Rabbits in the Ground Weyrs, and Other Stories

Fort Weyr - Guest Weyr and Flight Room
The guest weyr at Fort has been given as many conveniences as possible. A large, comfortable-looking bed rests against the back wall, the linens changed on a regular basis to keep them fresh. For temporary storage of personal belongings a sturdy footlocker can be found at its foot, and a table and a quartet of chairs provide a place for visitors to entertain guests if they so wish. The floor has been covered with a large rug and the walls are draped in tapestries depicting various scenes from Pern's grand history, all to help ward off the chill of the stone in the winter months. There's even a small ice chest with an attached cupboard for storage of cool drinks and energizing snacks for the weyr's occupants.


It was already evening, and now it is — who knows, but it's probably much later. Inri was expecting to wake up in her weyr, though it's not likely to be much of a surprise to her, as the fog clears from her head, that she didn't actually make it that far. Kouzevelth's impulsivity has often enough become her own, and now is one of those times. There's an odd scratching noise off to the corner that is what really pulls her from hazy post-flight naptime into full consciousness, and she opens her eyes a little, presses them firmly shut, and then opens them all the way. Sit up, Inri. Good. There's no placing the sound, just noting that the Headwoman and company do seem to have made sure drinks and middle-of-night-snacks made it there at some point. Only now, once that is determined, does she glance toward her bedmate for signs of life.

Also expecting to wake up in his weyr - Br’enn, who would still be out cold if not for feeling the shift of the mattress beside him and coming to with that very small provocation. Not the scratching noise. Which goes to show how off he still is. One arm flung over his head, he lays sprawled on his back, giving a small groan as wakefulness assails him again…and memories begin to lock into place once more. He stares at the ceiling, blinking slowly as he tries to place it. No, this is most definitely not somewhere he’s been before. Glancing over, his eyes land on the woman sitting beside him…and he goes still for a few long seconds before that memory clicks in too. Ah. Right. “Um…” The bronzerider scrubs at his face a moment, blinking and refocusing on the weyrwoman. “Inri. I…” Steady on! He draws a deep breath, attempting to settle himself. “Y’alright?” Easy questions first.

The real mystery to Inri is why everyone asks that; D'ani asked that question too, and her cavalier response had somehow upset him. Turns later it's a non-issue, but at the time — so she's a little more careful with her response. "Yes," is cautious but honest, "That's me, I'm all right. I do have two questions — one is whether you are okay, because I have more experience in this area," one presumes she means mating flights, "and two is if you hear that sound." The scratching. "Because if that's still Kouzevelth, I swear."

Br’enn doesn’t know any better yet, but he’ll learn! The fact that he has very little idea of what he may or may not have done in the throes of dragonlust is the bother that spurs him to ask more than anything. But then the question is turned back on him, and he sits up slowly, gathering the sheet around his waist as he rubs at his neck. “I’m…thinkin’ so. Just…lettin’ the fact that Tov caught his first chase sink in; wasn’t expectin’ that.” He licks his lips a bit, letting his hand drop from his neck. “I, ah…” And then he’s trailing off because he does, in fact, hear what she’s talking about. A scratching noise, from some unseen corner. “Pretty sure it isn’t yer dragon’s fault,” he notes, sheer curiosity from Turns of listening for tell-tale sounds of prey out in the wilderness momentarily knocking away any post-flight awkwardness and compelling him to look around in an attempt to figure out what’s causing it.

That, Inri can't blame him for. Except for that she doesn't have a strong memory either, does not appear to be injured in any way, and it looks like W'mic's jacket survived the aftermath just fine (settled in a pile on the floor unharmed). "Yeah, I can't imagine what that's like, but of course I can't, I suppose. Since I can't imagine what chasing is like, really. Wrong perspective. I either win every one or lose every one, depending on who you ask." She's not actually grappling for her clothing, both because (especially for someone Holdbred) she is unashamed and because it's soaking wet anyway. Instead she's sitting up a little straighter and looking toward the corner that's producing the sound. "You were a tracker, right? Any idea what it is if it's not in my head?"

“Seems t’me it’s an always-win sorta thing for ya. Goldriders, that is,” Br’enn says a bit distractedly, glancing around for his own clothing. He sees it, but it’s really not much drier than the way he left it behind just now, so he considers the bedclothes. One blanket, one sheet; he lays claim to the latter and leaves the former for Inri, pulling the thing further around his waist. “For the dragons, at least. From this end…guess it depends on the rider, eh? Hope ‘m not one of the less likeable ones so far,” he ventures, letting a small smirk form on his lips before he’s shifting, standing and tucking the sheet around his waist as another scratching sound reaches his ears. “Yeah, I was. Am. Sure isn’t a tunnelsnake…” He can tell that much from here. Glancing around, he looks for a glowbasket, a light switch - whichever comes up first. Light switch; he flicks it, allowing a soft orangish glow to disperse the dimness in the room. The scratching stops at that, and he goes still, turning his head to see if he’ll be able to hear anything from another angle.

