The Young Man and the Maiden

Fort Weyr - Fort's Forests


Everything is in bloom around the Weyr, with late spring in full swing and the weather actually holding. The sun is out, the skies are clear and even towards the later afternoon the air is still warm enough to wander outdoors without a jacket. Rayathess has done just that, picking a spot not far off the beaten trails beyond the beastholds and stables. Seated on an old fallen tree, he quietly strums his guitar, lost to his own thoughts.

Dtirae is, slowly, becoming accustomed to living in the Weyr once again. Though, too much exposure leads to her fleeing from larger gathering spots. She wanders, barefooted (shoes were abandoned long ago) out of the Weyr. The sound of the guitar, though distant draws the attention of the woman her path does not alter as there is no plan, no reason to her wandering. Her path brings her to Rayathess, curious. Much like a curious feline, she creeps closer so not to disturb. She has no intention of alerting him to her presence, yet. Instead, she settles on the ground nearby to listen. She is, at least, in plain sight should he look.

Rayathess was aware of Dtirae approaching, even as she creeped closer in hopes of not disturbing him. He doesn’t stop with his strumming, letting that come to a natural close before a lull of silence and then filling it with his soft spoken voice. “So. Do you often sneak up on others?” he asks, his tone slightly sarcastic and a bit dry. He hasn’t looked to see who has settled upon the grass and still doesn’t. Cocky Harper, isn’t he?

“Only when they’re playing music.” Dtirae retorts just as easily. There’s a grin settled on her lips as she watches the Harper. If she’s at all disappointed that he knew she was there? It doesn’t show. She certainly wasn’t trying to scare him, at least. “Does that song have a name?” An elbow comes to rest upon her knee, while her chin is settled in her palm. “Will you play another song?” Comes after a moment as grey eyes remain focused on the man, all of her attention focused there.

“And if I wasn’t?” Rayathess drawls smartly, having still kept his gaze downcast on his guitar rather than looking to whom he’s speaking to. “No, it doesn’t have a name yet. Just some harmless strumming, though some Masters would be appalled, I suppose.” He says this in a lowered voice, as if it’s clearly scandalous to admit it. “That would depend,” he begins to answer and promptly falters as he realizes who he’s snared as an audience. “Ah—- weyrwoman?” Cough. “I am not that great of a singer, believe it or not. My talents are towards History and Law, though I study Voice too.” He fingers a few quiet cords and smirks crookedly. “You’re the last person I’d expect to find out here. And… barefoot…” Not quite a question but merely a statement of fact.

“And if you weren’t, I’d have likely greeted you sooner, at least. If I had seen you.” Because the sound of the guitar had brought her over, though it’s hard to say if she would have gone in this direction if there was nothing to draw her in. “Why should they be appalled at strumming? You’re just as likely to make a song that way.” Dtirae assumes, at least. She has no idea how to write music, herself. “On?” And then he falters, brows lift curiously before she chuckles softly. “Yes. Weyrwoman.” But, she doesn’t say more than that. Her tone is merely teasing before she tilts her head in a curious manner at the chords. “I’m sure you are a better singer than I. But, history and law are a little more… Important than voice, in my opinion.” A grin comes to rest on her lips, teasing as well. “Why is that? Do you not find weyrwomen in the forest a lot? Also, shoes are uncomfortable after long periods of time.”

Rayathess snorts softly, “Well said.” He cannot fault the logic in that! He should have known that his playing of the guitar would attract attention eventually. A Harper never gets any peace, does he? “Because some of my Masters,” he says in a carefully lowered voice. “Think it’s a waste of creative time and that personal tunes have no place in an Apprentice’s studies. We’re to focus on teaching songs and the like,” he remarks dryly and with a smirk. It’s hard to say if Raya is joking or not but one would hope he is, given whom he speaks with. “It’d would depend on,” he picks up again and this time he does seem amused. “What tastes you have in song? And… well, yes? A weyrwoman is the last I’d expect to find walking barefoot through the forests. So — you’ll have to pardon my surprise…”

