'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.


Fort Weyr - Lake Shore
This lake shares many features common to mountain lakes — a brilliant blue jewel nestled amongst the rocks. The waters are crystal clear, and the north shore slopes gently before abruptly falling away into the depths. This lake does have one significant differentiating feature, however. The south shore of the lake is a tumbled mass of rubble, rock and earth of an ancient rockslide smoothed only by the elements in the intervening years. This rubble, as well as the rather sheer east and west faces, makes for the north shore to be the only one easily accessible.

The chill of winter has iced over the lake shore. One section of the north shore shallows is kept broken up for weyrfolk and young dragons to use, though the freezing waters are not well tolerated by humans for any length of time. It requires constant maintenance to keep this section unfrozen and sometimes is more like wading through slush than water. The deepest part of the lake remains unfrozen, a vibrant pool of icy blue surrounded by frozen white.

Mid-day comes clear but cold, the previous night's snow glittering in the daylight and random patches of ice on the ground near the lake making walking treacherous if you're not looking where you're going. In other words… if you're Melze. The young weyrlingmaster is more intent on the man she's walking next to than the path in front of her, yet some luck manages to keep her feet from going out from under her before his emphatic shaking of the head is finally taken as a proper answer and he turns to walk away. She stands for a moment, looking after him and then letting out a long sigh, then turns, slips, and ends up sitting on the bowl floor with rather more of a thump than she had anticipated.

On the ice — the proper thick lake ice at the southern end — a small group of hardy souls are happily slip-sliding about despite the aching cold. Some appear engaged in a game of one kind or other, while others are content to loop-de-loop about, calling to each other and laughing. Cheeks flushed from the temperature and exertion both, Xanshalla with her rainbow hat-glove-scarf set is trudging along the shore. The skates held over one shoulder are a clear indication of what she was doing not all that long ago. One hand is used to rub at her backside and thigh — a fall or sore muscles, perhaps. "Oop!" a small squeak and sympathetic wince as she catches sight of Melze's tumble, and she adopts a funny-looking hop/sidle gait as she tries to hurry over towards the fallen woman without slipping her own self. "Are you all right?" she asks as she nears.

Treacherous weather means that Miki is outside playing in the newly fallen snow rather than doing what she should be. Fortunately for the weyrfolk, she isn't throwing snowballs today. Instead, she's mixing with a small group of littles, all of them gathered around a small structure in the snow that looks rather like a sad attempt at a snowman. As the sound of someone hitting the ground, Miki turns, eyebrows knitting in concern as she catches sight of Melze and rainbow hat girl. With a bit of slip-sliding, the green rider makes her way over, skidding to a stop in front of the fallen weyrlingmaster and offering a hand. "Sounded like that hurt. And looks like you're not the only one whose been doing some falling, you alright rainbow girl?"

"I'm fine, I'm fine." Melze is definitely winded slightly, and even as she takes Miki's offered hand to get to her feet there's a definite wince from a protesting backside. Her feet slip a little once she's upright again, and she takes a moment to stabilise before letting go of Miki. "If anyone asks, I completely meant to do that. Just to see if anyone was willing to help me up. Honestly." It would cme across as far more honest is she wasn't trying to hold back a laugh despite the pain. She gives a little cough, adopts a dramatic pose that would make even the worst harper cringe, and asks, "So do I get to know the name of my rescuers? Well except for Miki, since I know hers."

Xanshalla looks confused for all of half a second, before the glow-basket is refilled and she gives Miki a bright grin. "Oh yeah, m'fine. But skating backwards uses muscles you forget you ever had! I'll be feeling this for a sevenday, at least," is her jokingly ominous judgment. "And so might you be," she adds as she watches Melze rise, concern puckering her brows beneath the brim of her hat. "Good thing we girls got natural padding, eh? I've never heard of anyone ever /actually/ breaking their butt, but you might've come close!" The giggle might be for her own joke, the dramatic pose or both. "Xanshalla," she offers, and actually waves to them both as she looks from one to the other.

Once Melze is up and steady, Miki pulls her hand back, stuffing it into her pocket and giggling. "By anyone do you mean cute boys? It'd be a good way to meet some once you got over the whole bruising thing." The rider nods in understanding once at Xanshalla's explanation and gives the side of her hips a little pat. "Skating backwards is a good work out for all that padding though, yeah? I wonder if a guy's ever broken his butt. That'd be seriously uncomfortable." Miki winces at simply thinking about it, but soon she's shaking thoughts of that out of her head and giving the hat-wearing girl a wave. "Miki, green Sohnyuoth's, nice to meet you….oh hey, you were in that snowball fight!" The EPIC one.

