Tea and Creamcakes
Who M'xo, Thys
What Another chance meeting leads to tea.
When Autumn-winter, Turn 2711
Where Center Bowl, Fort Weyr

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Fort Weyr - Center Bowl
The wide center of the bowl is often bustling with activity as riders come and go. Off westward can be seen the entrances for the candidate barracks and the guest weyr, while to the east is a large opening that leads into the dragon infirmary. The bowl stretches off both to the north and to the south, where the sheer stone walls rise steeply to the sky.


It’s another autumn morning, though this one has a definite bite to it. Gone is the summer warmth, and winter is definitely on its way. M’xo, the slouching bronzerider, and his gleaming golden bronze are back, this time helping a merchant move things from the dragon’s straps to the man’s wagon. M’xo is doing the minimum amount required, while his bronze watches him with slowly swirling eyes, flecks of orange showing his discontent with his rider’s (lack of) work ethic.

Thys is dressed surprisingly lightly, given the temperature. She's crossing the bowl from the direction of the lake, again carrying her long staff, again dressed for a workout - except this time she's done with it and has the sweat to prove it. The familiar bronzerider and his dragon are spotted and she makes a beeline towards them, swinging her staff in one hand. "Back again, I see - did you bring us something good, perhaps?"

M’xo is happy for an excuse to cease work, leaving the man to move his own goods while he approaches Thys. “Not for you, this is just the most convenient drop off. But, if you ask nicely, I’m sure ol’ Gemen will show you his Smithing supplies and noxious chemicals. Beating people with sticks again?”

"Only practicing for when there's cocky bronzeriders in need of a beat-down," Thys teases, making a playful little swing at the man's ankles with her staff. It's intended to miss, of course, and she shoulders the weapon with a wink. "If only I had time for Smithing at the minute - but duty calls, unfortunately. Though…" She looks from M'xo to some point higher up in the Weyr, smiling softly. "I have time to chat with you. To ask why you keep cropping up when I'm training."

M’xo steps back from the swipe with a crooked grin. Then he turns his head slightly, eyes lingering on her before they flick to where she’s looking, trying to figure out what she’s looking /at/. “Sure, if you’ve got more of that ale we had last time…”

"How very forward of you," Thys laughs. She rests one hand on her hip, canting her head slightly at the bronzerider. "Unfortunately I don't have time for drinking today, but they'll accommodate you in Shenanigan's if you're so inclined. If I was a fraction more vain, I might jump to the conclusion that you came just to have a drink with me…" Her dark eyes narrow in amusement as she appraises the younger man by running her gaze over his outfit. "But I'm not that vain. I can, however, ask if you'd care to join me for tea and cake?"

M’xo smirks, gesturing back towards the poor man still unloading boxes from his irate bronze. “Quite the ruse, on just an off-chance you’d be around and available,” he chuckles. His nose wrinkles a bit at tea, but a chat with a lovely goldrider overrides his distaste for leaves soaked in water, so he inclines his head. “Love to. Let me just get this paperwork signed…” and he turns towards the man. “Ah! You’re done, good timing. Here, sign this for my boss? Thanks. Have a good one.” The man grumbles and moves off with his team and wagon, while the bronze continues to stare at M’xo. “Where might my lump of grump find a good spot to roost?”

"He is quite a fractious creature, isn't he?" Thys cocks her head at the bronze, looking amused. "Rhenesath is fond of sitting on the rim up there," she points up, higher than the hatching grounds. "Though she's still not quite healed enough to fly up there." Shoulders are shrugged gently. "C'mon, let's go settle into the living caverns for tea, or something stronger if you'd like? Are you fond of any type of cake in particular? Creamcakes are my favourite." Thys offers the crook of her arm for the bronzerider to take - ignore the fact that she's a little sweaty.

M’xo shrugs with a chuckle. “Ikovsth’s quite serious sometimes, especially when I’m enjoying myself,” he says, half teasing his dragon. The bronze flares out his wings and, taking a few steps back, then launches powerfully into the sky. “Healed?” M’xo asks, before he remembers. “Oh, right. The…thing. So what does she do? Just walk around?” He takes her arm and begins to walk with her. “Creamcakes are good. Not a fan of tea, really, but I liked that ale…” Puppy eyes.

"Well, he's quite beautiful, too - it's a shame he wasn't here to chase Rhenesath." Thys watches the bronze fly up, then drops her gaze down to M'xo. "She was limping around for a while - it was awful to watch. We've had her in the lake swimming as much as possible to help her sprained leg recover, and that's all better now, but I daren't chance anything with her wing - can you imagine if we pushed too hard and she ended up grounded for life?!" It's a bit of a stretch, but Thys does seem worried about the possibility of it. "If you so desperately want ale this early in the morning, I can of course arrange it, but… could I not tempt you with klah? Mulled cider, perhaps?"

