would earn you… plenty of practice," Zevuki seems somewhat amused at Sephany's explanation of having elder sisters. "I don't have much call to attend gathers," he replies, but he gives her a nod of thanks for the compliment in turn, and a smile as she squeezes his hand. The guard very quickly reaches for the wine, downing two gulps before tipping it briefly towards Risali in silent thanks for its procurement. With a flickered smile, he observes, "My father taught us how to become guards, but my mother always liked to say she taught my brothers and I to be gentleman."

"You're welcome, Sephany," Risali says around a smile, tipping her glass back towards Zevuki's as they ease back into conversation and Risali hides another smile behind a dip of her head and a tip of her glass towards the Igenite's as a silent, 'You're welcome too, sir.' "I have two brothers, and a sister who's," a glance towards the ceiling, as if she's counting (she is, she's using her fingers), before she offers, "Seven months old." BUT LOOK AT HER BEING AWKWARD. PEOPLE. CONVERSATION. TALKING ABOUT HERSELF. She's no good at it. So she lapses into silence once more. And maybe attempts to drown in her wine. It's fine. Nobody panic.

"Well! I think I am glad for the sisters. One brother is enough." Even if that brother is TOTALLY AMAZING. "And your mother seems to have done a fine job," Sephany decides, flashing a grin before she lifts her wine glass. Her sips are decidedly smaller than the gulps of the guard, though it's still enough to have her flush just a little, even before the alcohol has really had a chance to hit the blood stream. "And who needs a reason to go to a Gather? You just… go." A tip of her head towards Risali, sympathetic eyes for her unfortunate odds (two brothers. Poor dear). "Oh. That's… rather an age gap, isn't it," and clearly, she is DYING to know the story behind that, but is at least polite enough not to ask. Right now. Tonight. Maybe later.

Zevuki makes a little face — just a twitch from him, really, but significant enough — as Sephany talks about family. Well, now it's officially awkward. Risali's not saying anything more, and neither, now, is he. Things being what they are, Risali's likely to ask him to fight her again, this time at a Weyr foreign to both of them. Clearly, he decides that won't do, since — after another gulp or two of the wine (to fortify him?) — he stretches out a hand to Risali in the same manner he did Sephany, except without the 'Dance?' part. She just has to infer the invitation, okay? He's making an effort here.

MAYBE RISALI CAN SENSE THE CURIOSITY FOR A TALE. Those grey eyes fix on Sephany for a moment after the comment about the age gap and - Risali laughs, tilting her head in a manner that might suggest Sephany is right before Risali breathes, "I suppose. But it happens. My father is a dragonrider, and…" Yeah Risali's doing that awkward thing again, making a gesture with her hand that falls flat of actual explanation before she breathes out, "There was a flight." But she lapses back into that silence, drowns herself in her wine, looks genuinely surprised when Zevuki is extending his hand for her to take and leaves her looking momentarily idiotic. Risa's mouth lingers on the rim of that glass, grey eyes go wide, and - she sets her drink down and slips her hand into Zevuki's, leaning closer with a whispered laugh of, "Careful, sir. I might get the impression that you've been enjoying my company." AND THEN WHERE WOULD THEY BE? But her eyes are on Sephany. "Do you mind?" Because… well… she doesn't want to abandon the weaver and be rude.

Sephany created an awkward situation? This was not by design! And her expression clearly says she's not sure which one of the many things she said is the culprit. So she will just take another sip of her wine (this one maybe a bit longer than the previous ones) and avert her gaze elsewhere. And suddenly it is a table full of people doing uncomfortable 'oh look at that thing over there' type avoidance techniques, drinking alcohol, and not talking. Whoo. "Oh," for Risali's explanation. And does there need to be more than that? "Ah. I get it," and a grin. Because she does. Weyrbred, after all. And then there, that unspoken offer of a dance from the Igen guard has pale eyebrows lifted and a mischievious look flashing between Risali and Zevuki. "Oh, by all means, go." This she wants to see. "I will just finish this," and her glass is lifted and given a little wiggle. "And then I should probably depart. I have an early morning," and it is likely getting late.

