Fort Weyr - Lake Shore

One nice thing about the mud wrestling is that after so many Turns of it, Fort has it almost down to an art. It’s organized and all Rayathess has to do is walk a few steps and a few weyrbrats roped into duty (likely with promises of goodies) rush forwards with several buckets of lukewarm water, several rags and some bags of sweetsand. It’s not a glorious thing, but the Harper grits his teeth and proceeds to wash away the worst of the mud. Cleaning it from hair and skin is the easiest part. Getting his pants clean is another! He’ll manage though even if it means they’re soaked through. “Guess I should’ve brought my pack after all,” he mutters to Tyani with a sheepish grin. “Mind passing me my tunic?” He’s going to be uncomfortable for awhile but he doesn’t complain.

Tyani is right there with him, though she stays well back from the mud and the water, instead passing him towels to clean himself off with. “I guess so,” she laughs. “Or waited until the /end/ of the festival to jump into the mud pit…” That’s only half teasing, since now he gets to be uncomfortable for the rest of the party. “Was it fun, though?” she adds, peeking back towards the pit with a curious ‘why would anyone DO that?’ look. “I should have bet on you…”

“I’ll remember that for next time.” Rayathess muses as he slips his tunic back on and fastens his belt around his waist again. He’ll unroll his pants too, in hopes that the fabric dries faster that way. Last but not least he’ll slide his feet back into his boots, taking his time in lacing them. “It was fun and… different. That bronzerider and I were about the same height. Good match.” And he won! He tries not to sound too surprised (or pleased). Modesty is a good thing, right? “Save your marks for trinkets,” he teases. “Betting can and often does lead to disappointment.” Standing, he’ll make sure his hand is clean (and dry), before offering it to Tyani. “Shall we? Hot drink and food first, then some exploring?”

Tyani giggles, watching him dress with a fond smile. Absent, distracted, but fond. Enjoying seeing those familiar movements. “I suppose you’re right about that. I didn’t bring many marks with me.” Nor does she /have/ many, anymore. She also peeks at his hand before sliding hers into his, giving it a squeeze. “I think you’ve earned yourself some hot food and drink,” she giggles. “And then yes! I am eager to see what Fort has to offer.”

Rayathess chuckles, “Smart woman!” he praises her and knows full well that she doesn’t have that many marks but rather than remind her, he makes it seem like she was wise to bring so little. “I’ll treat you to some food and drink though. Only fair.” And proper! He’ll probably spoil her a little too because he does have marks. One perk of being a scrooge of a bachelor for half his life in the Craft. “Have I?” he asks with a hint of a grin to her giggling as he leads her into the crowds and towards the tempting smells of firepits where most of the food is prepared and served. “I’ve heard their cider is good and so is their ale. Food… well, I’ll leave that to your judgement, lady.”

Tyani tightens her hand around his and flashes him a warm and happy smile. “Only if I get to treat you to dessert.” And, being a Baker, one would hope she’d only choose the /best/ of what’s available. She’s more than happy to be spoiled, too. Tilting her head up slightly, she breathes in deep of the smells, exhaling softly. “I wouldn’t say no to a small ale. Or, I’ve heard of people mixing cider and ale together…” Less alcohol, as her slight frame can probably promise she’s an utter lightweight. “I think, for this weather, anything on a stick would be a good bet. Roasted over the fire. See anything like that?”

Rayathess gives her hand a little squeeze while they walk and he laughs softly, “Deal!” He’s not about to argue her offer of dessert and he knows full well he won’t be disappointed. “Don’t think I’ve ever tried ale and cider together.” Which means that’ll be what he’ll order them and he’s surprised to discover there’s truth about it as the server at the drink stall hardly bats an eye about it and offers them two small mugs. It’s not a hot drink but Rayathess is too curious to care. “Kabobs? Always a good choice,” And possibly his favorite to judge by his enthusiasm. “That fire there,” He’ll gesture with a tilt of his head. “Looks promising?”

Tyani has to let his hand go to hold her mug, sipping it with both hands as they continue to move about the crowds. “It’s good! And less likely to make me end up giggling and leaning all over you.” Better him than someone else though, right? “Yes, kabobs!” Why she didn’t use the name…who knows. “Smells promising too.” And it does, right down to the roasted tubers, veggies, and the spices that are all sizzling along with big chunks of herdbeast over an open, carefully tended fire. Tyani will, as always, let Rayathess do the ordering for them both.