It’s not every day that Dtirae outspeaks a Harper. An apprentice, but still. It counts. The woman even beams, but does not gloat. As he lowers his voice, the woman leans in just a little closer as if conspiring. Maybe she’s playing a game, seeing as he’s started it. “That’s quite shocking. Aren’t Harpers supposed to… Be creative? In some manner?” Brows lift at that smirk and she draws back to sit up properly. “Rather unfortunate. You seem the creative type.” Again, it isn’t likely she would know. But, her expression remains straight and she certainly doesn’t look as if she’s playing. “Oh? I can request?” Perking up, just a little bit more before she’s laughing. “I suppose it is odd. Though, I don’t entirely consider myself a weyrwoman yet. Give me some months.” Her elbows come to rest on her knees and a hopeful look settles onto her features. “Do you know any sort of bar songs? Or, maybe something… Silly.”

Rayathess chuckles dryly again and shakes his head, “I said only some do and really it was mostly a jest, ma’am, that I make towards some of my stuffier Masters. Of course they encourage creativeness but in a productive manner. This is not productive.” How does that make any sense? Or is he just pulling Dtirae’s leg even further and confusing her with cryptic half-truths and lies? Could be both or neither but Rayathess has never been straightforwards from the start. His brows lift a little at her compliment but he says nothing. “How could you not consider yourself a weyrwoman yet? You ride a gold and are of Fort Weyr and I remember you as Senior once.” Once. Oh so long ago. How the times change, for both of them. Belatedly, he adds with a faint crooked smile. “You can request but I’ll admit I may not be able to play all… Ahh, I do know a few bar songs, much to the lament of said stuffy Masters I warned you about earlier. Silly goes along with it… as does bawdy. Something tells me you’d not mind?”

“Some, but, you’d think most or all.” Dtirae returns, grinning idly. “I think it could be productive, in some manner.” Maybe not in class, where you have material to work with versus simply playing chords. She’s playing along right back, whether or not he’s serious. His question us met with a soft hum, as if she’s considering if she’ll answer him. Lashes lower, slightly as she peers at the Harper before she gives a shrug. “I’ve been away too long. I haven’t gotten back into the full swing of… Being a weyrwoman. I am of Fort and ride gold, but…” She leaves the rest of that sentence in the air, her free hand waving idly as if to dismiss it. “Your best effort would be appreciated, no need for perfection.” The woman’s lips quirk before spreading into a grin. “I certainly don’t mind bawdy. If I did, I wouldn’t have asked. Come, play me a bawdy song?”

Rayathess only dips his head in reply to her comments about productivity in classes. Maybe she’s right? He’ll leave her to mull that over herself. He moves, turning slowly to face her but remaining on the fallen tree, his feet braced against a few branches and his guitar still in his lap though his hands rest more around his knees. There’s a hint of curiosity in the way he looks at her and he snorts, “What does being away have anything to do with how your rank changes? Once a goldrider, always a goldrider.” He makes it sound all so simple and easy! Almost irritatingly so. Chuckling again, he shrugs his shoulders and leans back, now moving the guitar into place as his fingers lazily strum a few cords. “Alright.” She asked for it! “Just don’t complain if I’ve offended your sensitive ears…” Because he’s not been pushing his luck so far with being so brash around a goldrider! He picks up the tune, which is simple and catchy as most drinking songs are and his voice is steady and holds the notes easily. True to his words, he plays something really bawdy and perhaps even offensive. Something about a Guard Captain wearing a frock (guess what rhymes with that, which is lewdly mentioned as to what said Captain is /doing/), many a witty, dirty innuendo and much play on words that make the characters of the song look like utter buffoons or meeting unfortunate sexual-misfortunes. By the end of it, Rayathess is grinning crookedly.