M’xo smiles, a flicker of pride and almost boasting crossing his features. Yes, his bronze is beautiful, and /he/ knows it even if his dragon doesn’t care. “Mmmhmm, that is a shame. Maybe next time I can be here…” Then he shudders. “Shards and shells, no, that would be awful. You’re wise to keep her grounded until she’s healed.” Then, he laughs. “Fine, whatever you have, but I’ve been up for half the day already. It’s not that early for me.”

Thys grins. "It'll be almost 2 turns before she flies next - and of course you're welcome to chase, though she does tend to have a preference for browns. I think it's because she's a relatively easy catch, it makes it easier for them… not that I'm complaining." She grins - a sentiment that has a little more to it than mere amusement. No, she looks pleased. By now they've reached the living caverns, and Thys steers M'xo to a table that's close to the one reserved for the Weyr's leadership. "Have a seat, wait one second, and I'll go order us something." Away she bustles, returning shortly after with a jug of steaming cider - the alcoholic type, he'll find - in one hand and a teapot in the other, with mugs hooked on her fingers. "They're bringing food for us shortly, but this I thought would do for now to warm you up a bit." With a bit of juggling she sets the jug and teapot down, then sets about pouring for him before filling her own mug with fragrant black tea. "So. M'xo. Since you seem to keep popping up, I think it's only fair that you tell me a little more about yourself…"

M’xo smirks, hesitating…but it’s just too good, and he can’t resist asking, “And you? Are you an easy catch too?” It’s half teasing, given his laugh and his hesitation. She’s good with jokes, right? He sits down, then stands up again, then sits, unsure if he should stand to wait for her, or sit down because she told him to. Compromise. When she comes back, he stands. He won’t try to help though, just stand there and watch her. “Smells good, thanks.” He eyes her tea with some distaste, but that vanishes with his first sip of cider. “Mmm, this region has good cider, considering it’s not Nabol.” Kind of a compliment? “What would you like to know, m’lady?”

Is she an easy catch? Thys's only response to that question was a wink - decipher that as you will, M'xo! She raises her mug to her lips - no fancy tea set down here in the living caverns, just a plain old regular mug - and sips from it with a pleasurable sigh. "We do have good cider. Good ales, too. Some is imported, of course, but some of the local brews are award-winning." It's something she sounds proud of. "What would I like to know? Well. Everything? What is there to tell?" A beat - then the continues. "Where do you come from? Who are you? When and where did you Impress Ikovsth?"

M’xo takes another sip of his drink and leans back in the chair, slinging an arm over the back of the empty chair beside him. “Everything?” He laughs. “That’s a lot. Let’s start with clothing sizes, hmm?” he teases, rattling them off before he sits up again to focus on her questions. “I’m in Ierne now, impressed in Telgar, born in Lemos. Been all over, considering m’parents are just Woodcrafters. My name’s M’xo.” Tease. “He’s…little over eight turns, now? So we’re still a pretty young pair, much to his disappointment. Your turn.”

"Lemos, Telgar - that makes a bit more sense as to why you like Nabolese cider." Thys smiles softly, taking a sip of her tea as she listens to him talk. "Well. I'm from closer to your way than here - Crom born, Crom raised. My parents, siblings, all Miners, save for my aunt. I turned out claustrophobic. Couldn't stand the mines, and so I went off to live with my aunt, and made my way into the Smiths." She pauses, allowing the serving staff to deliver their tray of goodies - including creamcake, but some savoury bits and pieces too, like little cheese pastry puffs. Thys snatches up one of those, and takes a little nibble of it. "I was travelling Pern's major Holds and Weyrs on my way to becoming a journeyman when I was here, and I accepted Search, and, well, 11 turns later… here I am. Junior Weyrwoman Thys." The tray of food is nudged towards M'xo, an invitation for him to help himself while she eats her savoury bite.

M’xo chuckles. “Guess so. Tastes like home.” He listens as she speaks, nibbling on a bit of food, but avoiding the creamcakes. Wants to leave them all for her, since they are her favorite. “A smith who is claustrophobic…couldn't you work outside the mines? Crafting and all that?”

"I could have done, but I chose not to," Thys explains with a little shrug. "My whole family has had roles in the mines, rather than Miner's work outside of them… and Smithing felt like my calling, anyway." She shrugs gently again, smiling. "It makes me decent marks, when I can find the time to fulfil commissions. But what about you? You didn't feel the need to join a craft at all? Not the Woodcraft, like your parents?"

M’xo blinks, then grins. “Ah! I get it now, sorry.” He got a bit confused for a minute. “What sorts of Smithing did you do? Weapons?” Then he shrugs. “I would have, if I'd stayed, I'm sure. No real desire to but it's a decent living. Would have been fine with it. Dragons had another plan for me though.”