Melze tries her innocent look, but it's hard to keep a straight face sometimes, "Would I ever do a thing like that Miks?" Yes being the obvious, and clearly correct, answer. "I don't think I've broken anything though, no need to call for a healer. Sadly." There's a pause long enough to blink before she's looking at Xanshalla, impressed. "You can skate backwards? I can barely go forwards!"

"Maybe the one who ran away was supposed to come back?" Shalla takes a wild guess, though she was a bit too far away at the time to really tell if he was cute or not. "Sadly? Are the healers here that cute?" Definite interest sparking in her brown eyes for that idea. Her head tilts towards her shoulder as she looks at Miki, nose scrunching a little as she laughs. "I've been in a lot of snowball fights since I've been here. They're fun!" Still tilted, she nods crookedly at Melze, teeth and cheek-dimple showing as she beams. "Uh huh! Been skating since I was wee. There's a pond near our winter camp, that's where I learned. It's really easy, once you find your balance. I could teach you!" she finishes brightly.

Miki snickers, "Course not, you're the picture of innocence. But you might be lucky, I think only the crusty old healers are working today. We should stage something for when the cute ones are around." The green rider tilts her head at the mention of a man, confused from not having seen him. "What? You try and ask some guy out, but he ran away?" Seems today is one of those days where Miki's got boys on the mind, though there is always a small space in her brain for snowball fights. "I totally approve. Nothing's funner than a snowball fight!"

Melze shakes her head quickly, "Not a chance." She grins between the two other women, and then confesses, "I did worse than that Miki, I offered him… a job!" She manages to say it as if it were the biggest doom in the world, but laughs and then follows up with, "At this rate it's going to be me and one assistant for eight eggs. Am I that scary? Think before you answer, I do technically out rank both of you." This last is said with a laugh, the threat utterly meaningless and quickly forgotten as she suddenly adds, "The snowball fight! I think I still owe you one at least for directing those littles at me." Which one is owed? Both of them!

Xanshalla pipes in with, "Pull something. Easiest injury to fake without actually hurting yourself, and not as troublesome as playing sick." Sounds like she has some experience with that trick. "'Course, I never thought about doing that to meet boys…." Bouncing in place a little to keep her blood moving, she lets the hand hold her skates fall, dropping them into the snow at her feet. "Are you that scary? I've only just met you, and you don't seem scary. But you might be!" A bit of a pause, before she finally figures out which snowball fight is being referenced. THE snowball fight! "Oooh, hey now, I already got dumped headfirst into a snowdrift for being involved in that battle," she protests, hands held up, palms out as she shakes her head frantically at the thought of payback. "/And/ I got held hostage!"

Miki lets out an exaggerated gasp and brings a hand to cover her mouth, eyes widening in mock horror. "Melz…how /could/ you?" It doesnt take long for that show of mock horror to dissolve into laughter and soon the green rider is shaking her head. "Sounds like it'll be hard. There isn't anyone else you can ambush about it?" Bright blue eyes slide towards Xanshalla and Miki sends the girl a wink while jerking her head in the Weyrlingmaster's direction. "About as scary as a feline. All cute and fluffy until the claws come ouuuuu—nope. No, she's not scary. Very sweet. And sweet people don't need revenge for innocent little snowball fights, right?"

Melze tries a quiet "Raar?" just to prove how not scary she is, but at Miki's scolding she drops her head a little - even though the grin is still clear on her face. "I know, I know. I'm so ashamed." So ashamed, in fact, that she then can't speak for a moment because she's in danger of doubling over laughing. "Sure. I'll just give the assistant knot to the next rider I see." Her hand fumbles in her pocket, then launches a fancy knot towards Miki, "Catch." Xanshalla might have been used as a hostage before, this time it appears she''s going to be used as a shield. Or at least Melze takes a step closer to her.