Rayathess looks disappointed but it’s all in play and teasing fun. “But what if I wanted you giggling and leaning against me? Then I’ve an excuse to retire us both early to my room,” he remarks as casually as he can manage and hiding his grin behind the rim of his mug. Definitely better him than someone else! Rayathess, as Tyani knows, is a jealous type. “I’ll trust your judgement!” he tells her again and carefully hands her his mug to hold so he can pay for their food. He’ll order two of each for them and with his hands full now, he flashes her a crooked smile. “Want to sit under the trees?” he asks, using his chin to point out the bench nestled between two trees. Shame there’s no full leaves yet!

Tyani blushes darkly, and swift, ducking her head down to try and hide it as they pass by a group of men and women talking excitedly. “Perhaps later, then, I should have some real ale…” she whispers aside to him. That’s in the future though. Now, she wants to stay and enjoy the festival. And she likes (quietly, and secretly) that he’s a jealous type. It’s something she’s familiar with, though she sometimes worries that her enjoyment of that isn’t normal, and has more to do with her upbringing than anything else. But that, too, is something to ponder in the future. “Looks lovely!” she agrees, walking with careful steps over to the trees to sit on that bench, mindful of which mug is hers and which is his.

“We could always get some to go…?” Rayathess implies gently. Now wouldn’t that be a night to remember? Or not, depending on how drunk she gets. Following after her, he’ll wait until she’s settled before sitting down next to her and offering her two of the kabobs once her hand is free. He’ll keep his mug beside him, but it’s clear he wants to sit close to her. You know… chill wind and all.

Tyani giggles softly, dipping her head down a bit. “Maybe,” she says, her cheeks still flushed, eyes bright. She carefully trades him kabob for drink, and nibbles on the end of it. “This is a lovely place for a festival,” she murmurs. “I’m rather sad I missed the fall…” Since he once spoke so highly of it, and its beauty in this region. “Next turn, hopefully.”

“Next Turn? You mean at the end of this one…” Rayathess teases her gently. “There’s bound to be an event in the autumn months too. Summer is usually for runner races.” he tells her with a gentle smile as he neatly works away at one of the kabobs. “Good choice,” he compliments around a mouthful of food.

Tyani pauses, and then she nods. “Right. The end of this turn.” Then she brightens, before sinking a bit on the bench, toes scuffing the dirt. “Ahh, the runner races. I doubt I’ll go to any of those.” Worried, perhaps, she might run into someone from home. Or maybe it’s just too soon. “It is good,” she says brightly, happy to shift the subject a bit. “HOw are you feeling? Cold?”

Oops? Talk about the wrong thing to say. Rayathess’ features drop and he gently touches her arm. “I’m sorry.” He won’t bring up runner racing again — at least not for awhile. Eager to change the subject and lighten the mood, he’ll chuckle. “Not too bad. You get used to it. Luckily for me my pants aren’t leather.” Because… ow? “And I’m feeling fine, Tyani. I’m enjoying myself which is… kind of new and nice for me to admit.” It’s all because of her!

It’s hard to avoid, considering her family’s holding was so good at so many things. “It’s fine,” Tyani says, flashing him a warm smile - over bright - and leaning into his touch. Then she laughs, wincing as she looks down at his legs. “Yes. That’s very fortunate.” Then her look turns curious and quizzical. “Enjoying yourself is new?”

Rayathess knows that over bright look and doesn’t like it. To keep from frowning, he will hastily finish the last of is second kabob and then slip his arm around her shoulders to pull her closer to his side. Nothing overly mushy or scandalous. Just a quiet display of support. “Yeah, it is. Normally I volunteer to help the other Harpers at events like this. Never have I just gone to enjoy it… and especially not with someone else.”

Tyani is more than happy to be leaning against his side, her cheeks flushing again. “Are you not playing, then?” She seems almost disappointed at that news, and was likely looking forward to hearing him. “Never with someone else?” She peeks up at him again, an almost coy smile curving her lips. “Rayathess Stonehaven…is this your first date?”

