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

Breakfasttime. After the hubbub of the night prior, there's a distinctly quieter air than normal as the array of folks are huddles around hot oatmeal and klah and nursing hangovers. S'ai, however, has his atypical breakfast of several plates of a bit of everything. However, even he seems off sorts. He's picking at a muffin and staring off into space. He doesn't look hung over like the rest but there's clearly something on his mind.

C'rus is also not hungover. Which is not surprising in the least. He did have perhaps a longer night than the others but with Kera at Fort for the next few days life is good. The bluerider makes his way into the living cavern and quickly grabs a juice for himself before he spots S'ai, and makes his way over to where he is sitting and takes a seat, "What did you do now?" is the greeting that his clutchsibling gets, "You only make faces like that when you do something. So out with it." After he finishes speaking he takes a sip of his juice.

Th'ero has also had a long day and night but for various reasons. A Weyrleader's duties are never light and when there's a festival looming? It trebles. He's been seen little of late, save for his usual pre-dawn patrols, morning meetings and the rare chance he comes into the living caverns. One of those days are this morning and from the tension in his expression, it's already off to a mediocre start. At least he's eating? Or at least grabs a mug of klah and some sort of sweet bread before finding himself a table. Lucky day, it'll be with C'rus and S'ai that he joins, at least hesitating long enough to ask permission (which is hilarious if one thinks about it). "Morning, both of you. Mind if I sit?"

S'ai blinks at the familiar voice and raises up his eyes to look to C'rus as the bluerider sits down. "I…oh come on, man. I'm not /always/ getting into trouble." He says with a huff of mock injury, giving him a stern squint. As the Weyrleader arrives in turn the bronzerider gestures for him to sit. "Heya, Th'ero. C'rus thinks I'm causing trouble, which I am totally not." And then there's a pause and a bit of a scrunch of his face. "Maybe a bit. For me. Not sure how I feel about it. I mean, I do, just. Yeah."

"Uh huh." is the eloquent response that C'rus provides for his clutchsibling. He wags a finger in his direction after setting down his glass of juice, "You are always getting into trouble. Should I start ticking down the list…" It's then that Th'ero makes his apperance at the table and C'rus salutes him, "Not at all. Have a seat." he says before he turns back toward S'ai, "You know mumbling to yourself is a sign of all kinds of mental issues." he says with a grin, "What is it that you feel so strongly ambivalent about?"

Th'ero smiles faintly as both welcome him to their table and he'll hook a chair with his boot and pull it out. Once seated, he'll listen quietly to the banter between S'ai and C'rus, his eyes darting from one to the other though lingering longest (and predictably) on the bronzerider. "I believe you. Since I've reports that it was other bronzeriders up to no good last night. Shards, it's not even the eve of the Festival and already we've brawls and food fights breaking out." he mutters over the rim of his mug. There's a knowing look to C'rus, as he's well aware the bluerider was present. There's a dry snort, "Or maybe he's just wanting to be left along about it?" he muses, faintly teasing concerning S'ai's mumbling.

"Pah! Only reason I'd be crazy is you guys." S'ai says to C'rus and gives the other man a lopsided grin. "…I missed a brawl? That's a shame. Those are usually good times until you gotta deal with the bruises." He says towards Th'ero regrettably. "I wondered why everyone looked like they had a long night. My absence brings me to your answer, Mindhealer. It's probably the biggest news you can feel vague about because it's fairly life changing. So, gossip's probably gotten around Katrina and I are kinda close since, eh, just before the flight. Well, last night she told me she's expecting."

"Yeah the bronzeriders were at it last night. I was there. Would rather have not been. I'm sure we made a lovely first impression on all the new riders that showed up." C'rus says with a shrug, "At least we blueriders always behave ourselves. Mostly anyway. Won't find us starting bar brawls at any rate." Though his attention to that line of thought ebbs when S'ai continues on with the rest of his statement, "With your kid or someone elses?" Given everything he has seen around the place he has to ask.

"A food fight and a brawl," Th'ero amends with a crooked smirk. "While we had visiting riders in attendance, from what I was told. Fortunate for weyrwoman Dtirae that she… broke up the brawl." In a very… not typical way and for some reason the Weyrleader's nose wrinkles slightly but he does not elaborate. Instead he begins to shred that sweet bread but not take a single bite. Most know this to be a habit of his when he's feeling particularly overwhelmed and stressed but doesn't otherwise outwardly show it. "Blueriders behave? Ha! You lot are the most unpredictable. Never know what to expect from a bluerider!" he muses to C'rus with another faint smile before he focuses back on S'ai. A brow quirks and the smile goes from faint to something a little warmer. Or sympathetic? "Congratulations, then?" Though C'rus will be given a shrewd look. Who else would be the father? "Even if it's a… surprise. Tricky thing, when bedding non-riders. Unless the girl is good with taking her tea…" He shrugs his shoulders with a grimace, though he's quick to move on. "Katrina… the Baker right? Apprentice?"