His words do bring a pause, Dtirae considers them in silence. So simple, yet it is not so simple. Then again, she’s one who has been known to overcomplicate things. She makes no comment on it, however, mulling over it silently before the sound of his chuckle draws her gaze again. “My ears are far from sensitive.” She promises. Lips are quickly sealed as he begins the tune, lips curl into a smile that she attempts to hide behind her fingers. She looks entirely pleased once the lyrics of the song begin. Her laughter, however, is saved until the very end as she did ask for the song and it’s rude to interrupt. She shifts from her position, freeing both hands to offer applause. “Perfect! I loved it. I think you are a wonderful singer.” The grin she wears is utterly amused, “I should invite you to come sing for me in the taverns, sometime.”

Rayathess shifts his guitar aside enough that he can relax comfortably on his perched seat, looking down at Dtirae with a mixture of amusement and surprise for her applause and compliments. He coughs though for her offer, “Perhaps? Though I’d be skinned alive if I played a song like that in the crowds here and I am afraid I do not do private performances.” So what is he doing right now? Smirking crookedly, he regards her with an expectant look. “Anything more you’d like to request? A serious song this time, perhaps?”

"They should loosen up, just a bit. A shame they'll miss out." Dtirae shrugs in a manner that screams 'oh well, more for me'. "No private performances? Really? I can't persuade you into it?" She is, of course, teasing. Maybe. Her smile is still rather firmly in place. The expectant look is given one of her own before brows furrow in thought. "Something serious? How about… A love song. Woo me with your words." She deadpans, before smirking widely. "Just kidding. Surprise me with your serious song?"

“There’s a time and place for those types of songs,” Rayathess drawls with another crooked smirk. “None of which are for the Weyrs taverns. Well… maybe Shenanigan’s, but I doubt Weyrwoman Nyalle would approve of such — cheeky — songs.” Neither would he sing that song of a Guard Captain in a Weyr riddled with Guards. A brow quirks again and now the Apprentice seems to blush a bit before he ducks his head down and pretends to tune his guitar and says nothing further following her teasing. He snorts, his voice edged with sarcasm. “A love song? Sadly my talent does not extend to those, as I’ve… little experience with it and thus cannot do it justice. My songs of love are often without happy ends.” He gives her a narrowed look and a smirk that hints at amusement. “Nor do I woo. So. A song of love and a serious song, then? Alright.” His guitar is lifted back into place and he’s quick to pick up the tune of the first song, one that he augments by using his guitar occasionally as a drum. It’s a haunting melody, a song of a man’s discovery of a maiden whom he fell madly in love with — literally and would not listen to the maiden’s warnings. It’s a love story with a subtle warning to it.

(OOC Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E52rxz2sjRs )

"Ah, how true. We needn't go to the Weyr's tavern. And our Weyrwoman seems awfully traditional." Shame, really. The blush coming from the Apprentice is caught, for that brief moment has her grinning yet again. "Don't worry. My experience with love lacks as well. I often have a hard time believing love songs that end well." She is jaded, really. "Are you sure you don't woo? You're doing excellent so far." More teasing, or one must question her definition of being wooed. She quiets as the song starts, grey eyes focusing on his face while she nods her approval for the use of a hunter. However, as the song goes on… The shift is subtle, at first. Grey eyes widening just a fraction while her expression shifts from amusement to something akin to terror. She looks haunted, skin paling before she avoids his gaze. She is, quite visibly, shaken.

“There is nothing wrong with tradition,” Rayathess remarks dryly and perhaps that is his comment on how he approves of Weyrwoman Nyalle — in certain ways. The jadedness which Dtirae shows so openly concerning love was not expected by him and he blinks, giving her a shrewd look until her teasing has him smirking and looking away. “If I do any woo’ing, it’s purely unintentional. Some love prevails, but I find it hard to believe that you of all people have a hard time of it.” He’s certainly feeling bold to start throwing that about, isn’t he? Then his focus is on the song he’s set to play her and when the last of the haunting tune drifts away he looks up again. Only, her reaction has him startled and he’s slinging his guitar strap off of his shoulder. “I’ve upset you…” Damn it! What’d he do this time? He curses himself silently.