Sohnyuoth senses that Ronareoth sends a loud whoop of laughter, tinged in the sparkling amethyst of amusement. « Whoooohahahahahaha. Melze just threw a knot at yours. You should see this. Come to the lake? I can't see properly from my ledge. »

Ronareoth senses that Sohnyuoth sends a cool breeze, carrying a slight hint of the sea and tinkling giggles. « A knot, is it? I shall be there in a few moments. Don't let mine do anything before I arrive. I must see the show!»

"Felines are only cute when they're kittens. Then they grow up into great shaggy monsters that bite you if you look at them funny," Xanshalla declares, pointedly sidling away from Melze with an expression of mock-fear pulling at her features. But the laughter is infectious, far too much so for her to keep up her pretense, and soon enough she's giggling like a mad thing. Until… blink. "Oooh! You walked right into that one," she says gleefully towards Miki. Gleeful at least until she's being hidden behind, at which point she starts to hop around. Melze'll have to work to stay shielded. "Oh no, uh uh, I'm not getting a face full of snow if she decides to turn you down too!"

"Hey! What the..?" Miki fumbles a little as she tries to catch the knot, almost letting it drop to the ground before scopping it up with her other hand. Once she's gotten a good look at the knot however, the green rider looks up, slowly beginning to step her way towards the Weyrlingmaster. "Melz….oh snow! What a good idea Xanshalla!" Bending down, Miki takes up a handful of snow, but just as she's about to make a lunge towards the Weyrlingmaster, a warble of amusement splits the air. Distracted from her attack, Miki looks up, eyes focusing in on a familiar green form circling high above them.

A second shadow appears overhead, dropping from a ledge over towards the feeding grounds and then slowly moving over towards the group by the lake. This green blob doesn't circle though, instead Ronareoth swoops down to land in a WHOOF of snow and then nmove over towards Miki. If one didn't know which dragon was which it would be an easy mistake to mkae to assume this one to be Miki's, especially with the way she just stares at her. Melze, on the other hand, is still laughing and trying to duck behind Xanshalla. "Not you don't! Not till you tell me you'll keep it, then I promise you can hit me with a dozen snowballs if you want. Please Miki." To Xanshalla she adds, "You're my witness. If she doesn't throw it at me in the next minute then she's agreeing, right?"

Good idea? Oops. "Ohhh, biscuits," Xanshalla groans, eyes growing wide as she eyes Miki's advance. She recalls the greenrider's aim. "If you hit me instead of her, I am so gonna get Riordan to toss /you/ into a— huh?" Her threat trails off as Miki's distraction becomes clear, and she dares to take her eyes off the other woman to look up at what caused it. "Oof, who ordered a blizzard?" she quips for Ronareoth's landing, lifting an arm to shield against the wing-caused updraft. Peeking back over her shoulder at Melze, she laughs. "Shall I start counting?" Without waiting for an answer, she goes ahead and starts ticking off the seconds anyway. "One… two… three… you /will/ say yes, right? If you make her slip again she might really break her butt! Oh, what should be up now? Um. …ten," picking a number at random, pretty much.

Obvious confusion crosses Miki's features as Ronareoth lands and begins staring at her. "Hey! Don't look at me. I'm on one minute tim….er." It's now that Sohnyuoth decides to swoop down, backwinging to daintly land in the snow next to the other green and crooning in greeting. But the dragon with the overly large wings has another order of business. Snaking her head towards the group, she bodily pushes Miki back with her head, effectively creating a barrier between her and the other women. "Ok, that's totally not fair! You're not even going to let me throw the snowballs at 'em if I say yes!" And by the snuffle coming from Sohnyuoth, it's true. By now though, Miki really can't hide the smile forming on her lips. "Can I get vouchers for snowball throwing then? For when Sohnyu's /not/ around?"

Sohnyuoth senses that Ronareoth explodes into more amusement. « Look at her face, she looks like she's got thicktail! Ooooohahahahahahaha. » Inapproriately timed laughter echoes from green mind to green mind.

Melze ducks away from Ronareoth's snowshower, and then finally gives in to hilarity as Sohnyuoth intercedes. Ronareoth, not to be left out, mover around to the other side just in case Miki decides to go through with the throwing. "Please say yes Miki." In amongst the hilarity is a more serious note. "I need someone I can trust, and you'll be good. Just look at Sohnyu just now, she's being all serious and stuff!" Unlike the one they named weyrlingmaster, but such details are glossed over for the moment. "How far have you counted? Are we at a minute yet?" This last is directed at Xanshalla.

