'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.

Despite it being early afternoon, the day seems intent on continuing the dull, heavy aired, theme that it began. The sky is tinged here and there with green, clouds hanging ominously over the mountains that surround the area, but showing little sign of turning on the inhabitants just yet. The weyrlings, as has become customary, have been split into pairs and are working walking, running, and wing flares, little clusters of young dragons seen all up and down the bowl. Down towards the lake are Melze and X'dis, paired together for the first time since Impression. Melze is relaxing, or trying to at least, sitting hunched up on the lake shore, watching as Ronareoth finishes another set of flares and grumbles about having to walk again.

Mneoraeth's practice is slow, steady, and exerting only the precise amount of energy needed to complete his practice drills - and not an ounce more. X'dis is looking slightly awkward as he sits near Melze, watching his lifemate practice, shaking his head a little with a sigh. "I am paying attention, Mneo.." He mutters softly, to some silent comment, atleast making an effort to look at the large brown, rather than the greenrider next to him, running a hand over his shorn head distractedly.

Ronareoth flares her wings again, but it's clear to anyone that she's tiring now and though she may be stubborn enough to keep going despite that, there's enough of a carry over of fatigue that it has Melze yawning. The back of her hand is still pressed to her mouth to stifle the yawn as she turns towards X'dis, "She's getting tired. Is he okay or should we head back do you think?" Even as she speaks there's a protest of « I'm fine. » meant only for Melze, but carrying to Mneoraeth as well, the young green's inside voice not yet perfected. The sky gives an ominous rumble, far enough away to not cause instant panic, but enough to make the greenpairing jump a little.

« You are not fine. You waste too much energy. » Mneoraeth gently counters Rona's declaration, gentle, soothing flames licking at his words as he pauses his exercises to look at his smaller clutchsibling. « You will learn though, as I have. » Confidence is projected with ease, even as he stretches his wings one more, settling them with ease to his back, turning to look expectantly at the riders, leaving X'dis to fill in the silence. "I.. He's good. I think.." And he glances up at the rumbling sound. "I think… we should go."

« Hah! You have to put in effort. Why do anything if you don't do your best? » Ronareoth counters, the gem tones of her mindtouch dulled slightly by the fatigue she denies feeling. Melze nods, "Okay, home it is." It takes her a moment to push herself to her feet, brushing the sand from her hands once she does so, taking time to brush a small sharp stone from her right palm that is trying its best to stay connected. The thunder is louder this time. Closer. Melze takes a couple of steps nearer to X'dis, before repeating. "Home."

« Best is a balance. Best is doing it correctly, without over tiring yourself. » Mneoraeth repeats again, moving to nudge the smaller green along as he does so, encouraging her, his larger form not as tired by the work. As X'dis gets to his feet, he brushes his own uniform off, glancing up once more at the rumbling of thunder, holding out his arm instinctually to Melze as she steps closer. "Home.. Lets go, Blondie.."

« Hey! » Ronareoth's protest as she's nudged is definitely lacking her usual fire, but at least it does get her moving. « Best is best, nothing else. » She continue to grumble as they walk, but another rumble of thunder makes her drop behind slightly, and as a second follows it in quick succession she drops further and further behind. Melze hesitates a moment before taking X'dis' arm pleased that it doesn't elcit any sort of mental protest. As they begin to walk she doesn't notice Ronareoth dropping behind at first but after a few steps it becomes clear something's not entirely right with her. Her own pace is slowing slightly and when she turns to look behind them she frowns. Another few steps and she's tugging on X'dis' arm to make him stop. Ronareoth, though she is still valiantly moving forwards, is shaking slightly.

« Ronareoth.. » Mneoraeth says slowly, pausing his own advance as his training partner falls behind, looking confused as he tilts his head, peering at the green. « Why are you shaking? » He asks almost callously, turning back to nudge at her, curiously checking her over, spreading his wings - the great hero defending the tiny one. As his arm is taken, his hand rests lightly on top of hers, letting her set the pace, until he's pausing at her tug, looking back at their lifemates, blinking a few times, looking as confused as his brown. "Mel.." He starts, before turning to tug her towards the dragons. "Come on…" He murmurs, sparing a look up at the sky as he does so.