"Tradition is important, and I don't know her well enough to judge. But there are times when one should relax some. I'll observe more." Dtirae is certainly not against Nyalle. Just super strict traditions. "Perhaps the best wooing is unintentional, then?" She pauses, giving him a curious look. "Oh? Why is it hard to believe I'd have a hard time?" But, the question becomes forgotten in the wake of the song. Grey eyes finally lift to see him again. "No, no… I… I liked it. It… I…"Lips press firmly together before she lowers her gaze again. "It… Sounded like me."

“Because you are a goldrider. Don’t bronzeriders and brownriders come a’calling on you?” Rayathess drawls and his voice carries a touch of teasing to it to take off the otherwise blunt delivery. He’s probably regretting having ever said that now, in the wake of the song he just played. His eyes narrow in suspicion, knowing full well that Dtirae was troubled by the song and with a sigh, his expression softens though only to indifferent neutrality. “I can assure you it wasn’t meant to be. I know nothing of your personal life.” He pauses and quietly, adds: “Are you the young man or the maiden?”

Dtirae snorts softly, "just because they chase does not mean they'll love you. Or, if I give chase. Unless you mean sex." Entirely different stories, the two. At least she's smiling in a teasing manner. She is a horrible liar when the emotions are written so plainly on her face. "I know… I know you don't. It was just… Unexpected. I liked it." This, she promises with a little more life in her eyes. Color does start to return to her skin. "At first? I had felt like the young man… But as the song starts on the maiden, I realized that I was the maiden." Grey eyes seek his in quiet question.

Rayathess’ cheeks color slightly and he coughs, “Didn’t mean to imply you were a… causal type.” he remarks quietly. Apparently he’s one of those types who do believe that sex equals love, or at least, certain levels of intimacy. Even if Dtirae was better at lying, he IS a Harper and there’s always that joke going around that they’ve a knack for getting the information they want. “I should have warned that it was a… haunting tune. The maiden then?” He meets her questioning gaze but there is no judgement there. Just a small and thoughtful sniff and he relaxes again on the fallen tree. “I always pegged myself as the young man. Foolish and blind and too clouded by my own emotions and desire to see that the one I sought was unwilling — or incapable — of following or even returning the same.” He shrugs.

"No harm done. I was the casual type, once in my life." Dtirae chuckles softly, shifting to perch her chin in her palm, elbow coming to rest on her knee again. "I know you're not the sort because you blush so easy. It's cute." The teasing grin is back, partially hidden behind her curled fingers. "Nah, it's fine." She promises again, watching him rather intently though grey eyes are a little distant. "Mm. I… Can understand that. I think most can relate to the young man when they look back on their younger years. My ex-weyrmate often tried to change me. And, I think most men I found myself fancying all attempted to change me in different ways. Some meant well, but I was unwilling." She drifts into silence for a moment, considering. "Sorry, i didn't need to share that."

Rayathess bristles. “What does blushing have to do with that?” he retorts and promptly closes his mouth. Cute? Him? He may actually sulk about that later. He is NOT cute. Despite his best efforts too, he’s blushing again but maybe partly due to his piqued temper. Exhaling softly, he gives Dtirae another curious look and then grimaces. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned is that asking a person to change or trying to change for a person never works,” he mutters and waves a hand dismissively. “I won’t tell anyone. I’m not the type to spread meaningless gossip.” Having been the brunt of it himself, he has a great dislike of it despite the use of rumors and gossip in some instances. Some. He’s not so low and cowardly as to go spouting all of this to any ear.

Dtirae laughs at his reaction, leaning back just a fraction and freeing her chin from her palm as she does. Legs stretch out and her hands go back as support for this new position. She doesn't insist he's cute, but her smile certainly says more with the way the corners of her lips quirk up. She doesn't comment further on the topic of changing others, moving on just as quickly as she had brought it up. "Thanks. I'm not a fan of gossip and rumors. I appreciate it, dear Harper."