"Jewellery, actually, though I do seem to find myself tinkering a bit more nowadays." Thys smiles over the rim of her mug, taking a sip before explaining more. "There's something oddly soothing about fixing a weak spot in a pan or soldering a broken chain, and I have no idea because they're such mundane tasks… or perhaps that's their appeal?" She had no idea. "One of our assistant weyrlingmasters comes from an Ierne Woodcrafting background. It's certainly a decent living - though as you said, the dragons had other plans. Do you solely run transport now, or do you dabble in any other areas? Do you have any aspirations?"

M’xo tilts his head, his gaze going to her neck and throat to see if she’s wearing anything. “Hard to buy gifts for a woman who can make her own jewelry,” he chuckles. “Maybe it’s making something worthless, worth something again? Maybe that’s the appeal, instead of throwing it out.” He leans back, laughing. “Just transport. It’s not bad. I get to see Pern, get Ikovsth out, keep him fit and keep him occupied.” Another laugh. “Aspirations? This sounds like a job interview. Not really, why should I? I like my job, I enjoy it. Isn’t that life’s greatest aspiration? To be happy with your work?”

Thys laughs at the job interview mention. "Oh, well - would you like to join our Haast wing?" She winks at the bronzerider, leaning towards him a little as she relaxes. "If that's what you aspire to and you're able to achieve it, then good for you. I'm not entirely sure that being happy with my work is the be-all of my aspirations; I don't even know what my aspirations are. To help keep the Weyr running smoothly, I suppose? It's very difficult to aspire for a promotion when you're in my situation." Pausing for a moment, Thys looks thoughtfully down into her mug of cooling tea, brow furrowed in contemplation. Then she looks up, and smiles. "You know, I don't actually wear any jewellery, despite making it."

M’xo laughs. “Haast? What's in it for me to make such a move? You know Ierne has beaches…”. Thoughtful, he sips his drink and takes another litttle cake. “True. You are kind of locked in, job wise. And assuming you like your Senior, it's hard to say you hope she dies and your queen is the next to rise. Maybe then your aspirations are outside of work? Hobbies, or a family or something?” He studies her for a moment, and grins crookedly. “Wise. Pretty women, jewelry just distracts from their own beauty.”

"What's in it for you?" Thys cants her head at M'xo, giving him a 'really?' look. "You'd be part of Pern's oldest Weyr, for a start. And Ierne doesn't have me." That's thrown out there with a laugh and a wink. "A beach is always a between away, M'xo. And Faranth no, I would never hope for anything to happen to our Weyrwoman, or to our Weyrleader for that matter. Or to anyone. But if the day comes? Rhenesath does seem to rise more frequently than the others, so…" Her shoulders are shrugged, and she looks thoughtfully down into her tea. "I honestly don't believe I have any aspirations. I'm quite content with how things are at present; there is balance, in work and in my personal life, and that's an achievement in itself. My hobby is my craft, and I did aspire to become a Journeyman, which I achieved almost a turn ago - becoming a Master is unrealistic, so I don't even contemplate it. Family-wise, I intend for nothing, career-wise I'm where I am…" She looks up, and shrugs once more. "So I suppose, really, I don't aspire to anything. That sounds quite sad actually, doesn't it?"

M’xo laughs, lifting a brow and giving the gold rider a lingering look. “I didn't know you were on the table…” and his eyes briefly sweep the table, as if imagining her there. Then he grins, crooked and amused. His expression sobers a moment later though, and he sips his drink with a contemplative look around the cavern. “I don't think it sounds sad at all. Ik would think so, he's always pushing for something more, but I would call that being happy with where you are in life. Content. Isn't that the most anyone can hope for? When you don't want anything, you /have/ everything.”

Thys' brows raise as she contemplates what M'xo says. "That… makes perfect sense. I didn't think of it like that. I suppose I am content." She grins - a soft, warm emotion, that suggests it's inspired by something not said. "Unfortunately, I think part of the reason why I may be content is also the reason why I'm not on the table at present." The goldrider looks up at him through her lashes, before sipping what's left of her tea. "I'm in a relationship. Which sounds strange, because I've not said that before now… but I am absolutely in a relationship." The thought is amusing to her, and she can't help but laugh.

M’xo looks surprised, though it's brief. “Ah.” Well. “Congratulations.” He'd thought, given the flirting, given the fancy dress the last time…well damn. He misjudged that one. “Any other sexy riders around that I should meet? Ones that /are/ on the table and might persuade me to transfer?” He is a bronze rider after all, and unfortunately a bit stereotypical in this area.

