'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.

By now the news has spread that the eggs have been laid. Zapallie was not there to witness the event, nor has she been seen sneaking in to catch a glimpse of them. Instead, she's been hiding in the woods. A few have seen her lurking out there, living on berries and what small creatures she can catch and butcher with her knives. To see her here now is a surprise, in the middle of the day, no less. Wearing so few clothing! That's worth a heart-attack. It's easy to see why she wears such baggy clothes. She's got the sort of body that draws attention, and most of it is probably unwanted when you're living with Renegades. So yes, one very, er, well endowed blond relaxes on a towel on the beach, sunbathing like any normal girl would. It's scary.

Though Khyonai wasn't there to view the eggs, the clutching has already had sweeping ramifications upon his own life. He's taking this moment, after-Search, after-meeting the Headwoman but before-his-new-life-begins to walk down the beach, barefoot and contemplative, clad only in a simple shirt and old, ratty shorts. He looks up — and about has a heart attack. Eyebrows raise, and his thoughts remove themselves from the line of thought they were at before; "/Zee/?" he questions, his voice a little — shocked. "Is — is that /you/, Zee?"

Zapallie lifts her head from the mound of sand she's built as a pillow, looking up at Khyonai. Her eyebrows raise in return and she actually … blushes? Which doesn't improve her mood much. "Oh. It's you." Frown. "Shall I stand so you can trip me again? Maybe throw me in the lake? Or are you only an asshole when you have an audience?"

"I'm just the same by myself as I am when people are watching," which actually sounds kind of perverse when you think about it. Khyonai the exhibitionist? Worst things to be, one could suppose. "I— you—" This is TWICE in ONE DAY - ONE FREAKING DAY - that he's been shocked speechless, and this time he just raises his eyebrows, scrubs his hands over his face and shakes his head. "So," face still muffled in his scrubbing hands, "Sunbathing, huh?"

"That's comforting." Zap does not sound comforted. Still, she lowers her head back down onto her towel and closes her eyes, chin tilted up, suppine. Pretty trustful for somebody who may or may not be expecting an attack, with not a single knife to speak of. "Have you never seen a girl sunbath before, Khyonai?"

"Glad to be of service," Khyonai drawls, having caught back his natural composure. He judiciously eyes Zee, with her exposed skin and… exposed skin, and the tilt of that trustful chin. "Considering the first time I saw you I thought you were a boy…" he mildly coments. "That was here, actually, come to think." Today is the day that Khyonai realizes that Zapallie owns breasts.

"I'd rather look like a boy on the road," comments Zapallie easily. "I know what men do to pretty girls." A deep breath in, chest rising slowly and she murmurs, "If you're going to stare, you might as well make yourself useful." A hand reaches and she sits up, offering him a tube of sunblock, scooting her back to him. No question asked if he wants to, or even if he's willing.

"Very rationale thought process," and Khyonai doesn't sound suspicious at this at ALL. Zapallie? Making sense? Ahem. Then all of a sudden he has sunblock and a mostly bare back in front of him and he's opening and closing his mouth as if to say something but a stray thought has seized his ability to speak. He finally just gives in and kneels down, nothing tentative about the brisk movements of his calloused palms against her skin, sunblock spreading in an even layer.

"You see?" teases Zee over her shoulder, tipping her chin to see him. "I don't bite." And she always makes sense, you just have to be able to follow a wiggly line to see that it really is, in fact, a line. "Of course it's rational. Logic's all you've got sometimes."

"Sometimes?" To Khyonai, that may be all the time. But. Y'know. That's just him. Calloused hands brusquely finish, refusing to linger, even at that sensitive, smooth juncture where neck meets back. "There. All good?" he questions, fingers hovering over her shoulder-blades.

Zapallie shrugs her shoulders and continues to look back at him. Maybe she notices the hovering fingers, a small twitch of a smile to her mouth. "Well, sometimes you have nicer things, like food and a place to sleep." Finally she turns, leaning back on her hands and wiggling her shoulders. "Yes, thank you. If I get a sunburn on my back that says 'traitor' though, I know who to come after."

Okay, so he really is human: Khyonai briefly touches the soft down at the back of Zee's neck, impulsive, before shifting to his feet. Maybe it was just a casual touch in passing! Or maybe those pretty little downy blonde hairs just needed to be touched. Y'never know. "Yeah. Sure. Trust me, it wouldn't say 'traitor', if I was behind it." Faint amusement touches the corners of his lips and crinkles the edges about his eyes.

A shiver trails down Zee's back when he brushes the back of her neck, followed by a studied tenseness. It takes a moment for her to ease it, a concentrated effort. "Oh?" Zap asks lightly. "What would it say then?" she gestures that he should sit down, rather than hovering over her.

If Khyonai notices the tenseness, he doesn't show it. "'I dress like a boy most days of the week'? Oh," he clarifies; "You probably don't have enough back-space for that. Or my fingers aren't small enough, at least." He glances off over the lake, scanning for nearby people regardless of the fact that he is not, in fact, a guard anymore - as evidenced by the white knot on his shoulder, should Zee notice such a thing.

Zapallie considers him for a moment and then smirks, rising slowly to her feet. "Would you rather I dressed like a girl every day?" she purrs, taking a step into him. She's barely shorter than him, so it's not so hard to look him in the eyes. If the blond has noticed the knot, she hasn't made comment on it yet. The right moment hasn't been reached.

Danger, danger, Will Robinson! Khyonai even takes a step back to keep the space between them at least arm's length. "I don't think it matters what I would prefer," he states, face a perfectly blank expression of neutrality. He's staring at her nose, too. Not her eyes. Her nose. That's safe.

Danger? Yes. Khyonai might want to start running. Zapallie doesn't like to be touched, so this is a rare occurance. It can't mean anything good. "Oh, surely you have an opinion, Khy?" she presses quietly, her voice soft and husky. Another deliberate step into his space is taken, pressing him to either retreat or stand up to her.

Khyonai doesn't start running… yet. "Khyonai," he reiterates his entire name, face discomfited at the familiarity of the nickname. The only reason he calls her Zee, after all, is the fact that she's never actually /told/ him her full name. "And no. I don't." He takes another step back, shameless in his retreat. Wariness and subtle resignation show evident on his features.

Zapallie goes in for the kill then when he conceeds more room to her. An extra large step an a quick-as-lightning hand reaching up for the back of his head, bringing her body up against his. She's warm, and soft, and pleasant, which doesn't mesh well with how unpleasant her personality is. She smiles up at him, not forcing him to stay there, but her point is made. "I think you have an opinion."

And the kill it is. If Zapallie stays much longer she'll find out exactly what kind of opinion Khyonai has — that much soft and warm and pleasant wrecks hell on any kind of young man's nerves. He backs out, ducking under her hands after she's done saying what she has to say, hands raised in a classic defensive pose. His voice is hoarse when he does say what he has to say; "I don't know what you're talking about." Flat refusal, and classic avoidance, gaze scanning out into the distance. "I — I'd better be getting back in." Talking about wrecking nerves!

Oh, it was worth it. And he never touched /her/ so she reckons it's okay. She lets him go with a pleasant smile. "Congratulations, Candidate," Zap says, hands folded. Another quiet victory, revenge had.

"Thank you," Khyonai states, turning towards the weyr proper with some alacrity. He steps off without a glance back, clearly unnerved by the cadence of his step, the posture of his shoulders, the set of his neck.

And so began the AGE OF DRESSES