Rayathess just looks stung all the more for her laughter and he’d have turned sullen by now if he wasn’t wanting to save some face in the weyrwoman’s presence. “Not many are, as they often do more damage than good. You saw how it spread fear during the time with Laris skulking about…” he points out and then frowns. Dear? “Please. I’ve a name…? It’s Rayathess.” Surely she would remember him now, only he’s a few Turns older. Nothing like the man dragged in from Gold Hill Hold’s fall, demanding to see the Weyrleaders, offering his aid to capture Laris in return for his ‘freedom’ and who turned out to be Ezra Stonehaven’s long lost older brother. So why isn’t he holding Stonehaven?

"I'm sorry for laughing. You just had a — nice reaction. " She didn't say cute! "I did see that," Dtirae sobers with these words, the smile lingers but only faintly. "Oh!" Comes after his name is given. She had certainly seen him, briefly. Of course it all comes back and there's guilt in her expression. "Oh, shit. I'm sorry. I shouldn't've…" The woman gestures between them, indicating their whole interaction. This time, she blushes a bright shade of red.

“Nice?” To Rayathess that sounds almost as bad as ‘cute’! He sighs, almost in exasperation. Will he ever understand women? Probably not and given his track record with them so far… it may be awhile yet before he’s mature enough. Her reaction to his name has him frowning again, only to snort when she swears and then blushes. That gesture doesn’t go unmistaken either and for a moment he bristles again, assuming she means something else entirely. “It’s alright. I doubt your reputation will be much harmed if you’re caught listening to a few songs from an ex-traitor now turned Harper.” he drawls. Because that’s what she’s aiming at, right? He looks down at his guitar and begins to tune it again.

"Manly, then?" She can't help it, when he makes it easy to tease him. The grin is back to full force, now. She isn't trying to crush his ego. Not really. "What? My reputation is already shit. It ain't that," so flustered that her accent slips in. "Who cares about reputation? No. Definitely not… reputation. More like…" Dtirae shifts, drawing her knees under her and she looks ready to flee. "I shouldn't've been flirting with you."

Rayathess has to think that over and eventually he settles with that with a soft huff of breath. Fine. Manly isn’t so much of a kick to the ego. “How’s that? Last I heard, all you’ve done is step down a few Turns back. Not like you’re the first Weyrwoman to do so!” he fires back and white he notes the accent, he doesn’t comment on it. He shakes his head, looking all the more confused and perplexed by Dtirae’s behavior. He’s slipped his guitar off his shoulder again and has begun to slide it back into its case. There’s been enough playing for one day. “… what?” Rayathess looks up at her sharply. Flirting? “… uh…” He looks utterly clueless. “You were?” Ooh boy. He frowns heavily again. “Is this a bad thing? Cause of who I a—was? I can assure you, you’d not be in any trouble with the Hall.” Smirk. “Doubt any Apprentice has been tossed out for being flirted at. If… that’s even what happened.” Cause he sounds so skeptical. Him? Flirted at by a goldrider? HA.

The urge to laugh is a strong one, but Dtirae resists. "I didn't give warning. I didn't pick one of my Juniors to hold the knot until the gold rose. Some believe I abandoned them and my duty to the Weyr… Despite what I was doing for the Weyr. And, reputation is stupid, anyway." She waves a hand to dismiss that. Their thoughts will not change the opinions of the masses. Grey eyes shift to watch his guitar go back into the case. She avoids his face, for now. She lets out soft cough, "yes. I… Was flirting in my odd way." As for it being a bad thing, grey eyes lift. "What? No. Not because of who you were or are. I'm… I'm not worried about the Hall."

Quiet for a moment, Rayathess takes his time in answering her. “All are welcome to their opinions but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Including what you may have thought in your head.” He smirks again. “Stupid but necessary. Thing about reputation is you can rebuild it if you try hard enough.” He spreads his arms out, head tilted in a slightly haughty fashion. Case in point? Himself. Blinking, he’ll avoid looking directly at her too and with his guitar case firmly latched and in hand, he jumps down from the fallen tree, brushing his clothes free of any clinging bits of bark or leaves. “Well. No harm done?” He was totally oblivious. Now he does look at her though, seeming both surprised and intrigued. “Then what are you worried about? No one here to witness anything, so it’s not like word will spread…” Nor does he want it too! Bad enough there’s plenty of whisperings about his failed attempts at woo’ing the opposite sex. First Lyreh and then Lana. All he needs now is folks to snicker at him for missing the mark with a Fortian goldrider!