Xanshalla protests, laughing, "I'm just a witness, I didn't have anything to do with you getting a job offer, why am I getting snow balls thrown at me?" The draconic intervention is given a grin, though there's a lot more amusement to her expression than relief. She has after all admitted her enjoyment of freezing white slushy projectiles. "Er." Oh right, counting. "Thirty-six!" She might've been at twenty-five before that, but oh well!

Ronareoth senses that Sohnyuoth sends a trill of laughter sounding much like windchimes. «This is what she gets for always running about outside. But perhaps she does have thicktail! I shall ask!»

"Well Sohnyu's strange. Then again, but it might be kind of fu—I DO NOT HAVE THICKTAIL!" Mikis eyes widen with her outburst and instead of throwing it at Melz, the snow goes flying at her lifemate. Whuffling in amusement, the green simply shakes herself off and flicks her tail to give Miki a small shove. "Just because I didn't say yes right off the back doesn't mean I have thicktail. I'm not even a /dragon/." Of course, it's at this moment that it dawns on Miki that she's lost. She never did get to throw the snow at Melz, just at an intrusive greenie. "Alright, alright. Yes. Yes I'll do it…..for the snowballs." Or so she says, though by the wide grin on her face, Miki's more than happy to accept. "How many seconds did I have left out of the sixty, Xanshalla?"

Melze's "YES!" definitely sounds her relief at having finally found an assistant that she likes, but more than anything it signals her finally stopping trying to hide behind Xanshalla. "I promise, Miki, you can throw as many snowballs at me as you want, just help me through this. You paid attention to R'oo, you'll be great." One hand reaches for Xanshalla's shoulder, "You can be witness to that bit too."

"What's thicktail?" Xanshalla asks, the question directed towards Melze as the Weyrlingmaster is not involved in flinging snow at dragons. Chirpily, she babbles onward, clearly possessed of an insane idea and needing to share it, "Wouldn't it be fun if we did have tails, though? And could use them to pick up and carry things? Ooh! I bet we could make tails. Not to pick up things, but if you ran some string through your sleeves, you might be able to make them twitch and wag like they were real and wouldn't /that/ weird people out?" She looks from one greenrider to the other to see what they think of such strangeness, and then actually bounces up and down and claps her hands together. "Oh, yay! But um, which one of you should I be congratulating?" She grins, stilling as Melze's hand touches her shoulder. "And truthfully, I don't know. I lost count at three."

Miki grins, "Deal! And of course I did. We both did. Cause he's cute." Shooting a wink at the Melze, the assistant to the Weyrsecond turned assistant to the weyrlingmaster begins pocketing the knot, only to stop and stare at Xanshalla. "Us? Tails?" Even Sohnyuoth turns her head to whuffle at the girl, apparently liking the suggestion. "No, I don't want a tail. Though maybe for the littles…." Further amused chuffing comes from the green before she's snaking her head back and resting it next to her lifemate. Blue eyes glance towards the dragon and Miki's lips suddenly curl up into a wicked smile. "I think there were 25 seconds left. So now, I'm going to give /you/ those 25 seconds. Sohnyuoth says you need this, and if you don't throw it back in that time, you're keeping it!" The hand with the AWLM knot that had disappeared into Miki's pocket suddenly reappears with another knot, this one plain white and immediately thrown at Xanshalla. "You should stand!"

Melze laughs. "I spent a lot of time in his office, it didn't mean I was listening!" At least she's willing to admit it, though the talk of tails distracts her. "Thicktail is… well…." She pauses, trying to think how to describe it, and then bursts out laughing as there's more knot juggling. "Okay, anyone throws anything at me and I'm leaving. I just got this one." her hand goes to her knot, but the grin on her face only widens. "If you Impress I promise to tell you what thicktail is."

"Us, tails!" Xanshalla confirms with a vigorous nod. "We could use fur, or just leather and paint it with nifty patterns, or sew 'em out of patches of scra— aah!" She actually ducks and tries to scramble out of the way before actually looking at what Miki's thrown at her. Which results in her hitting the same patch of ice that snuck up on Melze and wheeee! down she goes. Whump. though it's obvious from the outset that she's not at all hurt, staring up at Miki and also Melze. She started it, after all! "Wait, what? Stand?" she asks, stunned and a little breathless from the slip, fumbling in the snow to find where the knot had fallen so she can confirm with her own eyes. "Like, for the clutch?" Maybe she thinks Miki meant stand on her head? Who knows with this odd duck. In the midst of her scrabbling about, however, she has managed to 'accidentally' gather up a good handful of snow. And with a wicked grin, it's that, not the knot, that she slings back towards the now-assistant Weyrlingmaster. Though given her prone position and bad aim in general, it's probably more likely to smack Melze or one of the dragons, or nothing at all, than her intended target.