Rayathess blinks and looks surprised at her disappointment. “No? If I was, we’d not have much time together. I could, perhaps… ask to join the smaller groups in the tavern or lounge? Or simply play for you.” Now wouldn’t that be sweet? Her own private Harper! His cheeks flush and he coughs, mouth opening to protest, only to close again and then open as he fumbles and eventually just sags in defeat. “Yes. It is.” he admits, embarrassed.

Tyani giggles softly, resting her head against his shoulder for a moment. “You only play if you want to, Rayathess,” she murmurs. “Otherwise…I’d love a little concert later. Maybe tonight, with our ales.” Drinking and music and privacy. Sounds wonderful to her. Her smile blooms, brightening at his admission, and she wiggles a bit. “Then we’ll make it extra special.” Uh-oh?

“Tonight, then.” Rayathess murmurs and is far more eager about just playing for her than finding the energy to play in front of a large (and likely boisterous) crowd. It’s taken him a long time to adjust to so many people and even more to standing in front of them and performing. It takes a lot out of him to perform. “Extra special…?” Oh, do tell! Or not, because he’s already blushing a bit at what could be implied in that (or maybe his mind wanders to inappropriate places).

Tyani nods, happy and eager. “Extra special,” she assures him, nibbling more on her kabob. Quicker, as if eager to finish the meal so they can move on to the next ‘thing’. Whatever that might be. “Want to shop a bit? Or go dance?”

Rayathess doesn’t seem in a particular hurry but he does get to finish his ale and then smile down at Tyani. “Why don’t we see if they’ve started the dancing?” he muses. “Did you want to go to the outdoor ones by the lake or to the dance hall in the Weyr itself?”

Tyani beams, clearly very eager to get to the dancing. “Wheverer you’d like to go! You’re the Harper, you must know the best places to dance.” Right? Since he dances all the time…right?

Uh oh. Why does he keep getting himself backed into these corners? Rayathess is silent but makes it seem as though he’s trying to decide between the “best”. When really he has no clue which would be better! He seems to recall having a good experience on the floating platform so he smiles and offers her his hand, “Lake shore, then.”

Tyani seems to have the utmost faith in him, as she grins when he makes his choice and finishes her ale blend before standing and reaching eagerly for his hand. “I /know/ this isn’t your first dance…” she teases him. “I want to see the inside of the weyr bowl anyway, so this is perfect.”

“No, it isn’t.” Rayathess admits honestly and then takes her hand and gently squeezes it before lifting her up off the bench and to her feet. “Oh… that’s right. You’ve never been to the Weyr have you?” Where DID they stay last night? Though it’s one thing to see a place in the dark… and then see it during the day. “Come on, I’ll show you the way.” And he leads her on down the path and towards the entrance square and the arched tunnel that leads into the south bowl with the lake shore to one side. He takes a leisurely pace, letting her absorb the sight of the Weyr and likely the most dragons she’s ever seen in one place at one time.

Tyani shakes her head. “Nope!” And they probably stayed in the inn outside the weyr whose name TOTALLY - The Gemstone! That’s probably where they stayed. Eager, she swings his hand a bit as they walk towards the weyr, craning her neck upwards to see the bowl wall towering above them. Then through to the bowl itself and she gasps softly. “This…is so…amazing. Ancient. And yet…it’s…” She’s speechless.

Rayathess just smiles, bemused, for her reaction and he will glance around the bowl as well. Familiar now to him despite his less frequent visits. “Isn’t it? So much history here. One of the first Weyrs…” And still standing after all this time! “Maybe once we’re done with dancing and it hasn’t got too dark, I’ll take you in a quick tour?”

Tyani nods. “/The/ first…” And still standing, still /living/. She is very impressed, trying to look at everything as she walks with him. “I would love that,” she says, bright eyed and eager. Letting go of his hand, she slips her arm through his instead, nestling up close and probably making it difficult to walk. “Do you know a lot of people here?”