"Opinions can spread to those who don't form their own. And, they can be less than pleasant to those they hold in contempt… Regardless of whether or not it's true." Dtirae huffs softly, "I suppose it could be necessary. And I have every intention of building it up again." She doesn't say how, but the thought is there. Somewhere. As he moves from the fallen tree, she pushes up onto her bare feet. Leaves, grass, and dirt cling to her but she doesn't seem to care. "Well… I guess it wouldn't spread." But what she worries about? Grey eyes shift to meet his again. "Your brother." And then? She makes to run, deeper into the woods.

Rayathess does not argue further with Dtirae about opinions and reputations. They could be out here for hours butting heads and getting no where. “Good,” he says in regards to her less than informative answer that she is, in fact, working on rebuilding her reputation. He does stand a few paces apart from her, still regarding her in a curious but perplexed way and then — BAM! She hits him with that? His mouth drops open slightly and blinks. What? His brother? “What’s Ezra got to do with this — Hey! Wait!” She’s running? Swearing loudly, Rayathess does as he’s always done in situations like this: he stupidly gives chase! Which is not easy when you’ve a guitar case on your back!

She doesn't expect him to give chase. Most let her run, or back off before it comes to the point where she flees. Cheeks burn with the heat of the blush, coming into flourish with the start of the run. She slows, despite the desire to get away. In conflict with herself of not running from her problems yet, here she is. Running. She slows a fraction more, catches sight of him and not just the sound of his chase. It's hard to tell if she wants to stop, or continue to flee. Choice seems to be taken from her, as she is caught by a tangle of growth. Caught unprepared, she falls to the forest ground in a flurry of swears. Wild, raven-colored hair covers her face once she rolls onto her back and an arm lifts to cover her eyes. There is no further attempt to run.

Rayathess was never good at leaving things well enough alone and apparently hasn’t learned his lesson yet despite it almost getting him killed in the past. As long as Dtirae runs and he has a chance in catching up, he’ll chase her. His voice calls out in alarm when he watches her fall and avoiding the tangle of growth that snared her, he will hasten over to where she now lays on her back and does not attempt to get up to evade him. This, of course, makes him assume the worst. “Are you alright, weyrwoman? Shells, what were you thinking! Why did you run?” Rayathess exclaims, a touch breathless as he kneels beside her. To his credit, he keeps his hands to himself. Somehow he feels that touching her would just be a Very Bad Idea.

Breathing comes raggedly as she attempts to catch her breath. The fall having knocked some additional air from her lungs. She is not crying, nor is she laughing. She just breathes (or attempts to). When he kneels beside her, she pushes the hair from her reddened face and looks at him. "I have a name." She mimics before she heaves a soft sigh, only to draw it back in again. "Because. Because… Because I'm foolish. And… I don't know. I panicked.”

Rayathess huffs, “I know that and I do know your name, but it isn’t proper for me to address you by it when you’ve not given me leave to.” he drawls smartly. He’ll take that little mimicked reminder however as permission. “Why would you panic, Dtirae?” Rather than get answers, he’s only becoming all the more confused by her! Straightening, he offers her his hand but she’s well within her rights to ignore it. “And why would my brother have anything to do with you being worried?”

“Oh, good.” Dtirae murmurs for him knowing her name. It’d be awkward, if he hadn’t known her name. “Shells.” Comes in response to his question of her panic, still no answer, not yet. The offered hand is taken, but makes no effort to really pull herself up. “Because I was flirting with you, and I likely shouldn’t. Your brother… I’m pretty sure he hates me. And, well… I don’t want to… Ruin things?” Between Stonehaven and the Weyr, but, she doesn’t say that much. She will help herself up, cheeks are still a furious shade of red.