« I'm fine. » Comes the reply, but Ronareoth is clearly nothing of the sort as the thunder rumbles again and she practically burrows into the side of her brother. When the hail begins pounding down on them it's pretty much the final straw for both halves of the green pair. Melze breaks contact with X'dis, running back to Ronareoth's side and trying to urge the little green to start moving again. The 'home' end of the bowl seems so far away. "Xandis." His pre-impression name comes spilling out, a plea for help to find somewhere to shelter.

Almost twice the size of his clutchsister, Mneoraeth is standing firm, wings outstretched, sheltering the green as she is hiding against his side, puffing himself up as he looks to X'dis expectantly, providing a protected spot for Melze as well, even as X'dis is blinking, hurriedly looking this way and that, the opening of the Guest Weyr catching his gaze - so much closer than the Weyrling barracks, waving his hand in that direction. "Here, Blondie.." He offers, ducking under Mneo's wing, and moving to tug Melze towards shelter, even as his lifemate attempts the same with Rona, brown urging her the short distance to shelter from the sudden storm. « I will protect you, but you need to walk. » He offers firmly.

Melze is tugged, but tugs back, not willing to run off and leave Ronareoth, despite the sting of the hail against much thinner skin. "Come on." mental urging from Melze and Mneoraeth seems to do the job, helped along nicely by another burst of thunder, and soon Ronareoth is not just walking towards shelter, she's running towards it as if the sky were trying to kill her. As the green runs, so finally does Melze, ducking thankfully into the relatively small sanctuary that is the dragon area of the guest weyr. Ronareoth, however, doesn't stop until she reaches the back wall, lying down beside it.

X'dis is slowed, waiting by Melze until the dragons get moving, Mneo waiting just long enough to make sure the green is moving before his wings are flipped to his back and he's scooting after her, slowing as he reaches cover, and moving aside to let the riders in as well. The brown turns to look back at the storm for a moment, before trailing after Rona, rather awkwardly settling down next to her. « It.. It is okay. » He offers sort of awkwardly, while X'dis isn't much smoother, biting his lip as he lingers at the entrance, holding an arm back out for Melze idly. "What.. what happened?" He asks, as he turns to peer at the cowering green.

Ronareoth stays at the back, head down to the ground and tail wrapped over her nose. Even in the safety of the weyr she's shaking slightly, breathing racing, but with enough sense remaining to threaten quietly, « You tell anyone about this and I'll bite your tail off. » It's an empty threat though, a spike of bravado that's tempered somewhat by a brief movement of her tail that sees the end of it lying over Mneoraeth's foot. Melze is torn, and clearly so, wanting to cling to both X'dis /and/ Rona as she tries to make sense of the whole thing. "She was scared." A pause, decision made, she grabs for X'dis' hand so that she can drag him over and sit at Ronareoth's nose. "I don't like thunder but… she was really scared."

X'dis glances backwards at X'dis, snorting softly as the green's threat is given, sticking his nose down to nudge at her side. « They'll find out soon enough, if you don't learn. » His response is the logical one, of course, even as he's settling his larger frame between her and the threatening thunder outside, shielding her from the untamable beast that is Mother Nature. X'dis squeaks a bit, as he finds himself tugged, moving over to settle down with her, carefully kneeling and offering a reassuring pat to Mneo's nose as the brown settles down. "I.. Is she okay?" He asks, glancing the green over. "Are you okay?"

« Still bite your tail off if you tell. » Ronareoth counters, though she cannot fault his logic this time. Her neck stretches forwards a little, pushing her nose right into Melze's leg, and she sighs softly as Melze moves her hand to rest gently on top. Melze swallows and nods in reply to X'dis, "She's okay. Can you tell him thanks for me?" There's a little shake in Melze's voice that confirms she's not entirely holding things together. "I'm…." A shrug, another shaky breath. "Distract me?"