"No," says Inri, and that's not about tunnelsnakes — that, she may or may not have been able to tell. It's accompanied by a smile, and clarifying, "I have no complaints, at least so far. I'm more likely to complain about sands behavior if I complain about anything — can't imagine you'd give me anything to complain about, though." She's staying on the bed just in case the scratching noise is something particularly dangerous (armed is not Inri's style regardless; Br'enn probably at least has a knife somewhere!) but is watching aptly, focused to see what it is he's looking around at.

Br’enn has actually been caught flat-footed, for once; he does not, in fact, have a knife on him this time. Shorts with no belt loops were largely responsible for that. However, whatever it is he’s hearing doesn’t seem to have him worrying over the fact. As the scratching picks up again, he moves slowly in the direction he’s hearing it from, tossing a slight smirk at Inri. “Don’t know how I am on the Sands, though,” he points out. “It’ll be a learnin’ experience for me. Mayhap I’ll be insufferable. Too early to say.” All but his eyes are deadpan at that, though any hint of joking is cast aside as he approaches the corner of the room from which the noises seem to be coming from. He hikes the sheet up from around his feet a bit, surprised to hear the sound become a bit more frantic from behind a cabinet and attempting to peer over behind it. The scratching stops. Br’enn decides to thump the cabinet with his foot…and suddenly a spring-loaded, long-eared ball of brown and white fur erupts from the narrow space behind it and goes bounding across the room in a panic. The bronzerider doesn’t jump, really, but he does take startled step back. “Faranth’s tits!” he exclaims. “Are y’kiddin’ me?” Nope, not at all. It’s one of those rabbits that are still apparently everywhere they’re not supposed to be.

“My guess is that you’ll be fine,” Inri postulates with all the sage wisdom of someone who has been sands-bound twice, “because you’re new enough to riding, and haven’t been stuck on the sands before, that you’ll just follow my lead and not really try to do things the way you’ve always done them. Which I’ve heard is completely terrible.” It’s not something she’s experienced, having never been stuck with that sort of bronzerider herself. “If you drive me crazy I’ll let you know politely, at le—” She’s cut off by the scratch-thump-bolt exchange, and after a distinct frozen-in-place pause, starts to just laugh.

As if encouraged to escape by the trailblazer before it, yet another rabbit - black and tan, this time, and smaller - shoots out from the same place. Br’enn just watches with consternation as the creatures end up in another corner near the exit, furry little chests doing some rapid-fire heaving in their fear. “Uh…” Br’enn glances around, looking for something with which to remedy the situation. Not kill the things - that seems rather inappropriate given the circumstances - but just get them out. He spots his discarded tank, still damp…but big enough for his idea. Quick and accurate, he flings it at the rabbits, the wet fabric engulfing and disorienting them for a moment - just long enough for the bronzerider to sweep the entire pile up in a sort of makeshift sack, head for the door, and toss them out of his shirt and into the nippy air of the Bowl beyond. “Dumbass things,” he grumbles as he backpedals inside again. Clearing his throat, he crooks a slightly sheepish grin at Inri. “Well. How’s that for a good mornin’?” he quips, briefly glancing at the doorway. “‘n’ it is mornin’, I’d say. Just a good deal before the sun, is all.

It's more like Kouzevelth's definition of morning, though she's probably still enjoying Tovihasuth's attentions if he's lingered with her, and therefore hasn't disappeared off for some dawntime circles around the Weyr. It is really not Inri's definition of morning, but strangely enough she's not tired. She is applauding. Quietly, still shaking her head and smiling at once. "That was artful," she offers. "We probably should've stuck them in a pen or something, but I'm sure we'll be forgiven for not doing so considering the timing. I'll be sure to let the Steward know there are some in here, there's probably more where that came from." The origin of the escaping rabbits gets a squinty-eyed glance, and then Inri is back to practical: "Did you want some dry clothes? I'm sure I could persuade someone to play courier." It's easier for her, since she has a ground weyr, between the intelligent bronze message-carrier she's got and the fact anyone can walk up the steps to her wardrobe. But there's probably someone a weyrwoman can convince to get a few things from Br'enn's. "If there's anyone you trust to go into your weyr, anyway."