How could he forget? She was there, for a time, after he was brought in and during the time that he was readjusting. Rayathess also studies history and it wasn’t that hard to figure out who she was — if he had forgotten. “Now… why would Ezra hate you?” he asks slowly, giving her a lingering look as he allows his hand to fall back to his side. He shakes his head and sighs, “Listen. Ezra’s just protective and… well, it should be obvious why? In the end, it doesn’t really matter. I am my own person!” And this isn’t the first time his brother’s protectiveness has come into play. “And it was just… flirting.” Which he missed entirely and never intended to return or falsely lead her on.

Her hand is released and it lifts to push more of her hair from her face. “For some reasons. Punched someone he said not to hurt, unintentionally…. Was… Flight-related.” Dtirae offers softly, grey eyes peeking at him. “I know he is. I get why. I’m not… Faulting him for it. And, you are your own person, yes.” Her hand pushes into her hair, lingering there before she laughs. Not at him, no. But, at herself. “I’m sorry. It… Was incredibly irrational of me. It was just flirting.” Nothing more. Nothing less. There was no expectation of him. Especially not an Apprentice. Nothing serious. But, flight or fight reactions are still strong. “Well. It was fun.” The running. And the falling.

“Where’d he get off giving you orders?” Rayathess drawls with a hint of dry sarcasm, likely trying to slip in some humor but not quite managing to do so. He sighs and does not press for more information. ‘Flight-related’ usually is not a topic he broaches. “Don’t apologize. No harm done?” he says with a shrug of his shoulders, only to give her another look. “Fun?” How was that fun?

Dtirae chuckles softly, “I suppose you’re right on that.” Her smile grows a little wider and she looks a little less frazzled, as much as she can manage, at least, with her topple. “No harm done.” She agrees. Her hand drops to her side, and she gives him a rather teasing grin. “You didn’t think it was fun? And, it wasn’t like the fall really hurt.” Shoulders shrug and her head tilts as she gives him a questioning look. “What would you consider fun?”

Rayathess shakes his head and slowly begins to turn as if to prepare to walk back towards the clearing and trees that they originally settled in. “I suppose it was fun…? Now anyways. When you fell, not so much and before that I was too confused…” he lets that sentence drift with a smirk. “Me?” He seems surprised by that question and a touch flustered can only shrug his shoulders. “Dunno.” Lamest answer ever. “Music, I guess? Sometimes I like to walk through the forests here or hang out in the taverns and watch people… Shards, that sounds… wrong.” Ugh.

As Rayathess moves to leave, Dtirae slips to walk beside him. “See? We had fun… Even if that was not the intention. Or, intended direction.” Or a lot of other things that were definitely not expected. “Falling was, surprisingly fun. Before that… Wasn’t as fun.” She’ll agree to that, at least but she continues to grin all the while. “Really? You don’t know what you find fun?” She looks to him again, grey eyes searching his face. There’s a snort of laughter for his answer, but she doesn’t outright laugh. “That doesn’t sound so wrong. Observing others is interesting. But, that sounds like something a Harper would say.” She teases, “do you find hunting fun? Or, do you like swimming? How about… Climbing a tree? Or, riding a runner? Flying?”

Rayathess adjusts the guitar case now resting on his back as they begin to walk back through the forests. He just snorts and shakes his head, pointedly not looking at her as she tries to search his face and her teasing just earns a hint of a smirk. Hunting? Swimming? What is she playing at now? He gives her a quick glance, for as long as he can afford and not pay attention to the path. He’s not about to go tripping and landing flat on his face! “Not much of a hunter but I know how to set traps. I do enjoy swimming and climbing trees. Obviously I ride a runner…” How else would he travel? “Uh. No, not flying. Rare that I do.” And it’s not his prefered method of transportation! “Are… all of these activities you do?” Isn’t she a weyrwoman?

Dtirae, at least, doesn’t search him for too long, considering that she has already tripped once. The smile does linger, so when he looks at her, it’s settled there. Thumbs hook into the pocket of her pants. “Traps are a form of hunting.” She insists before nodding her head in a sort of approval for the activities he enjoys. “You don’t enjoy it when you do?” Curious, but not pressing more than that, she peeks over at him. “Yes. I enjoy them all. I wish I could ride runners a little more often. Before I was Searched, a friend of mine planned to learn how to shoot bows from the backs of runners and how to be effective at hunting that way. I was going to teach her the bow and she was going to teach me to ride. Ended up learning later, but…” A shrug. “What else do you enjoy doing?”