The slight pause makes Zevuki's brow draw downwards, before Risali accepts. "I promise we'll part on poor terms so no one leaves with that impression, ma'am," comes the guard's bland words, as he takes a step to draw her towards the open space, pausing to wait for Sephany's response. "Are you sure?" he asks, when she indicates her intention to leave. "I… it was nice to meet you. If I come back by Fort way again, I'll be sure to say hello," he adds, with a genuine smile. And then, with a thankful nod towards the harper for the tune, he seeks to lead Risali out to the open space. This dance is just as energetic as the first, which means that Zevuki's twirling Risali even more than Sephany to give him space to stand still for a moment or two and rest, but he seems determined to finish the dance.

It's not such a fun story after all; it's a tale as old as time: green rises, dragons chase, dragon chooses, bronze catches green, riders comply. Sephany's grin has Risali echoing back with one of her own - weaker, unsure, awkward because she's Risali and - nope. She's kicking back the rest of her wine because she's about to own that damn dance floor and she will not let the fact that she's really, really bad at people stop her. "Be safe, Sephany," she tells her, and there's genuine concern in the look that Risali gives the weaver as she's lead away to the dance floor and - ah. Risali's element. She submits to the music, to the demand that she move her body and dance - and she's lost in it, twirling with her head back as she laughs, demanding little in the way of participation from the guard because he's tired and she's not nearly tired enough and CALM DOWN. SHE IS NOT SEXY HIP-SHAKING OR DANCING ON THE GUARD, OKAY. GEEZ. But she is lost in the music, more alive, more animated, more everything and less awkward because dancing doesn't require thinking or talking, it requires moving. Moving she can do. Moving she does.

The smile that splits her face is bright and genuine. Sephany offers a truly honest, "That would be nice," reply for the guard's offer to say hello if he should find himself in Fort again. "Enjoy your dance. And thank you, again, for mine." A wiggle of her fingers for Risali, a little 'bye' even if she doesn't voice it aloud. And then she will do exactly as she said she would; as they begin to dance, Sephany will finish her wine. Grey eyes follow the pair with idle curiosity until her glass is empty and her mind is just a little fuzzy. It's a pleasant sort of fuzzy, not overwhelming by any stretch. Enough to encourage a sound night's sleep. As Risali abandons anxiety to heed the call of the music, Sephany stands and gathers her personal items, scarf draped around her neck, cloak draped over her arm. And then, quiet as a mouse, she is slipping down the tunnels towards her room.

It's hard to argue with that kind of enthusiasm — or at least Zevuki's far too polite to do so — and maybe there's a hint of an admiring grin beneath his otherwise solemn visage. Like with Sephany, he keeps his hands in safe, expected places, except perhaps for when he tries for one, two, three twirls in a row, reaching out a hand to her hip to steady her afterward before resuming the energetic dance with mostly sure steps. The music continues, he misses a step, and then another, and finally, he's twirling her again, all the way back over towards the table, because wine is a good distraction, and the guard's even grimacing a little by this time. "I yield," he concedes, "It's much later in Igen than Fort." And totally not because he was injured, okay?

So much dancing, so much moving, so many twirls! Risali's footing is certainly more sound than it was on the ice or in skates, but she still stumbles after that third twirl, hand going to Zevuki's bicep to steady herself just as his hand finds her hip. And then it doesn't matter; Risali laughs and they keep going because the music tells them to even if Zevuki's leg is protesting. The music hasn't stopped, but the Igenite yields and Risali goes willingly from the dancefloor with those twirls that end with her catching herself on the table once they're back with another laugh. But no - no, no. Risali is not so easily deterred, and there's a quieter softness about her expression when - catching her breath - grey eyes take in Zevuki with a shake of her head. "Come on," she breathes, and she's catching the younger man gently by his arm. "You really should see a healer. I promise to only tell everybody that asks that I sent you to the infirmary, and nobody will question it." Really. She's probably not joking. "And we'll pretend that it's just later in Igen and this never happened." A beat, and she adds on, "Sir," with another smile.

Even Zevuki's mood is noticeably lightened by the dancing, looking pleased as he reclaims his glass (untouched!) and drinks the remaining contents. His smile fades briefly at her words, regarding Risali evenly for a moment as he visibly debates. "It's likely a strain and nothing more. I've suffered one plenty of times before. I'll see one back in Igen. Promise, ma'am." With a flickered smile and a shift of his shoulders, he says, "I ought to go find my cousin, and see her safely back to our home. Goodeve, ma'am." With a half bow, he looks like he intends to depart. He did promise they'd leave on poor terms, after all, seems he's determined to make good on that promise.

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