« I need my tail. » Mneoraeth counters with a snort, even as he settles in, growling slightly as there's another roll of thunder. As Melze moves to gently keep contact with her lifemate, he gently rubs her back, very careful to keep it casual, nodding slowly. "I'd offer to let you cut my hair, but.." His hand runs over his head again. "They already got me." He offers, trying to lighten the mood, a little smile on his face.

« Well then. » And that, as they say, is that. Ronareoth seems content to let the subject drop, though her tail does tighten against his foot as the thunder rumbles on. melze takes in a long deep breath, holds it, then lets it out with a sigh. Between X'dis' rubbing and her own willpower she's beginning to settle slightly, trying to radiate waves of calm so that they canal get through this in one piece, and definitely without tails being bitten - off or otherwise! The mention of hair makes her laugh, just for a second, "Find a pair of scissors or a knife or something and you can do mine. It's too…." She pauses to think of the best word, eventually settling on, "fuzzy."

« Well then. » Mneoraeth agrees with a snort, one wing half extending awkwardly over her as the tail tightens, turning his head to regard her, lids closing slowly over faceted eyes. Huh. Xan's hand pauses between her shoulderblades as she seems to calm down, fingers tapping briefly on her back, before she's suggesting he cut -her- hair, and now he's the one that's a little tense. Hand lifts to touch her hair briefly, and he leans to watch her face. "Promise you, uh.. won't hate me?"

Ronareoth does have a reputation to protect after all, but his reaction seems to be all she needs as far as that issue was concerned. As his wing moves over her she yawns slightly, the fatigue she had earlier been denying now warring with her fear. In the safety of the guest weyr her eyes begin to lid slowly, popping open again after a second, then once more beginning to droop. Scared and tired, there's no guarantee of pleasant dreams if she does actually fall asleep, but at least now she's mostly calm. melze on tehother hand appears to be reconsidering her offer, but then shrugs slightly. "I need to get it done, might as well be now while I'm needing a… distraction." The word that had been meant to be in there was hug, but such things are still mostly against the rules and she quickly changed it to something safer. "See what you can find inside?" She's not planning on moving unless she absolutely has to.

Mneoraeth continues to watch the little green with a curious expression on his face, as her eyelids droop and she starts to get sleepy, making absolutely no attempt to move away from his clutchsibling. "I used to cut my hair.. how different can it be?" Aside from the whole guy vs. girl, hair-pride thing. Giving her shoulder a gentle squeeze, he's almost reluctant to get to his feet, ducking inside - the sound of drawers opening and closing echoing through the empty weyr until there is an eventual 'Ah-ha!' and he's return with a pair of scissors.

Ronareoth yawns once more, eyes half-lidded, and her tail flicks gently against Mneoraeth's leg as she fights sleep. There's a faint mind-to-mind touch, though it's only a muted hint of topaz that fades off without any words or images shared between them. Melze echoes the yawn, stifling it once more with the back of her hand as she, unlike her dragon, fights against tiredness and wins. "Don't suppose there's any food in there? That's still edible?" His 'ah-ha' makes her giggle slightly, "Okay, now you're worrying me slightly."

Gentle fire licks, comfortingly against the topaz hues of Rona's mind, the brown settling down to nap as well - growing and exercise takes a lot out of you. "Still edible? You realize you're asking a lot.." X'dis calls, though after a bit more rummaging, he emerges with a single redfruit - perhaps a bit wrinkled, but still edible. "You gotta hold still while I do this, though.." He tells her, brandishing the scissors.

Ronareoth falls asleep with a sigh, safe under the wing of her brother. Melze, on the other had, is far from safe! As scissors are brandished she recoils with badly acted fake horror. "Oh no, not scissors. Save me!" Thankfully it's followed by a quick burst of laughter as she reaches a hand towards the redfruit so she can inspect it and see if it's worth bothering with or not. "Promise me you won't cut it too short? Just sort of up to here-ish?" Here, as indicated by a hand, would be just above the bottom of her ear.