“Perfect.” Rayathess grins and will pull her closer when she slips her arm through his. If it’s difficult to walk, he’ll adjust soon enough. “Not really. It doesn’t look like it, but the Weyr houses a lot of people. Not just riders but lower cavern workers, weyrfolk, posted Crafters, visitors…” The list goes on! “I know the Harpers here, the Headwoman, some of the Guards and a small group of riders.” As they walk towards the lakeshore, they will see that it’s decorated with spring hued lanterns which flicker with glow-light. Right now in the afternoon light they’re muted but at night the effect will be beautiful. He leads her up to the large wooden and covered floating dance floor and is relieved to see they’re not too late. The Harpers are just warming up and the couples are beginning to find their places. “Come on, we just made it in time!” Hopefully his pants aren’t soaked anymore and he can move!

Tyani looks around with wide eyed awe, gasping softly when a trio of dragons swoops overhead, heading over the rim of the bowl to who knows where. She holds more tightly to Rayathess’ arm, not out of fear but out of excitement. “This is so beautiful. Fort really knows how to throw a party!”

Rayathess chuckles as he leads her onto the floor, “You should see their Winter festivals.” he muses and assumes the correct position. Only a half second later does he realize that the other couples aren’t in that position at all and just as his brain registers this, the first cords are struck by the Harpers and this particular Harper pales a bit. “Oh no… Tyani… I hope you like dancing fast?” Because this is no modest formal waltz.

Tyani smiles. “Maybe…/maybe/, I will consider leaving the Hall for their winter festival.” Maybe. She moves into position easily, and holds it for a moment, until the music starts. Then she laughs, grinning wide. “Sure!” She just likes dancing, period, and off she goes! Hope he can keep up, because she is light on her feet.

Rayathess will have to tease her later about her continued aversion to winter. Right now he has to focus on not tripping over his feet, Tyani’s feet or the feet of any of the other dancers. It’s a fast paced song and the moves become increasingly difficult and complex, as well as… close. This sort of dancing is for the more wild of spirit and Rayathess balks a bit, unsure of how much of this Tyani will enjoy.

Tyani seems to be enjoying herself! She moves quick, and close, blushing deeply but still enjoying herself in the dance. “Having fun?” she calls to Rayathess.

Rayathess is also enjoying himself once he gets over the initial shock and when Tyani doesn’t react or recoil from some of the grittier dance moves. Why hadn’t he paid more attention? She’ll get her answer when the final moves of the dance commence and he finally loosens up enough to pull it off, even when it requires that his hips bump to hers as he dips her back and down. “Yes, I am.” he tells her as he hovers just above her and then guides her back upright with a small grin. The final cords struck, the dance couples break out into applauze for the Harpers.

Tyani doesn’t hear the last few chords of the dance since when Rayathess dips her, she throws her arms around hsi neck and kisses him firmly, blushing darkly with her daring. In public, even, and so bold.

Rayathess won’t be focused on the applause either and if he hears a few whistles or some laughter he’ll ignore it. Maybe it’s for another couple? Faranth only knows but when Tyani kisses him like that… that’s all his mind focuses on. Straightening, he’ll slip his arms over her hips, keeping her held close, cheeks flushed not only from their dancing. “… want to skip the tour?” Please say yes.

“We can take a tour tomorrow,” Tyani whispers, her heart hammering, her cheeks /dark/ with her blush. Half a drink and /one/ dance and it’s over? She is such a pushover. It’s a very good thing Rayathess is a gentleman.

Rayathess doesn’t quite feel like a gentleman, given he’s just suggested they go find somewhere private. If he were a true gentleman, he’d calm himself down and take her on that tour regardless. Instead he grins, further emboldened by her eagerness and the dark blush of her cheeks. “Let’s go get some ale then and some more food… and we’ll go back to our room, hmm?”

Tyani trusts him. Completely. Even though that might not be entirely wise. Because how long has she /really/ known him? Not long at all… nevertheless, she finds herself whispering, “Yes, please…” and smiling eagerly up at him, her eyes wide and shimmering.

She can trust him. Gentleman though he may be with flaws, he would never do anything to hurt her and Rayathess made sure that certain lines are not crossed. Not yet. Not even a dance like the one they just shared would make him break that. “Come with me, then.” he murmurs, offering her his arm as he intends to take her away and off to the Gemstone Tavern. They’ll grab some ale (again, he does the ordering) and he’ll have food sent up to their room on the second floor.