Fort Weyr - Lookout Ridge

An open plateau of rock that's nestled on the northern face of the bowl wall, used to provide an ease of access to important parts of the Weyr; traffic here being minimal. Stonecut stairs lead down to the administration complex, while the bridge that adjoins this plateau spans across a gully to get to the central bowl wall, where the wing corridor can be quickly reached. A shortcut is also built up toward the Star Stones, so those without dragon can reach the long since used rocks.
Beyond the pathways and access routes, the view from this terrace is amazing. The eye has a good vantage point of the entire bowl below, from the hatching caverns, to the training complex, to the stretches of the central and southern most bowl. The rise of the mountain and the forest ranges can be glimpsed from here as well, distant images but outlined enough to distinguish where they start and end. Oddly enough there's a bench here, settled back against the bowl wall and angled to give the best view of the world beyond.


The late afternoon has found D'ani caught up with his paperwork early. His reports of hold visits and sweeps were brief because those had been relatively uneventful. He's been restless, debated and finally given in to delivering them to the Weyrleaders office, asked Dtirae to come for a walk with him in the weak and watery spring sunshine between showers. They should, to fully enjoy it, wander through the bowl and out through the tunnel into the forest, but instead he turns in the direction of those stone cut stairs and up to the panorama the lookout ridge affords them. There they can at least catch the scent of moist pine and growing things brought to them on the breeze and see the topography of the forests glimpsed beyond the lip of the crater that forms the bowl. The Weyrsecond is quiet for the most part as they ascend hand in hand but when they've caught their breath, he looks at the woman beside him and says gravely, "There's something I need to talk to you about, Rae." A lopsided smile tugs at his mouth; it's apologetic rather than his normal warm one.

Dtirae was in her office when D'ani came in, plotting more than likely. Though, his askance of her to join him on a walk was easily accepted and the plans slipped away for later. There is no protest for his path, only following him along up the stairs. The silence between them is, for the most part, accepted. The woman is, more or less, distracted with her own thoughts more than anything. When D'ani speaks, she's startled from those thoughts to where she gives him a rather bewildered look for a moment. "Okay? What did you want to talk about?" Brows lift slowly for that apologetic look, but then they furrow after a moment into confusion. She doesn't press further, just observing him with that frown.

It's the frown almost as much as the topic at hand that has D'ani lifting a hand to rub the back of his neck, the hand left there while he considers the woman. "Us," he says bluntly and then winces. This is not the beginning he wanted. The hand he has on the back of his neck squeezes. C'mon D'ani! Think. He draws a breath, keeps his eyes on hers and tries again, "Do you remember when you asked me to be your boyfriend and I told you if I'd do that, I'd do it right? Well, I… doing it right means honesty, yeah?" He'll wait for her to nod or otherwise respond. "I've been… concerned."

"Oh." Comes Dtirae's soft reply to the topic, her form tensing almost instantly. Shoulders are squared a little awkwardly while her hand attempts to slip away from his. The other, however is tucked into her pocket. Her gaze briefly drifts away from his, and a slow breath is drawn before she attempts to put on a smile and meet his gaze. "I remember." She notes in a softer tone, drawing another breath before releasing it just as slowly. "Concerned about what, exactly?"

D'ani's fingers loosen, allowing Dtirae to reclaim her hand, but a mild frown replaces his somber look at her immediate withdrawal. He stops rubbing his neck, both hands jammed into his own pockets as he regards her steadily. He's a 'bottom line' sort of person, unable and unwilling to hem and haw and beat around the bush. So he just comes right out with it. "That seeing you has become leading you on," he says finally. And he's getting this all backwards, isn't he?

Dtirae's other hand is settled into her pocket, continuing to tense up. She does continue to meet his gaze, however, even if it appears she would rather do otherwise. "Oh." This comes out even softer, her form going from tense to attempting to shrink away. "Okay… Uh… Okay. I-I don't know what you want me to say to that…" Her gaze drops, focus shifting to her feet in particular.

D'ani resists the impulse to sigh as Dtirae further shuts down. She doesn't want to meet his eyes and so he turns to offer her his profile. Maybe she'll be more comfortable with that? So his gaze swings out over the bowl, looking into the distance while he speaks. "I'd want you to say what you want to say, Dtirae," he says evenly, but without the usual easy manner she's used to. He takes a calming breath, "It wasn't my intention to do that." Lead her on. "We're good friends and I've wanted to be more but it's just not… happening." He flicks a look at her, and assures her, "It's not your fault. I think after the iceberg I understand what your feelings are. Mine are not… cooperating with my wishes, so it's my fault, not yours." His small smile is a twisted, pained grimace. "I'm sorry." And he is.

