Fort Weyr - Gemstone Tavern

The dim lighting by the flicker of candles lining the walls is enough to offer a view of a room decorated in such a way as to be tastefully appealing. Each piece of furniture and decoration is chosen to accent another piece, and so on and so forth, matching and tying the whole room together in a theme that's separate, and yet at the same time unified. Tables line one wall, dimly lit by candles hanging in sconces all along. The bar along the far right wall is made of richly toned mahogany, tooled by a master and polished to shine with the soft glow of wood at its finest.
Candles strategically placed add to the atmosphere, accenting, punctuating. Towards the back is an open fireplace, constantly burning with a bright light, warming the tavern on cold nights and serving as a gathering place for patrons' story-tellings. Across the room, lush pillows and soft-covered floors promote relaxation at ease. Just before the pillows is a long stage, so full of its own vigor and memory - nicks here, marks there, scuffs from footware and other things - that it's possible to imagine the shows put on for the patrons without necessarily seeing the performances

Winter grinds on - slowly - oh so slowly. The dark leaden clouds more oft than not bar the sun from shining, leaving the grey pall and the bitter cold to wear on one. With Th'ero on the mend, D'ani's doing less Acting Weyrleader and more of his own work. His days are less busy, but still crammed with things that keep the weyrsecond in more than out these days. So it's with the longing to get out and just relax that has him suggesting to the Weyrleader that they hit the Gemstone for an hour or so this late afternoon. They'll take their time getting there - no sense having him slip and re-break his leg - and eventually find a table in a shadowy back corner with a pint or two in front of them.

Th'ero won't pass up an offer to get out of the Weyr and away from work to a change of scenery even if it is late winter outside. There's a promise of drinks at the end, so it's a win-win, right? He won't mind the slower pace and while he walks with no visible limp, the Healers have warned him (many times) that it will take time for him to be up to full strength again. "To another day of work," he can be heard drawling low as he lifts his pint up in a sort of jesting toast to D'ani. They both know that the "quiet" in Fort of late means little.

Dtirae's been… About. Certainly not avoiding people, but definitely out of sorts. Her first full winter back at the Weyr, paired up with many other things (the Weyr has not been lacking in drama for the goldrider). And while the tavern would normally be the goldrider's spot, she has been absent from her former regular haunt. Until now. She enters, quiet and no longer drawing attention to herself as she once would. No announcement of her arrival, and even the greetings in her direction are now soft. Maybe it's by chance that her gaze fixates on the table where D'ani and Th'ero are settled. And the woman who lacked a real purpose of being there suddenly moves like a woman on a mission. "Evening, you two."

D'tirae's arrival in the Gemstone catches D'ani while he's preoccupied in responding to Th'ero, lifting his glass with a wry pull of lips, the smirk more tired than amused, "To an uninterrupted day of work, even!" As he drinks his eyes drift idly across the tavern. Dtirae's aim, obviously directed for their table, is noted and he's hastily wiping the froth from his upper lip (with napkin rather than sleeve!) "Company's coming," he asides to Th'ero in an undertone as he pushes to his feet hastily. "Dei." His smile is polite but genuine as he leans to pull out a chair for her. "It's good to see you out and about." And rare enough that he mentions it.

"I'll toast to that," Th'ero mutters with a smirk as he lifts his pint to his lips and drains a considerable about of the ale while Dtirae makes her approach and greets them. He's aware she's there, but he's preoccupied and does not mean to be rude in his delay in acknowledging her. D'ani may have manners but Th'ero doesn't seem in the mood to keep appearances and will use the back of his hand (discreetly at least) to wipe his mouth clean. Ahem. "So I see," he muses and he'll forgo standing as well. Let D'ani be the gentleman! Th'ero will dip his head politely and respectfully to Dtirae, "Evening to you as well. What brings you to the tavern? Escaping to enjoy the end another day of work like the rest of us?"

"D'ani." Dtirae returns simply, a slight smile. Her gaze drifts to the chair, considering for just a moment before she allows herself to settle down into it. "I've been… Occupied." And, probably, avoiding him. But, she doesn't say that. Th'ero's delayed greeting and lack of keeping appearances is not offensive in the slightest. She really has seen the man in worse states. "I… Didn't have a particular reason. Getting a gift." Because the tavern does have some great gifting liquor if one is willing to pay. "I saw you two, which worked out because I wanted to ask you both a favor. One that I am going to ask you not to refuse."