"His weyrmate is a bluerider, after all. He can probably speak to it." S'ai says with a point aside to Th'ero with a smirk at C'rus. "You guys are just good at slipping under notice. But yes, it's mine, and that's her, Th'ero. It is a surprise, I mean, we weren't even really talking about it much because no need to feed the aunties more to gabber about. Still, I'm happy about it. Terrified, but happy. Just want to make sure I don't botch this or anything. I /do/ listen to you, ya know, C'rus." He passes his clutchsibling a grin.

"I suppose we have our moments…" C'rus says with a wave of his hand dismissing both Th'ero's and S'ai's comments about blueriders, "Certainly we are consistantly awesome." he says as he mulls over other things. He catches Th'ero's look and shrugs his shoulders, "Had to ask…" he says leaving off the part of why he had to ask. He falls quiet for a moment as he mulls all the information around in his head. When he does speak again he snorts, "I don't really think anyone does. Perhaps Jai…but anyway…" Nope not going to lose the train of his thought here, "…you and Katrina gonna become a permenant item then? So you can be there properly for the kid?"

Th'ero's smirk is a little more knowing and edging closer to a grin for S'ai's point about his weyrmate being a bluerider. Oh, the Weyrleader knows many a thing about the eccentricities of blue riders. His own sister is one too! "As I've always said, 'beware the blue riders' though they're often the best to have your back. Brownriders too and even green. Shells, half the time it doesn't matter the colour but the rider themselves…" he mumbles, less their conversation dissolve into the archaic stereotypes of rider's personalities based on the beast they're bonded to. "So long as you're both happy with it, that's all that matters. She going to be setting aside her Craft then once the babe is born?" Th'ero asks curiously, only to level C'rus with another look. "Now, don't force the man to put the cart before the horse. We're in a Weyr, it's not necessary they make anything official if they're not ready. Fostering is always an option. Helps immensely with Kimmila and I," he says, looking mostly to S'ai now. "To aid with the balance between your dragon and the Weyr."

"I dunno." S'ai says to C'rus with a shrug. "We'd just been taking things a day at a time but this'll take some thinking about. We haven't delved into the topic too much. Last night was mostly letting it settle in. Somehow, I don't see her fostering. In any event, I'm not asking her to do what she doesn't want. When we were starting to get serious though, we definitely had talks about my responsibilities here, things like flights. She's Holdborn. I wanted to make sure things wouldn't get.. awkward. She said it was okay. Still, I'm just going to take this slow."

Eccentric is probably the most charitable way to describe C'rus, his dragon, and several other well known blueriders to boot, "Who said anything about forcing anyone to do anything? I was just asking a question." he says. If only forcing someone to do something was that simple. Alas, "S'ai is capable of making up his own mind." He takes another sip of his juice and shrugs, "In my opinion we all arrived at somewhere well past awkward a long long time ago."

Perhaps her ears were burning, but Katrina makes her way into the living caverns on her free day, though it seems that she is making a beeline towards the kitchens anyways. She is wearing a playful blue skirt and a matching top for the beautiful Spring day, humming to herself. As she spies the trio of boys, she heads over to them, lifting up a hand to wiggle fingers in salutations.

Th'ero's gaze still lingers on C'rus for a few uncomfortable seconds as the Weyrleader lapses silent but eventually lets the issue settle. He does chuckle dryly, "Now that I can agree on, C'rus. Well spoken," he muses before giving S'ai another look. "Being holderbred myself… it takes an adjustment but it's possible to have a healthy relationship even with the flights, S'ai. Kimmila and I have managed it even, given she rides blue and I ride bronze." And there's a boatload of awkward in there too. "You make it work, if it's meant to be. Key to it is to just work through the awkward. Talk. Be honest…" Which is probably strange coming from the Weyrleader given he usually doesn't speak so openly. A gift of knowledge and experience, perhaps? Spotting Katrina, he'll greet her with a polite dip of his head and a welcoming smile. "Good morning."

"Talking is all ya can do and we do our best, but hey, least Ha'ze and Abigail's kid'll have an agemate. Not sure about Jajen's plans." S'ai says to the Weyrleader. Speaking of. He spies the familiar woman at the center of the conversation and gives her a wide grin and a gesture over. "Hey! Come over when you're done checking in." He calls to her as she diverts to pop into the kitchen briefly.