Mneoraeth is hardly interested in the games of their human counterparts - after all, what good does a lesson in hair cutting do him? And so, while an eye unlids briefly at the laughter, he's quickly settling back down peacefully. Xan grins at her, holding up a pinkie. "Promise, Blondie. You can trust me." He says sincerely, even as he's moving to brush her hair out with his fingers, trying to settle it into some semblance of order, holding his breath as he moves to make the first snip - just at the bottom of her ear.

Melze grins, though despite her happy acceptance of the promise there's a slight jump the first time he comes nearer to her. "Sorry. Sorry. I'm good now." She freezes as best she can, trying to not even breathe too loudly in case it puts him off and she loses an ear. The closer he gets the tighter her eyes squeeze shut. By the time of teh first snip she looks more like she's anticipating a beating than a haircut.

"Are you really that afraid I'm going to miss?" Xan asks, trying to not shake as he pauses, scissors held open with hair between them, glancing at her face. "If you don't want me too.." He starts, before he just shakes his head, the scissors closing. Sniiiiiiiiiip. And blonde lock falls to the ground, Xan biting his lip as he watches it fall.

"No. Of course not" If only Melze sounded as confident as the words she speaks. "Needs to be done." This last is followed by a few deep breaths in quick succession, breath held again as the scissors go snip. That first cut is the hardest, and as soon as it's completed she turns to look down at the lock of hair that came off, one hand lifting to touch the place where it's missing from. "Can't stop now, I'll look lopsided." One lock does not a haircut make.

"Too late now.." He agrees, fingers carefully smoothing out the next section of hair, carefully lining up the scissors, taking another lock, and then another, carefully working his way around, outside of the scissors resting carefully against her neck between snips, steadying them as he checks his progress. "Now you'd be really lopsided…"

Melze chuckles lightly, though it's more a brief snort than anything else, done to show amusement but not put off the next cut. "Fort's always been the place to set fashions, could always tell people it's supposed to be like that and pretent they're crazy for not having it done. Maybe you could do everyone's, then we could all be lopsided weyrlings." A pause, then she grins, and this time the laughter does make her shake slightly. "Imagine Ruzara with lopsided hair!"

"Hey, hold still…" Xan says, other hand moving to her shoulder to try and make her hold still. "You're going to end up all crooked." He sighs, shaking his head, giving up for the moment and setting the scissors down while he moves to check and see how even the rest of it is. "She'd never go for it… Ever.."

Melze mutters another quiet, "Sorry." Trying her best to stifle the giggles that threaten to take over. "I bet she would though, if someone told her it was all the fashion and all the Ladies were having their hair done that way now." A pause, then she asks, "Does it look okay? Honestly?"

Fingers comb through the short section again, trying to get it to settle before he nods, lips pursed. "I think I like it long, but… I definitely don't get any say.." He says a little sheepishly, reaching for the scissors once more. "Hold still, Mel." He says, as he goes to clip some more off.

Melze flails a hand behind her, trying to pat him gently on the leg, "Not like I really get a say in it at the mometn either. But once we graduate? No more cutting. Seriously. " She grabs up a couple of bits of shorn hair, stopping moving again once she has them so that X'dis can continue the Cut of Doom! "Stupid thing to get attached to, isn't it. Not like I can't grow it back again."

A soft sigh at the quick pat, and he shakes his head. "Good.." He murmurs, twirling a lock of hair around his finger gently, before there's a rumble from Mneoraeth, and he's looking almost guilty, before he's waiting til she's still, and quickly finishing the job, each section pulled smooth before its clipped, and before too long, the last piece is falling to the ground. "There.." He says slowly. "May need to get it wet, though, to straighten out little pieces.."

Melze lets out a breath as the last snip happens, having gone back to holding her breath again lest she move or breathe and things go wrong. A quick shake of her head proves lighter, at least, but her hand almost immediately goes to her head to tug at what's left. Another breath, but this one quickly turns into a laugh. "Straighten? You're kidding, right?" Safe from scissors she turns to grin up at him. "I don't think straight and my hair will ever go together." Twisting she gathers up as much hair as she can from the ground, holding it in her hands like she can hardly believe it's gone. "Shame we can't drop this between. Can't leave it lying around though. See if you can find a bag or something?"