D'ani is… somewhat aware of the dynamics between Dtirae and Th'ero, how can he not be, having worked this long in the admin offices? So, he makes no comment, simply waiting patiently until the weyrwoman seats herself before sinking back to his seat and reclaiming his mug. Occupied. He levels her a look with veiled skepticism, one corner of his mouth quirking. He's well aware he's been avoided or he'd be bumping into her in that amin corridor from time to time. "Who isn't?" he says lightly before taking a swallow of his own ale. While not slouching, he's leaning back easily in his chair while listening to her. A favor? After being avoided? One brow twitches cynically as he lowers his mug. "No promises," he says easily but firmly, "until I hear what it is." There's a nearby server; D'ani's easily able to catch his eye with a chin lift, then indicates Dtirae with a headtilt. "Mum?" That's from the server to Dtirae. What'll she have apparently?

Th'ero isn't exactly slouching in his seat either but he's certainly relaxed and while D'ani's edging towards cynical, the Weyrleader is curious. He tilts his head slightly, tipping back a little more ale before nodding once the Weyrsecond has said his piece. "A gift from the Gemstone?" he muses before sobering. "I'm with D'ani on that. No promises, but do tell?" Spill it, everything! His eyes stay focused on Dtirae, dimly aware of that server. There are more important things, after all.

Their dynamics have improved, at least! If only subtly. "It's not a complicated favor." Though, it could be. As the server questions her, there's a shake of her head. "Nothing for me." A smile is his dismissal before her attention turns back towards the Weyrleader and Weyrsecond. "They've got the good liquor. It's for a friend." She beams a bright smile but it fades quickly as she sobers. "Zuvaleyuth will be rising soon. And, I don't want either of you there."

The server obligingly withdraws, but he'll keep an eye on that table from afar. In his mind, big knots mean big tips, so if they want anything, he'll return promptly. D'ani is curious as well, but not about the gift Dtirae is here to purchase. There's a bare, approving nod for her having social contacts, something he'd long been concerned about, but he makes no comment to that either. He's enjoying his ale while she speaks, brown eyes remaining on her over his mug. Her comment catches him mid-swallow and he coughs. "Excuse me, what?" Like he's not sure he heard her correctly. He flicks a glance towards Th'ero, a silent 'really?' then back to Dtirae. Not quite grim, but certainly flat, "Why?"

Smart server, that one! Th'ero's curiosity knows no bounds tonight and could be partially to blame because of the alcohol he's already consumed or he's still shaking off a mad case of cabin fever. Usually so active, being so idle has had it's effect on the Weyrleader and he's only just starting to balance out now that he can at least fly on Velokraeth and resume some of his normal duties. So he'll nudge Dtirae a bit further with a simple: "A friend?" Go on. Because he's not expecting the next bit and he can only blink at her, expressionless even when he darts a look to D'ani in a silent, 'uh?' response. He clears his throat and grimaces, "Dtirae… you know that's next to impossible to ask either of us, right? Velokraeth's probably been scouting Zuvaleyuth for days now if that's the case and if so, calling him off is laughable." It won't work and Th'ero's grim look says it all. Been there, tried it… failed miserably. "Won't mean he'll catch." Also another grating habit of his bronze: that he often chases golds just to give the bronzes chasing her grief. Velokraeth can be an asshole, sometimes, if he's in a mood (and his favourite target is poor Zhirazoth).

Dtirae remains rather straight faced as D'ani coughs, giving him a look. "Because I don't want you there." Emphasis on D'ani. She turns to Th'ero and nods as he presses. "A friend. Who's put up with… The side that I don't like showing. He's done a lot for me." The emotional, crying, dealing with dying people side. As for Th'ero's response, she frowns slightly. "I know it'd be harder for Velokraeth… But…" Grey eyes flicker downwards and stare at her hands. "If he does win, I don't want Zuvaleyuth to become possessive again. I've had her avoid him, because I know she'll cause trouble. I've seen it. I don't want to cause trouble. I just… Want to be here. In Fort. I don't want to leave again…" Fingers idly twine together, twisting in anxiety. "I'm afraid of what'll happen if he wins. He's always won. He's been hers." And now he's not.