When he turns, her gaze is lifting to consider him again. The frown only deepens as he speaks and the hands in her pockets twist at the fabric. "I don't… I don't have anything to say." She says after a moment. As he looks to her, she doesn't turn away, not this time. There is a visible fighting of her emotions, but they are held back, barely. The mask almost breaks as he confesses to understand her feelings, a brief moment where it almost slips out and then she reels herself back in. "Then… Let's break up, if there's no point in going any further." There is no joking, only a small smile.

D'ani should say more. He should tell her what those concerns are. He owes her that. However, her inability to be open in return checks the impulse. The look was intended to flick away so as not to intrude and cause her further discomfort. However, when she has nothing to say, he levels a look at her. This time he does sigh. Gently, "Dtirae. This is why I haven't… come to your bed." He's not going to say after all, what his own frustrations are. Let her think he's a jerk, he'll take the fall for it. "You are beautiful, smart, sexy, desirable. Don't think I haven't been tempted. Because I have. Very." More than tempted! "But when I told you I do it right, for me, that means I won't use you like that." There's a firmness about his eyes and mouth. No apology for not having become intimate with her. Those are his values and it was his way to honor her. "I care about you too much to violate that principle." And he waits, calmly for her response.

"I could put that together, D'ani." Dtirae says, giving him a look. There's no hatred behind that look, but there are tears that actually begin to fall. Despite her efforts to hold them back, they falll. "Despite being all those things, it isn't enough…" A soft laugh follows and a hand lifts to brush at her eyes. Her hand rubs at her eyes for a moment to stop the tears, and then she fixes him with a look. "Of course. Whatever makes you comfortable, I wouldn't have asked you to be anyone but yourself…" She turns, so not to face him any longer. Her hand still remains pressed against one eye for a moment as she draws a breath and holds it in. It is all released after a moment and she tilts a look to him. "I… Love you D'ani, but, I'm not going to beg for you to stay with me. I'm not going to hold you where you clearly don't want to be. I… I'm sorry for wasting your time." And slowly, she attempts to fix the mask into place again as she begins to straighten up. Though, it's not firmly in place, and she can't seem to look put together. "Have a good evening, Weyrsecond."

"Dtirae, don't." D'ani's not the type to frown overmuch. But he is frowning now. Heavily. "It is't about what makes me comfortable. It's my way of honoring you." This is going… badly. But it could be going worse? She hasn't punched him. He flares in uncharacteristic frustration, but manages to tightly control his volume. If anything it becomes even lower-pitched as he grates out, "There's no need to throw yourself under the bus. This isn't about me wanting you to beg and you know it! And it hasn't been a waste of time, either!" Does he understand the need to withdraw? Maybe. But he also knows it's not conducive to growing a deeper relationship. Inside his pockets his hands are balled into tight fists. He's being dismissed? With an inclination of his head, "As you wish, Weyrwoman," he says stifling the sharp sarcasm as best he can. It probably leaks out faintly anyway. She can walk away if she wants; he isn't going to.

"Of course, you're honoring me." Dtirae bites back, frowning once again. He couldn't have expected this to go well? These sort of situations are hard to make go well, unless both parties are in a mutual agreement. "I know you don't want me to beg, that's not what I meant. It means I'm not fighting you on your decision. I'm not going to fight you for what you want." Her gaze is again seeking another target that is not the Weyrsecond. "I… Don't think it was a waste of time." That much, she will relent but then she's turning to leave him there.

"That," says D'ani grimly, "is a much better way to put it, Dtirae." Oh he didn't expect it to go well, just maybe better than it has. With some understanding gained. But this is not to be. Not today. And that's probably his fault. He's seen what happens when she is pressed into a corner. So rather than detain her, he just sighs, remains silent and lets her make the choice. No, it's not easy, it's not pleasant and he feels like a jerk, but he lets her go. Because the other option is physically detaining her and trying to force her to talk. That would probably not be pretty. Aaaand he'd probably get punched.

Some of the blame can likely fall to Dtirae for the results of their conversation. And when he doesn't stop her? The Weyrwoman continues down the path with a single glance back. And then? Then she's gone.

D'ani is somber as he watches her go, hands still shoved into his pockets. When she's out of sight, he slumps back against the rough rock wall behind him, remaining behind with his thoughts. The bronze shape of Dremkoth appears from above, backwinging to settle onto the ridge and creeps forward to crouch as near to his rider as he can, his muzzle gentle touching D'ani's chest. The pair remain immobile as the weyrbowl darkens.