The reaction surprises Thys, and she chews on her bottom lip for a second while looking at M'xo. "Oh dear… did I perhaps give you another impression?" She winces apologetically, and reaches over to pour the bronzerider some more cider. "I'm new to this whole thing. Well. New in that it's been about a decade since I did it last… I do apologise. You should meet Inri, another of our juniors here. She's beautiful. Sexy, too." With the cider mug filled, she goes to refill her own mug with tea. "Though I have to say, we have plenty of stunning women here. Very handsome men, too, come to think of it, if you happen to swing that way. More than enough of each to keep anyone satisfied though, I'm sure." She raises her mug, and is about to take a sip when she pauses. "Surely though, you must have more criteria to be met in order to uproot yourself?"

M’xo doesn’t sugar coat his reply. “Yes.” She did. “Thought it was pretty clear you were looking for someone, with how you changed into that dress, then all the flirting. But.” He shrugs. “If you’re taken, you’re taken.” He smiles a bit. “And she’s on the table, I assume?” Then there’s a slight headshake. “Not interested in men.” He leans back in his chair, his eyes now leaving Thys to travel around the room in search of others. Then he chuckles. “Nothing wrong with talking about it. I wasn’t getting ready to sign transfer papers or anything.”

"And now I feel just awful," Thys says, brow creased with a frown as she looks down into her mug of tea. "I was trying to be… I don't know. Welcoming, perhaps? I'm very sorry, M'xo. I suppose sometimes the illusion of availability helps to grease the wheels, and I've been so accustomed to portraying it that I didn't recognise the need to stop." She runs her hand across her tied-back hair, closing her eyes thoughtfully. "I can't say if Inri's on the table as that's a decision for her and her alone to make, however, I do believe she's still single. Perhaps I could introduce you, without making any promises?"

M’xo waves a hand. “Don’t be. Don’t feel awful, it’s not that big of a deal. Just…have to be careful.” He chuckles, finishing his ale. “Sure, I wouldn’t mind an introduction. Nice to meet new people.”

"Of course, I'll set something up between you." Thys seems keen to do so - perhaps to compensate for the misinformation she provided about herself. "I believe she's out of the Weyr at the moment, so I'll arrange it on another day. Perhaps a tea party in my weyr? I'll invite a few people for you to meet… perhaps you'll find someone to your liking." She smiles, reaching for a slice of creamcake and a fork to dig into it.

M’xo laughs outright. “A tea party? To set me up? Hardly seems like the appropriate venue…most of the women I meet is at work, or in bars. Not…tea parties.” But he won’t complain, if that’s what she wants to do for him.

Thys raises her brows, and purses her lips. "Well. I suppose bars are the better place to meet people… they've certainly worked well enough for me in the past. But, from experience, a relationship made in a bar is one that's… fleeting. Fun, but fleeting. I suppose it depends on whether you're looking for a night of fun or something a bit more, really?" She takes a small mouthful of creamcake, looking curiously at the younger rider. "I think you're probably still in the one-night stand zone, aren't you?"

M’xo laughs again. “Of course I am. Bronzerider. It’s practically demanded of me. “Fleeting and fun relationships are the best. No time to get bored with each other, have some fun, part on good terms. What’s the harm in that?”

"No harm in that whatsoever," Thys concurs, raising her mug towards his to chink it in cheers. "I did that myself for the better part of the last decade. It works, until one day you come across someone who you want more from… and that happens when it's right for it to happen." She shrugs her shoulders, grinning. "Still, there's nothing wrong at all in having fun while you can. Though I have to say, you don't have to be a stereotype. I know plenty of blueriders who do exactly the same."

M’xo winks. “Oh, I want to,” he drawls. “The stereotype just helps that along. Lots of beautiful women on Pern, and I enjoy meeting them and getting to know them.” He clinks his mug to hers and leans back in his chair, before pushing to his feet. “I should get going. I have a few other stops to make today.”

Thys stands when her guest does, reaching over to squeeze his shoulder. "I'm sorry again, M'xo - it wasn't my intention to lead you on. And I'm so much older than you anyway that I had no clue you might have even thought that!" She pats his shoulder before dropping her hands to her sides, tucking thumbs into the waistband of her exercise trousers. "Thank you for your company, it's been a pleasure, as always. You'll call on me when you come next, won't you?"

M’xo laughs. “You can’t be /that/ much older than me. Besides, it wouldn’t matter.” He dips his head. “I certainly will, Thys. Take care.” With a half-assed salute, the bronzerider strolls out and back to his waiting (grumpy) lifemate.

"You too, M'xo, take care. Clear skies." Thys stands when he does and returns his salute with one that's considerably crisper. With her hand lowered she nods her head at him in a farewell, and watches him leave before sitting and finishing off her piece of creamcake.


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