It's not like that's a surprise, her not wanting him there. But there's a snort under his breath all the same while D'ani continues to regard Dtirae, "Why not?" This time the tone is deceptively mild. "You know by now that where Dremkoth goes, so do I. It's not something I have much of a choice of during times like those and like Th'ero said, catching is unlikely. But keeping him from chasing is hardly something I'd do to him regardless." His gaze bounces back and forth between Dtirae and Th'ero and brown eyes flick ceiling-wards at her reasoning and he bites his tongue.

Th'ero glances between D'ani and Dtirae but will bite his tongue regarding that situation and what she's asked of him. So far, the Weyrsecond is handling it just fine on his own. He's got his own side to defend. He sighs, eyeing his too empty pint glass and signalling that server. Oy. Just… bring the whole barrel over here? "Dtirae," he begins in that tone he uses when he's still well within the realm of patience but still trying to be firm to the point but gentle in the delivery. "We know you're not here to cause trouble. I'm not oblivious to those matters but regardless I cannot call Velokraeth off and I will not call him off. Zuvaleyuth may find the bronze that catches her quite suitable. Faranth knows enough have been Hatched recently… most already proving capable clutch sires." Yeah, he's speaking of Velokraeth's ilk. If she can't have him, have one of his sons (who're also related to her but lets not get into THAT genetic headache)? Th'ero speaks as though this will FIX IT ALL. Simple, right?

"Because, D'ani." Dtirae returns back, her tone, however, is not mild. This time? It's full of barely restrained emotion. She doesn't pin him with a look, her gaze carefully fixated elsewhere. "That—" She begins in response to Th'ero but it dies just as quickly as it starts. She's quiet for a moment before speaking again, "of course." She rises then, inclining her head to both. "That is all I needed, then. If you'll excuse me?" But, she doesn't wait to be excused before she's making her way towards the exit.

The sound of a fist crashing to the table sends their mugs rattling. Has anyone ever seen D'ani lose his temper? Welp, now they have! "Because you won't believe me that I meant it when I said I'd be your friend and as your friend you deserved honesty when I broke things off with you, however gently Dtirae? Because you cannot stand the thought of-" his vague handwave indicates the win, the human side of results. He's rising as she does, jaw set, eyes dark, insulted and only half on Dremkoth's behalf. She's asked much of him and given nothing in return. "The only way to give you the security you want is for me to leave the Weyr. Permanently." The impulse is there to stop her, the clenched fist still on the table lifts, but instead he yanks his weyrsecond's knot off with it and tosses it on the table as she turns to go. Bitterly, "Sure, I'll go. You don't seem to mind having inferior clutches. Or remaining a child." He lifts his mug, drains it and blows out a harsh breath, then stalks after her in long strides. Catching up with her, he grits lowly, "Stay. I'll go!" Because it's likely that The'ro has things he'd like to say. At least the music and chatter covered their conversation so no one's the wiser? The server might wonder, but he seems to be calmly filling Th'ero's mug as if nothing is amiss.

Th'ero doesn't exactly startle but was certainly not expecting D'ani to lose his temper. Normally that's his field of expertise and the Weyrleader watches with a darkening look as he tears into Dtirae. What does he do? Nothing. Not at first. When he speaks, he speaks purely as their superior (for now), a rare display for certain as he's often on far more balanced terms with both of them. Now? Not so much. "Don't you dare step outside that door, Dtirae. We're not done here." he says in that firm, low and slightly cool voice that warns her not to push the issue. A silent 'don't make me sic Nyalle on your ass' is implied (and yes, he'd be so low and bastardly as to go to that level). "D'ani?" Zip it. "That'll be enough for now. Both of you, you'll come with me. We'll discuss this elsewhere." Where the fur can really fly and not be witnessed by many eyes and ears. Just to make things even more deliciously awkward and tension filled, Th'ero will take his sweet, sweet time in drinking that ale of his, so freshly poured and not to go to waste. The server is paid, tipped handsomely (maybe to shut him up and others to boot) and only then does the Weyrleader get to his feet and stride towards them with the full intention of leading both of them away to this private location. His offices? No, it'll be even better than that. He's taking them to his own private weyr, unless one (or both) protest.