Miki looks over at Melze, drawing another white knot from her pocket and waving in front of her. "You sure you don't wanna go back to the days of no booze and no boys?" By then however, Shalla's going down and Miki's pockets the other knot, attention turning to the girl and doubling over in a fit of giggles as she watches the search. "Mhm, stand for Zuhth's clutch. Apparently she likes your creative si—HEY!" The green rider ducks, though not necessarily needing to, and watches the snow fly past. Sohnyuoth croons in approvement of said action though, flicking her wings open to show her delight. "Alright, count's down to twenty…no, fifteen seconds! Find that knot and throw it back or I'm dragging you off to the barracks!" And just to be extremely unhelpful in Xanshalla's endeavor, Miki bends down and scoops up her own handful of snow before showering it over the girl in all her rainbow-hatted, fallen, glory.

"Don't tempt me! Then you'd be Weyrlingmaster." Melze calls back, but as soon as the snow starts flying she's moving to the relative safety of Ronareoth's side. "You've still got to say yes, Xanshalla. It's not official unless you say yes. And I make it ten seconds." Technically it's not the way things are done, but it's amusing at least. "You are tempted, right? You have to admit that much." More snow flies, though this time it's Ronareoth that's to blame. "If it helps you decide, Rona thinks you'd be okay."

Full stop. "I forgot about that bit," Shalla states on the heels of hearing 'no boys,' sticking her lower lip out in a pout. Meep! An actual, honest to goodness squeak as Miki reminds her of her own countdown, and she starts digging through the snow again. "Ooh, found— ack!" Knot clutched in one hand, she curls up into a ball and pulls her arms over her head as she gets snow dumped on her, laughter muffled but genuine, and full-on belly guffaws at that. "If you turn me into a snow-Shalla I can't stand for anything, I'll be stuck here until the spring thaw!" Hmmm. That sounds rather like a 'yes' don't it? A brown eye and a nose become visible as she peeks out between her elbows, "Is it safe yet?"

Miki makes a face, "No thanks. You keep /that/ knot." There's a giggle at Shalla's words and Miki crouches down, resting her elbows on her knees and looking at the girl straight on. "True! And /then/ where would I be? But you do have to officially say yes otherwise I can't whisk you off to the barracks. And sure you can't get with boys, but you can totally ogle them while they're changing in the barracks!" Now that snow is flying from the other green, Sohnyu is the one backing off, though Miki remains quite unsheltered and very happy with the shower of white fluff. "Safe from me? Yes. And there it goes. 5….4…..3…..2…1! Do we have an agreement or a refusal? Speak or forever hold your peace!"

Melze is stuck between laughing, telling off everyone that has snow near them, and just enjoying the whole event. "You sure Miks, we could swaaaaap." She nods along with Miki's idea, "You'd be amazed how many boys fill the barracks. Just because you can't actually do anything, doesn't mean you can't enjoy them." And from her expression she's definitely talking from experience. Mischiefl sparkles in her eyes as she watches Xanshalla begin to peek out. "Depends what you mean by safe." Another giggle, then she clarifies, "But nobody ever died from staring. Yet."

Laughter fading slowly into giggling, Xanshalla sits up, absently and uselessly brushing snow off her jacket as she sends an 'I'll get you' look towards Ronareoth. "With your very own, very cute ice sculpture?" she suggests to Miki with a grin. If her eyes could sparkle any more, they'd qualify as a light source. "Shared barracks?" Perk! "Okay, I'm in!" Naughty naughty naughty. Gulping air, she opens her hand and looks down at the knot before looking back up towards Miki, then Melze, and back again. "Really," trying very hard to be serious. "I want to do this." Beat. "And not just to ogle boys."