“Traps I know only from necessity,” Rayathess points out and leaves it at that. He’s not about to delve deeper into that part of his life. “No, I’m not one for hunting for sport or entertainment. If I must, I will but beyond that…” He shrugs. No real interest! He does, however, give as much of his undivided attention to Dtirae as she goes on about running riders but missing her chance. “I’d think riding a dragon would make riding a runner much paler in comparison.” And she’s still pressing him for more? Rayathess can only shake his head. They’ve returned to the clearing now and he pauses, turning to face her. “I should go,” he tells her, a touch awkwardly, though he at least looks her in the eyes. “I’m only here for the day and the Journeymen I travelled with ought to be done by now.”

“Oh. I see… Well, I hunt for sport and I enjoy it. But I never waste my kills. If I can’t eat the meat, I usually brought it to the settlement. If I did not need the hides or furs, I contributed those as well. Productive and fun.” But, she will not press him to try hunting with her. Not everyone enjoys it. Dtirae chuckles, “it does. But, I enjoy both.” As he doesn’t answer her question, she doesn’t say anything more to press him into it, either. Instead, she smiles and meets his eyes. “Well, let me know when you stop by again? I would… Enjoy your further company, if you so desire. If not, let me know now and I won’t hope to see you again.”

Rayathess gives her a shrewd look, “There’s nothing wrong with the way you hunt either, weyrwo—- Dtirae.” He catches himself there with a grimace. “As nothing goes to waste and it sounds as though you actually know what you are doing.” It’s true, he may never enjoy it but that doesn’t mean he won’t hunt if the situation calls for it. Her smile is tentatively returned and then he blinks, looking a touch taken aback. “It’s not… It was nice talking with you.” Even if she made him chase her through the forests! “It’s just… You’re a weyrwoman? I’m an Apprentice Harper. Faranth only knows when we’ll both have spare time again.” He drifts off into an uncomfortable silence, frowning heavily in thought until with a soft exhale he speaks up again. “I’ll be away for awhile. Hall business. Perhaps… after that is completed, I will see about taking a few shifts here in the Weyr?” Does that sound good?

Dtirae laughs softly, “I know there’s not. But, I am saying that there are ways to hunt and enjoy it, while also providing. But, some don’t enjoy the act of killing.” And for that? She does not blame them. “Thank you.” She does know, and it brings a smile that linger especially when he looks taken aback. “And you,” she says of them talking, easily and simply. “I am a weyrwoman. And you are an apprentice. But, that doesn’t bar us from meeting when the opportunity presents itself?” She questions and then nods when he answers again. She does not seem disturbed at all. “That… Sounds like we could work with it. And, you’re able to write me. I’m sure there are some who would happily lend out a firelizard for errands.. I’ll have to do the same.” The smile on her lips turns into a teasing grin. “Again, if you so desire.”

Rayathess says nothing on the act of killing. Knowing his past — well, it’s best left to mystery just what he experienced. Instead he focuses on the present and then he chuckles, shaking his head. “I’ve my own firelizards. Two browns and a green. I usually send Cervena, as she’s reliable at least.” Surprise there? He’s trying not to frown and wonder just what he’s getting himself into by arranging this. Has it really been that long since he’s considered an actual friendship? “I’ll write to you.” Which is a ‘yes, I do desire’ in his manner of replies! He takes another step back, glancing towards the beastholds and stables in the distance. “Take care, weyrwoman.”

“Oh! How surprising. I… Never ventured to get an egg.” Dtirae’s grin only grows wider as he notes that he will write her. “Wonderful. Safe travels, Rayathess. I will see you again.” When? Well, that’s hard to say. But the promise is there, for certain. As he takes a step back, she begins her trek to the Weyr with one last wave to the man before she is firmly focused on her path.


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