Dtirae is halting at D'ani's response, thrown off by the sudden anger of the man. If there's a desire to respond, it is halted. For their location, for one. The Weyrleader jumping in also helps. She is not pushing, not fighting and remaining entirely silent. Her jaw is set and she remains by the door, only turning back to watch Th'ero. And when he leads? She follows.

D'ani zips it! He levels Dtirae with a dark look before turning his head to reluctantly acknowledge the Weyrleader. He gives a bare nod, then moves to the door, leans a shoulder against the frame, hands shoved deep in his pockets. He'll stare sightlessly out the window while Th'ero finishes that ale and then he'll follow them both out into the night without comment, maintaining a silence that rivals the frosty air of winter the entire way back. When they cross the bowl, there'll be a pair of orange-yellow eyes from Dremkoth's ledge, but the bronze remains there, as grimly silent as his 'mate.

Fort Weyr - Velokraeth's Weyr

This weyr is opulent and almost as large as one of the ground weyrs and the ledge outside can easily fit two large dragons. The broad shelf ties in directly to the stairs leading down to the bowl below and over to the administration complex, making it easily accessible from both levels and the other end of the ledge curves around as it meets the stone wall of the Weyr and then turns inwards. Carved and smoothed by time, the covered wallow offers more ample space for the residing dragon and one more should a companion be welcomed in. Sheltered by the worst of the elements, it's a perfect hideaway from winter cold and the slight lip allows for large blackets to be draped over it without sliding downwards.The stone floor is smooth, having been worn down over the Turns. Toward the back of the dragon area, there is a wall with a small entranceway leading into a tiny alcove and nook, where several chests, supplies and pegs to hold the straps rest. Beyond this is a narrow hallway, hidden and secreted from view by a grey hued rug, but allows a secondary and private access to the main living area.
Accessible from the ledge outside, two large wooden double doors lead into the wide and spacious living area. Raised like a natural formed dias, a tiny foyer opens up just steps past those doors, gradually and subtly inclining down into the rough semicircular shape of the room. Along the same wall of the doors but further in is a large stone hearth and in front of it lies a very large and well woven rug. Placed on top is a low, dark wood table and behind it is a long, deep cushioned and equally dark leather couch. Thick pillows rest at each end and there is a matching chair to go with the set though it rests to the side and facing back towards the doors. Shelves have been carved into the wall, little recessed pockets that allow for a variety of items to be placed, though most commonly used for glow baskets. The smoothed wall curves at the right handed side, extending out to create a semi-partition, an illusion that the room is in fact made of two pieces.
Tucked away in this hollow is the kitchenette, visible either from approaching it as one walks towards the back of the weyr or through the mock arch window carved at shoulder height into the rock wall extension. There are ample cabinets and counter space, all made with good stone though they are worn a bit by age. Almost directly across from the kitchenette, where the wall slopes and turns to form a natural hallway, another entrance has been carved into the stone. It is a spare room, converted into a modest and cramped personal office and contains little more than a stout and well aged, well cared for wooden desk and a bookshelf crammed with a variety of reading material.
Following the hallway back deeper in the weyr, another entrance opens to the left and one directly ahead with both covered by a thin hanging rug that can be tied back if privacy is required. The left side opens up to the bathroom, large enough for two people. There is a large basin tub carved of the same stone of the wall it was hollowed from and one of the few to have actual plumbing to allow hot and cold water to be poured in directly. The rest of the necessities are tucked away beyond and recessed a bit. A large vanity and mirror takes up most of one of the walls, the countertop made of a lighter stone and the wash basin of a neutral porcelain.
The last entrance set at the end of the hallway leads into a bedroom of a slightly more modest size. Pushed against the far wall, the bed is low and large enough to comfortably fit two grown adults. It's piled with pillows and cushions near the dark wooden headboard and a thick blanket rests overtop, with more furs and spare blankets folded and resting on top of an old and worn chest at the foot of the bed. A dresser has been set to the right of the entrance and across from it a full length mirror rests. Like the living area, shelves have been carved into the stone, as well as more of the small recessed alcoves that hold more glow baskets. No decoration or tapestries hang here, leaving the bedroom rather sombre and neutral for color, save for the dark green vine like plant from a high shelf just below the low ceiling and has been trained to grow along it and then down either side of the wall.