Br’enn gives a short bow at the waist for the applause, his expression somewhat wry before he’s checking in with Tovihasuth. The young bronze is indeed still hanging about Kouzevelth, curled up with the gold and ensconced in a sense of wonder and somewhat…goofily expressed pride, but he’s still quite sleepy. Probably a little less energetic than the queen, which would likely be a switch, considering his usual state. All that ascertained, B’renn smirks, absorbing his lifemate’s mood for a bit before snapping back to the present and actually acknowleding Inri’s question. “Ah, no. ‘s alright; I’ll just get Tov to move for a bit ‘n’ take me back up.” Or not; Tovihasuth is really not keen on the idea right this second. It might be a while. The thought that Rynn is likely waiting for him, however, prompts him to point out the fact to his dragon with a good deal of urgency, and Tovihasuth does actually take that into consideration, grudgingly agreeing to move whenever Br’enn is ready. “‘sides, ev’ryone I trust is still sleepin’.” He’s sure of that. However, he’s quick to turn the offer back on its source. “Anythin’ you need?” He glances about, trying to locate various articles of clothing belonging to both of them, but mostly Inri’s. “I can run ‘n’ grab ya a few things, if y’like. ‘less I’m gonna run into someone who isn’ expectin’ me…” Pausing, he runs a hand through his hair, then drops it to scratch at a stubbled cheek. “Uh…anyone out there whose mind I oughta go try easin’ for ya out there, after…y’know. This?” he asks, tentatively ticking a finger back and forth between them.

Kouzevelth is, at least, not clingy — that, and she finds the idea of human romance appealing as a matter of conversation, so any word she gets of Mazzolyth's waiting will only have her encouraging the bronze to be sure to see to that lest it cause any troubles for the humans. Not that it should, of course, that would be silly. She just wants another five minutes. Inri, on the other hand, is comfortable enough that she leans back on pillows again; it's still dark out. She's good to linger until she has to work. "Oh, don't worry about me, the Headwoman has me covered, I'm sure." As for if there's anyone else to worry about, she actually looks contemplative for a split second. The natural response would be to say no, but. One never knows these days. So: "And not as I'm aware of, which probably sounds silly, clueless, maybe a little ditzy, but — accurate. When you flirt with half the Weyr and most people are nice enough to flirt back — anyway, I'm not weyrmated. Or in a relationship. So you'd likely know before I did if anyone had issue. I know you have a girlfriend —" Hand wave. The offer stands to reciprocate, though Inri's pretty sure she doesn't need to worry about jealousy from secure-seeming Rynn.

Tovihasuth isn’t clingy himself, although he is completely enthralled by this new development of catching a queen and all that it entails. Kouzevelth’s encouragement does help him to be more agreeable to leaving for a bit, however. Br’enn goes about gathering his clothes back up, slipping his shorts back on beneath the sheet with the barest grimace for the lingering dampness about them and deciding not to put the shirt back on at all. It’ll probably just chill him needlessly, at this point. He sets the sheet back on the bed as he listens to Inri - not on her, but nearby, and folds his arms, looking faintly amused and nodding at her last. “Well, I’ll be sure to let y’know if I find out somethin’ y’don’t know,” he says, smirking. Hopefully that information won’t come in the form of a black eye or something from some yet-to-be-determined source. “I’d better head back.” To check on Rynn. The thought nags at him more the longer he’s awake. They’d talked about what might go on if this happened…but talking and enduring are two different things, and he’s worried about her. “Inri…thanks for makin’ things easy. Wasn’t sure…y’know. How things would be, after,” he says, rubbing at his neck.

"You got it over with," Inri says encouragingly enough, all smiles. "The first one, that is. For most people, it isn't something that comes with the added baggage of the sands, but — well, you either got lucky or cursed. It's one of them." She knows she should really also consider moving, go to her meeting, check on Icosuth and Dremkoth. The bed is comfortable. "If you need any — anything, you'll be seeing a lot of me in the coming weeks, so don't hesitate to reach out. And if Rynn wants to talk to me, for whatever reason? That's more than fine." Inri, relationship counselor, single now for nine turns. "I'm certainly not expecting anything other than sands company."

Br’enn chuckles a little bit, an expression perhaps as puzzled as it is wry evident in the crook of his smile. There just seems to be something so…indelicate, maybe, to calling it all being ‘gotten overwith,’ and yet that’s what it is, isn’t it? Strange… It’s a little web he may decide to tangle with later, but not right this moment. “I appreciate that,” he returns, nodding. “And I’ll let her know y’said that. ‘m sure she’s fine, but…” He doesn’t actually know one way or the other yet. “I, ah… I’ll see ya later then. I wanna talk about…that. Sands stuff. Tov’s excited, I think.” That’s the general gist he gets from his dragon, at least. “You have a good rest of your mornin’ Inri. ‘n’ bug me if y’need anythin’.” With that, and still feeling a bit of lingering awkwardness even after all the ridiculousness with the rabbits, he slips out, seemingly unfazed by the chill in the air despite his lack of shirt and footwear as he strides off to meet Tovihasuth and return home. Or to wherever Rynn might otherwise be. First catch and first clutchparenting, all in one go. Quite an unexpected turn, indeed!

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