Fort Weyr - Shenanigan's Lounge
The natural walls of this cavern haven been completely covered and replaced by straight and sometimes curving walls of brickwork. There's method to the madness of covering stone with stone. It's as simple as the electric buzz in the room. New grade electric lights dot the fancy brick worked walls, with wires cleverly hidden behind, allowing more focus to be centered on the rest of the room rather than the numerous strings of wire needed to operate the lighting. Each bulb roosts in a bronzed metal flowering fixture, giving the room a rich atmosphere. Still, the walls are not the only place which has stone on stone appeal. The floor has been run smooth, the surface now slate rock, creating an imperial cast.
Beyond the actual foundations of the lounge, the luxury continues. High backed wooden chairs with padded white seats have been stationed all around the room. Between the individual chairs are benches fashioned out of the same rich wood with pillows made to flatter the cushions. There are low lying coffee tables or end tables near the individual chairs, while there's larger dinning room sized tables with chairs to match scattered as well, giving much variety to those who find themselves in the room. Decorative hangings and framed artwork has been neatly hung around the room, but to offset the meticulous method of the room, there's some pieces that give a sporty feeling to the room - such as a fishing rod or a snow shoe.

Of course, the final appeal of the room comes in the form of it's purpose; athletic competition. There are several games of darts lining the walls, various decks of dragon poker cards available, a large velvet lined pool table centered to one side of the lounge, a mat area surrounded by ropes, and an area that keeps track of all the runner races around the world via radio signal, giving constant updates on the status of the runners. Lastly, there's a bar here, small and built with brick as well. There's usually a bartender on duty willing to mix drinks during the evening hours.


Hard rain pounds down outside, turning the bowl to a river of mud that is trekked into all the weyr's pathways, much to the dismay of drudges and caverns workers alike. Towels and mats have been set down at all the entrances, but it does little to reduce the amount of mud that is brought inside the weyr, causing the stone floors to become slippery and treacherous. Drudges bolt around with towels and mops, trying to keep the mud and water at bay, but it's a losing battle - and it will be until the rain abates. In the Lounge, things are bustling and business is good, with loud, friendly laughter and a Harper playing music from the corner. It's a celebratory atmosphere, carried over from the Hatching, no doubt, and in the midst of it sits a foreign bluerider, knotless, her wet and drying hair pulled back into a runnertail and tied with a strip of leather. She sits at the bar, her chosen stool slightly to the right of center, and sips a mug of ale while she rests her back against the bar, so she can watch the room.

Escaping the downpour of rain outside, in slips another soul. Though from his state of dress and current dryness, Th'ero was never outdoors and wandering within the Weyr instead. Against his usual habits, the Weyrleader has sought out the Lounge for some respite and would have gone to straight to his usual tucked away spot had his gaze not strayed to the bar. When he spots Kimmila there, Th'ero changes course, slipping into the seat next to her regardless if he's wanted there or not. His riding jacket, once slung over his arm, is now set on the vacant seat next to him. "Wingmate." He murmurs briskly to her, a twisted smile on his lips. When the bartender approaches him, Th'ero gives his order and pays, turning on his seat so that his side is to the bar and he is facing the knotless bluerider.

Kimmila spies Th'ero when he enters, her roaming green gaze often coming to rest at the door to keep note of the comings and goings of the Lounge. "Wingmate," she returns the greeting with a faintly crooked smile. "How fare the Weyrlings?" Her body remains relaxed against the edge of the bar, feet hooked into the lower rungs of her stool as she continues to face the lounge at large. Her head, though, turns so she can look at the Weyrleader. "Feeling better?"

"From what I hear, they're adjusting well. First few days are always the trickiest. Figured I'd give it some time before I go visit in person." Th'ero offers in reply, a slight smile on his lips. His drink arrives then and the Weyrleader turns his head to offer a nod of thanks to the bartender. Whatever he ordered looks…vicious. It's black with an almost reddish tinge and smells as strong as it looks. Not the stuff for the faint of heart! To her next question, Th'ero tilts his head a little and gives Kimmila a quizzical look. "I'm fine. Rested, anyways." He says, before raising his mug and taking a generous sip. It does seem that the Weyrleader is in a good mood, but one only has to look closer to notice he's in fact, still tired looking. Now it's his turn for the questions, "And yourself? Enjoy the late feast and celebration the other night?" Th'ero asks, taking another sip of his drink while his gaze focuses on the bluerider.