"Not for all the free snowball throws in the world! Being an assistant's my specialty, and that's what I'll stick to!" Miki also stands now, not even bothering to get the snow off fo her clothes. "Well, I guess I /could/ use a very cute ice sculpture. Could let the littles play dressup…." The woman trails off though, going into a fresh round of giggles at the sudden perkiness. "That's the spirit! And of course. Getting to see shirtless boys is just a teeny tiny little itty bitty inconsequential perk." Seems like Miki did her fair bit of boy watching too. "But seriously. I'm glad that you're willing to stand. And so is Sohnyuoth. Whenever you're ready we can get your stuff and you can go get your cot picked out!"

Melze sticks her tongue out at Miki - ever the mature, polite, weyrlingmaster type. She does, finally, ahve the sense to move over and offer a hand to Xanshalla to help her up. "At least now whe know what to do with you if you misbehave." She grins, "Ice sculpture for the living cavern." She's joking. Mostly. Expression remaining utterly serious until a flicker of a grin threatens to break free. "And I really do promise I'll tell you about thicktail later. You might regret ever asking though."

Xanshalla crawls a pace to make sure she's off the ice patch, before she accepts that hand up with a murmur of thanks. "I think I'm more in need of a fire to get thawed than a cot," she notes with a wryly amused glance down at her snow-caked self. "But I was heading in before this one," gesture at Melze, "tried to break her butt, so." She quests around a moment to find where she dropped her skates, slinging them back over her shoulder. "I'm ready now, I guess. Or later, if you two have more to discuss between you? It's not like I'd be going any further than the nearest hearth," she tells Miki. A blink and a headtilt, "Oh, this sounds bad. Can we forget I asked, maybe?"

Like Weyrlingmaster like assistant? Miki sticks her tongue right back out at Melze before giggling a bit at the threat. "I think we all need to get dry. And I seriously don't need either Sohnyu or my brother nagging me if I get sick." Even the thought earns a grimace from the green rider, but soon she's turning questioning eyes on her Melze. "Which way the three of us are headed is your call now."

"I didn't try to break anything!" Melze mock-protests, laughter clear in her voice. "Honestly can't a girl just go for a slide without people assuming." She does pause to think about Xanshalla's request though, giving it a whole two second's consideration before saying "Nope." and then moving on with a suggestion, not an order. "My choice? Oh shells. Um… Fresh clothes all round, big mug of somethign warm, then find the headwoman?"

"You went for a thump, not a slide," Xanshalla points out with cheerful cheek. "Next time run into it a bit and land on your side, you'll get more distance." She gives the Weyrlingmaster a wink, rubs briefly at her now very red nose, then looks to Miki. "Clothes, klah, headwoman sounds like a plan to me. And um… maybe one of you can come with when I tell my cousins so that they don't roar at me?" For the first time, there's a flash of nervousness from the playful girl, obviously not at all certain that her family is going to take her decision with good grace.

"Good plan. Fire too. Maybe we can sit by the hearth for a bit and I'll fill you in on whatever rules you don't know. Though I think you've already got the basic gist." Miki shoots an encouraging grin in the new candidate's direction. "I was in the Phoenix Wing before Melz gave me this oh so beautiful new knot. I think I've gained enough diplomatic experience to help soothe things over while you tell your family. So don't worry about it too much, yeah? It'll be fi….ah-ah-ah-CHOO!" The sneeze has Sohnyuoth suddenly swiveling her head to whuffle in disapproval and bodily push Miki towards the Weyr. "Shards! I think I caught a cold."

Melze laughs, though she tries her stern face again and fails, "Think it's too soon for latrine duty Miks?" There's absolutely no seriousness in the threat, and almost as soon as it's made she's turning to move off towards the caverns. She grins as Miki takes over the diplomatic side of things, turning back to smile at her new assistant and then wincing at the sneeze. "Run! Save yourself!" And in a flurry of giggles she ambles quicker towrds the main weyr.

Xanshalla's expression is relieved for Miki's reassurance, though it quickly turns into startled concern for the sneeze. "Uh oh. We'll get you some broth and veggies. That always helps at the start of a cold, Mama says." And Mama's word is apparently Truth, from the serious way which the girl says it. She can't help but giggle at Melze's contribution though, skipping a little ahead before she pauses to wait on Miki, clearly intending to stick close to her (now) self-appointed protector. Not that her cousins are really all that bad, but they know she has a tendency to make, well, rash and impulsive decisions without ever thinking about the consequences.