If C'rus is the least bit uncomfortable under Th'ero's gaze he doesn't show it. He just nods when Th'ero agrees with him, "That doesn't happen very often. We should have pie." he says as he glances over to the pastry table. As Th'ero goes into his familiar speech that C'rus himself has heard on a couple of occasions now he just lets his gaze wander around the room and spots Katrina. He offers her a wave, before his attention once more comes back to the table, "Yeah…babies everywhere." he says absently.

With the mention of Jajen, Th'ero's expression falters for a moment before he carefully schools it back to neutrality. "Jajen is due any day now, last I heard. She cannot return to Fort Weyr…" And so the rest is painfully obvious. The gold rider's child will remain with its mother until it is old enough to travel safely Between and even then it's up in the air. "Ha'ze has been seeing to her comfort." The Weyrleader adds, to smooth out the otherwise harsh edged news. "Nothing wrong with babies everywhere. A Weyr prospers on new life… it's always been a joyous occasion, no matter who the parents may be. Rider, Crafter, lower cavern workers…" He shrugs his shoulders again and spreads his hands out. "We've a clutch on the Sands too." Another crooked half-smile to S'ai. "Twelve eggs and Candidates coming in. Perfect omen for a good spring season."

S'ai gives a nod of his head and leaves the talk of Jajen at that. "Heh, at the rate the golds have been producing, we'll need to refill the Weyr's population for future clutches. I know Zeruth is proud as can be. Twenty-five eggs to his name and he's not even at his third year yet. He was attempting to get me to make a game of it but I had to break it to him I have no intent on trying to win that wager."

"I agree. Life is a good thing, and babies are certainly lovely." The bluerider has a soft spot children and always has. He then recieves word from Jaicoureth that his weyrmate has awakened, "Well…I best be off. My better half is awake and I'd best go up and bring her some breakfast." He quickly finishes his juice and takes the empty glass when him when he stands, "I hope that you both have a pleasant rest of the day. I'm sure I'll see you around the festival later." He salutes the weyrleader, "Bye Th'ero….and later Ha'ze…sorry S'ai. Used to having this conversation with him." He then moves off to gather some food to take home with him and is off out the door.

Th'ero chuckles, "Suppose we will or the Holders are going to start complaining that we're poaching too much from their kin and bloodlines," he drawls with a smirk to S'ai. There's another knowing smirk and a dry laugh, "Careful it doesn't get too far to his head! Velokraeth may feel a challenge is needed and I for one don't wish to be wary every time we land in another Weyr." Not that the bronze has tried to chase any non-Fortian queens and Th'ero counts his blessings for that. "Clear skies, C'rus. Give my greetings to Kera," he murmurs as he nods farewell to the bluerider.

After checking in with the kitchen and heading back out with a red berry pie in her hands, Katrina gives a bright smile to the pair of remaining riders. "Hello and good afternoon to you both." With that, she holds the pie out to S'ai. "Here, I made this for you last night. It is properly cooled the way you like it." She gives another beaming smile before she gives a proper bow to Th'reo. "And, he can share it if he wants."

"…oh you're gonna get it for that." S'ai says challengingly to C'rus as he heads off, though it's clearly all in play. He takes a sip of his klah with a roll of his eyes before looking back to Th'ero. "Speaking of, heard Half Moon is sending their lot over to torment us during the festival." He says with a wide grin. "Which, if that's the case, means my sister will be with them. Heard they picked her up after Xanadu. Heh, I never toldja, but Zeruth had it in his head once to try and beat out Velokraeth. Thankfully he forgot it but I have no desire to go traveling and encourage him." And then Katrina is returning and he can only laugh at the arrival of the pie. "How do you find time to spoil me? Got time to sit for a minute before work? I had just been telling them the good news."

"It's true, Half Moon Bay will be sending their Candidates over." Th'ero murmurs and smiles over the rim of his mug as he finishes his klah before the drink becomes too cold. "It'll be good for folks here to have out of territory visitors. We've our own Candidates now too… mind you only a small handful." Since Search hasn't long begun. He quirks a brow, "Is that so? What's her name? And heh, be careful if Zeruth remembers. Zhirazoth has tried before to outmatch Velokraeth and ended up in the side of a mountain. Not terribly hurt," Save for pride. "But…" There's the warning. Not that Th'ero means there to be but he cannot control the outcome of any flight. Velokraeth returns tit for tat and if a bronze plays dirty against him? Oh, you bet the stunted little devil is going to fight right back. "I'm fine," Th'ero chuckles as he waves off the offer of pie. "And he has been… Congratulations are in order?"