Th'ero doesn't mind the silence, even if it's as icy and cold as the winter air around them. He'll just stalk along with them in tow and up those stairs and right into his weyr without pause. Once inside, he'll make a rough gesture to indicate they're to settle themselves however. Sit, pace, glare at each other from opposite ends of the room, pet Kyzen's feline Boo who is stretching herself out on the couch… he doesn't care. He's going to go poke life back into the fire in the hearth and then storm into his kitchenette and find his personal stash of alcohol. Which he's NICE enough to share, handing D'ani a bottle of his favourite and leaving Dtirae to select her poison should she so be inclined. It's also a hint he plans to KEEP them there until some semblance of reason is reached. Even if it's an agree to disagree but we'll still function as a team sort of end. "Well, that was spectacular and bound to stir the gossip mills well into spring," Th'ero drawls with sharp sarcasm as he eyes them both while cracking the seal on a bottle of ale. Black Damnation — so fitting for these situations! "Don't know what's going on between you two but you both need to settle it." He spreads his hands out. Have at it? At least… in a moment. First things first… and his eyes dart to a certain goldrider. "Dtirae… you of all people should know better than to run off. You're better than that! D'ani and I deserve better than that." Maybe more so on D'ani's part. "You asked us a favour, we gave you our honest answer. I'm not going to have my Weyrsecond leave this Weyr on the account that Zuvaleyuth is rising. He's needed here, as you are needed here. That said…" He wants explanations and so he'll gesture for her to do so, while also signaling that D'ani can unzip it now and fly off the handle if he wants to. No one to hear here! Hopefully Kimmila isn't due to come home anytime soon. If so, uh… surprise?

Once they're Th'ero's weyr, and out of the cold, the goldrider doesn't take in much of the scenery. She does settle on the couch near the feline, though, rather than stalking and packing. She doesn't take a drink. Her commentary is bit back about the gossip mills, but her lips twitch and her fists clench, remaining pressed against her legs. "I wasn't running off. I asked a favor, you gave your answers. I wasn't going to plead with you to change your answers because they wouldn't change." Her jaw works a bit in frustration before she's rising from the couch again. Poor feline, getting jostled… Hopefully he still doesn't care. She's turning to D'ani. "I don't want you to leave the Weyr, you stupid shit. I still love you, you ass. I don't want you to win because I still have these feelings and I hurt. And I'll hurt after, if he won. And I'm tired of hurting. Hurting over you and stupid reasons I've speculated over. More than half are likely untrue. I still feel this way, you ass. Even if you never did. Or if all you wanted to do was change me. I was being selfish, in asking this, and I'm sorry. But fuck, D'ani…"

D'ani stalks on into the weyr, finds a wall, braces his shoulder against it and folds his arms across his chest. Though he doesn't glare at Dtirae, he is staring at one wall with an intensity that might burn a hole through it. Those arms only unfold to accept that bottle from Th'ero with a nod of thanks and a mutter of apology for the gossip he's helped cause. Hopefully that bottle he's got is also Black Damnation - at any rate it's lifted and a healthy swallow is taken. He's impassive in the face of Dtirae's temper tantrum - and her confession of love - afterwhich he barks a harsh laugh of disbelief, "No you don't. You never did. You don't love anyone but yourself; you're too busy protecting yourself and so obsessed with how very hurt you are, that you don't consider anyone else." Case in point: how she left the Weyr leaderless. "The insult to your bronzeriders tonight - because we are all yours when your queen rises - and also when she doesn't - proves my point. If you don't understand that…" He shakes his head, lifts that bottle, takes another mouthful. Her words darken brown eyes further. Is he hurt? You betcha. The flat line to his mouth pulls to a frown, earnest in his disagreement, "I tried to help what was an unhealthy retreat into isolation because I cared Dei." The chopping motion of his hand indicates that is past tense in more ways than one after tonight. "And if that's all you see of our time together? You've bigger problems than who wins your flight." He lifts the hand holding that bottle, lifts his forefinger from the glass to points at her, eyes narrowed, mouth thin, "You wanted to come back. You deal with the results of your flights like a grownup goldrider, not a whiny brat." Pause. "And you can stop with the verbal abuse, yeah? Thanks." He needs another drink, so takes one.