"Well.. sorta. Don't want you to find out that I'm horribly awful at cutting or anything." Of course, one side is probably slightly longer than the other, all said and done, but its not too bad of a hair cut for an impromptu attempt by a boy. As she gathers up her hair, he watches her for a long moment, before nodding and going to do that, shaking himself out of his distraction.

Melze smiles, doing her best to not play with the cut hair now that she has it. "You didn't cut my ear off, that counts as successful as far as I'm concerned." As he hhunts inside she moves over towrds the exit, looking out over the bowl with the hair still in her hands. "Looks like the hail's stopped for now. Think we should wake this pair up and try to get them back to the barracks?"

An old piece of cloth is found in one of the drawers - oil stained and clearly having seen better days - and that is offered to Mel to tie up the scraps of hair. Glancing at the bowl, he nods. "If you think you can get her moving… I think it'd be better to try.." He murmurs, reaching up to ruffle the back of her head.

Melze laughs as he ruffles her hair, reaching round to grab his hand. "Don't ruin all your hard work." She teases him gently, stepping across to give the briefest of brief hugs of thanks. grabbing hold of the cloth she ties up the hair quickly, but then thrusts the whole package back at X'dis. "Hold onto this while I see if I can wake her?" not that he actually has much choice in the matter because it's a case of thrust and move, cloth falling to the ground if not caught. When she reaches the back of the weyr she drops to her knees, one hand on either side of Ronareoth's snout as she tries to coax her awake gently. It takes a little time, and some promises that it's safe outside, but the little green struggles sleepily back to her feet and looks over towards the bowl exit.

"I dunno if I'd call that hard word.." He protests, giving her the quickest returned hug, before the hair is thrust at him, and he's bobbling it briefly, getting a hold on it, and stealing a lock from the wrapped up package, twisting it around his finger, while Mneoraeth moves out of the way to give Rona space. A gentle nudge, a rumble, and he tries to reassure that she's okay, its okay.

It probably makes for an odd looking procession once Ronareoth is out of the guest weyr and once again moving across the bowl. At first Melze stays next to her, one hand on her neck, but the closer they get to 'home' the more the little green seems to perk up, or perhaps the better the show of being perfectly alright. Melze eventually feels safe enough to take a few steps away and finish the walk back beside X'dis. "You won't tell anyone, right? I mean, you can tell about the haircut and things, they'll laugh, but the rest?"

Mneoraeth trails along after Rona, keeping a watchful eye on her as he keeps that slow, awkward gait they have on the ground. As the green perks up and speeds up, Mneo lets the distance grow, even as he returns to a more normal gait for his larger side. As Melze falls in next to him, Xan hurriedly shakes his head, lifting that pinkie again. "I wouldn't dream of it, Mel…" He murmurs, giving her a crooked smile.

Melze reaches a hand across to lock pinkies with X'dis', relief obvious in her expression. "Thank Xan. Probably going to speak to R'oo about it, but the others don't need to know." Suddenly, "Shells, did you remember the hair?" Only then does it occur to her that she didn't lift it.

"Don't worry about it. But, when I find out the Mneo's afraid of something utterly ridiculous like… fish.. or something, I expect the same." He jokes, even as his words cause a loud reaction from Mneoraeth - he's not afraid of those… whatever they are! A grin, and the ball of fabric and hair are handed over to her. "Of course…" He offers. "If.. you want to walk in by yourself, I understand."

Melze laughs and nods, "Deal. Though let's not actually try to find out what he's scard of, it could get a little weird if we start throwing trundlebugs at him or something." She takes the ball quite happily, but is not in an hurry to walk away. "Partners today, remember. Not going back inside without you, besides if we both have to explain where we've been it's easier if we just tell them together. Come on." Time to goinside and face the music, if there is any, and to dispose of the hairball.

The rumble from Mneoraeth seems to say that he agrees - no testing to figure out his fears please! And then the brown is following the green into the barracks, and Xandis is following Melze - what happens happens.