"I had some extra berries my uncle sent me and I thought I'd do something nice at the end of my shift last night." Katrina says with a bright smile, though it falters as he asks her to take a seat, then she slowly glances over to the Weyrleader. ".. Oh? You.. um.. you told them?" Why does she feel like she is in trouble all of a sudden? "Sure, I can talk." Suddenly, her hands find their way into her apron that she slipped on, wringing it between her fingers. She gives a quick sheepish smile to the Weyrleader despite his congrats.

"He does seem to take after his sire though, that's for sure." S'ai says to Th'ero. "Least I can say we have practice surviving kissing mountains. Ah, dragons will do what they do but I do what I can to make sure he behaves." As Katrina sits down next to him, he wraps an arm around her shoulders and gives her a reassuring hug. "Hey, no need to be shy. It's good news!" He gives a faintly worried frown and murmurs, "…hope you don't mind I told 'em, though. Shoulda asked if you wanted anyone knowing yet."

Th'ero grimaces slightly, "Try not to kiss any more mountains? We've been doing well of late for rider injuries." And the Weyrleader would like to keep it that way! He's also not wanting to see S'ai and Zeruth waylaid again like they were in Weyrlinghood. "He's right you know, it is good news. Nothing to be sheepish about and sadly… a Weyr often runs on gossip. Better the news comes from the source," he admits with a faint but reassuring smile to Katrina. "The kitchens must be busy in preparations? Cook has assured us that we're well stocked with the latest shipments from Southern Boll."

"No, it's okay. I just.. I haven't even told.. really anyone that we were seeing each other. I just didn't.. um.. know.. how anyone would take it." Katrina says as she taps her fingers together, leaning into him as she wraps an arm about him. "I am happy, honestly. As long as you're okay with it." She looks over to the Weyrleader with a smile, giving a nod of her head. "Yes, Cook is well stocked. My uncle sends me berries because he farms and I like to put them in my pies for special projects to experiment with."

"Of course I'm okay with it!" S'ai says with a quiet laugh. "Yeah, it was a surprise, but this is a good surprise. In any event, guess the cat's out of the bag. Er… not to make a weird pun." He gives a nod of his head at mention of the kitchen prep. "I was helping Haast unload some of the fresh shipments, they were pretty overwhelmed that afternoon and I wasn't on duty. gotta say, having all the fresh stuff is great. Anyone need anymore help getting ready for the party?"

"Good! I'm sure Nyalle will be relieved to hear that. She and the other juniors have been keeping a close eye on our stocks. Wouldn't do to deplete ourselves past a point so early into the season… even if it is a Festival," Th'ero murmurs and does his best to be neutral in light of Katrina's discomfort and shyness. His mouth quirks up into another crooked smile to S'ai, "I think you won't be the only one pleased to have more fresh goods than preserved. We'll all be enjoying that luxury soon enough. And I don't believe so? Not yet anyways. I suspect Wingleader Abigail will probably call on Thunderbird at some point to sweep the roadways. With this much traffic, it's bound to make them a mire of Faranth knows what and someone's going to get stuck. The Guards will handle overseeing the Traders and Crafters settled in the square and that no squabbles break out but you could always ask Captain Breshir if he needs another warm body for that work."

As she listens, Katrina grows quiet to let the pair of bronze riders talk business. She simply eases herself in against S'ai, placing her head against the crook of his shoulder. Slowly, she worms an arm around him from behind to hold him closer.

"Roadwork… wheeee." S'ai says with a good-natured roll of his eyes as he keeps an arm around the baker. "Nothing like spring construction and mud. I'll check in with her and see what the gameplan is. Get some hay and grass to lay out over the worst of the mud patches to get some extra traction and suck up some of the moisture. Hopefully Zuvaleyuth wouln't mind all the activity, but Zeruth'll be around to help."

Th'ero smirks, "I know. Not the most glorious of work but it's one of those necessities." Glancing between S'ai and the now cozy Baker, the Weyrleader will quietly clear his throat and push back his chair. "Speaking of, I best be returning to my work. It was good to speak with you again, S'ai. Congratulations again, Katrina." he murmurs as he stands, smoothing out his tunic. He's going to catch flack later for not having eaten a proper breakfast but the Weyrleader is used to it. As he turns to leave, he hesitates for a moment and glances back to S'ai. "We'll see you at the wrestling competitions, I hope?" While his features remain neutral, there's a slyness beneath his tone. Did he just challenge the bronzerider? Probably. He'll wait on S'ai's answer before nodding his head and wishing them both well before turning to stride out towards the bowl.