"But you weren't going to stay either to discuss it and let us try and work something out that would, perhaps, make us all on agreeable terms!" Th'ero counters Dtirae as he comes to stand by the hearth, where he'll never quite stand still. Neither does he pace, but he's not about to sit idle. He's done enough of THAT lately. D'ani did get a bottle of Black Damnation and the WEyrleader will take a good healthy swig of his own bottle as Dtirae lets loose and is promptly answered by D'ani. Th'ero? Instantly regrets being the mediator and makes a mental note to just lock them in a closet somewhere next time. He'll hold his tongue for now, watching both carefully as they vent out their frustrations at each other. There's little he can add, being it's tread into personal territory but he'll make sure it doesn't get out of hand. If he isn't completely drunk at the end of this — it'll be a miracle.

Whatever Dtirae was going to argue back against, the woman goes quiet as she listens. "I meant no insult to our bronzeriders." She doesn't say any more to D'ani, looking quietly to Th'ero. "It's fine the way it is. I'll handle it." She looks quietly to D'ani, frowning. "I apologize, bronzerider. I'll be more mindful of you in the future. I'd like to leave now."

D'ani would rather not deal with the personal. He's done all that - how many turns ago was it now? - and frankly doesn't wish to re-hash it all again. He drinks his ale - faster than he ought - while Th'ero talks, eyes on his weyrleader. At this rate he may be drunk right along with Th'ero. His gaze shifts to Dtirae when she speaks. "I'm sure you didn't, but that's what I'm trying to say: you're not thinking of anyone else. Regardless, it's not about hurting my feelings. It's the principle. You have my loyalty. Moreover, winning and siring a clutch is a matter of pride, an honor. What you asked was… unpalatable." At least he's not raising his voice, even if he is angry, though that's fading somewhat by now. If anything his tone is low, intense, impassioned, sincere, "I told you when I saw you at Drake's Lake that I never wanted you to leave, that I'd be your friend if you came back. You haven't allowed it." He draws a breath, shrugs, and says more gently, "Look, I'm sorry you're hurt. I told you that four turns ago when we talked up on the ridge. It's time to let go of the past, Dei." He'll leave it to Th'ero to determine when the weyrwoman may be dismissed.

"Clearly it's not fine the way it is," Th'ero answers Dtirae in a dry tone and follows that up with a swig of his ale. His eyes will drift from her and then to D'ani, his head nodding in approval and agreement for the Weyrsecond's mention of the clutch siring being a thing of honour. "That bronzerider is the Weyrsecond," he mutters to Dtirae. "And he also has a name. Honestly," He begins to pace about the room now, spooking Boo by making an abrupt gesture and sending the feline skittering from the room with her tail puffed up and out. "Listen to what he has to say! Don't shut down or shut him or any of us out," He's on to that little trick! Since he's a Master of it. Can he really keep Dtirae here though? Not really. "You can go but I'll be speaking with you later." If he doesn't send Nyalle after her instead. Polishing off more of his ale, he wonders if most of this can't be chalked up to proddiness. Can they blame the dragons too? "D'ani, if you'll stay?" Man to man talk time? That should just go fiiiine, right?

"I understand." Dtiare notes softly, "I know what you told me. That doesn't change how I felt. How I feel. It's in the past I know." She looks to Th'ero, blank faced. "I know, Th'ero. I'm listening. I'm not shutting down. Or shutting anyone out." A glance towards D'ani, "though I can't promise I'm not going to shut him out for now." As for the talk later? She nods. "I'll report to you later, Weyrleader." And then? She's departing from the weyr. She knows better than to leave the Weyr when her gold's proddy, so, she doesn't go far.

Continues in Black Damnation Salvation