Kimmila nods, giving him a crooked grin. "Don't want to intimidate them too fast," she teases, but her voice kept low so the din of the lounge rises around them. His drink earns a lift of both her brows, and she glances down at her ale that suddenly looks rather pathetic in comparison. "That looks downright evil," she chuckles. "What is it?" Her eyes focus in on his face and she snorts softly. "You look tired. What's troubling you, Wingmate?" Then she shrugs. "I left not long after you did. It was too crowded for my tastes, and I was afraid some drunk rider would ask me to dance. Varmiroth and I went for a night flight." Her smile grows into a satisfied look, and she leans comfortably against the bar.

Th'ero gives a slight nod of his head and a soft snort of amusement. "And don't want to ruin their bonding moments with the worries of a Weyrleader looming nearby." He teases back, voice pitched low to match hers and be masked within the din. Her interest in the stout he ordered only earns a wry smile from the Weyrleader. "It is evil. Best nursed slowly, but I'm in no mood to idly linger." And to prove his point, he toasts with his mug and then takes another sip, swallowing before offering the mug to her. "Try it and find out?" Th'ero asks and his odd mood becomes all the more unusual. Is he already drunk or is something causing the Weyrleader to deviate from his usual behaviors? Kimmila's next question has his glance darting away for a moment, towards the living caverns with a frown. When he turns back to the bluerider, his expression is relaxed again. "I am tired. There's just a lot on my mind. And it was awfully crowded, but it was good to see everyone in good spirits. Well - most folk, anyhow." The mention of a night flight and the satisfied look is met with a smirk from Th'ero and he leans against the bar now, one arm resting on its surface to prop himself up and in turn mirroring Kimmila in a sense. "Sounds like fun. I may be almost jealous."

Kimmila grins crookedly as she reaches out to take the mug. "Oh, you're willing to share with me now? What has you wanting to rush off so quickly?" she asks, before she takes a sip of the ale. She has the sense to swallow before she coughs, even laughing a little bit as she carefully puts the mug back on the bar. "Shit, Th'ero, that's so strong it'd throw a barstool at you if it had arms," she chuckles, giving him a curious look. Then she grins wryly. "Velokraeth still has wings, last I checked," she remarks dryly.

It would seem Th'ero is only willing to share because he knew he'd get a reaction like the one Kimmila gives him seconds later. The Weyrleader reclaims his wicked evil drink and takes another sip before a bemused smile curves the corners of his mouth upwards. "I'm in no rush anywhere." He chuckles dryly. "And of course it's strong. Only way I like it." Though truth be told, the bronzerider would probably drink anything given him, save for the sweet sugary stuff. Th'ero then smirks, gaze dropping to the mug now resting back on the bar's surface, fingers idly playing with the handle and nudging it back and forth. "Of course he has wings. The fault is with me and my lack of time." Is it time that holds Th'ero? Or is it his hide-bound sense of duty again?

Kimmila clears her palette with her own ale, chuckling. "Then you're in no mood to linger over your drink? You want to be tipsy quickly, tonight?" she asks with a look that's half amused, half quizzical. Then she snorts. "Damnit, Th'ero, the eggs have hatched, the Weyrlings are healthy and in the expert care of your Staff, so why not /fly/?" she demands of him, a hint of frustration in her tone as she sips her drink. "You need it, don't be so thickheaded," she murmurs under her breath. Still loud enough for him to hear, but no one else. "Why not go right now?" she asks pointedly.

"Maybe." Th'ero muses with another smirk, finishing off the sinister colored brew and setting the mug aside. With his hands now free, he simply laces them together as his gaze settles on Kimmila as she voices her opinion, his own expression falling to neutrality. And it stays that way for a moment, until a frown settles in and the Weyrleader makes a disgruntled noise in the back of his throat. "Shards, it's not like I'm choosing to be thickheaded." He mutters. "And now? Maybe because it's pissing rain?" Th'ero points out, sarcasm not being withheld and mostly because he knows the bluerider can handle it. Or so he assumes! The Weyrleader shakes his head then, "Not tonight. Not unless the rain clears." And then he's making a gesture for another drink. At this rate, he'll be well passed mildly tipsy.

Kimmila laughs, not at all offended by his sarcasm. "The rain brings the /challenge/, Weyrleader," she replies. "Or between takes you away from it. But," she adds, lifting her mug in a toast, "far be it for me to stop you from enjoying your evening and your wicked brew." She smiles warmly at him then, to take any sting from her words, reaching out to clap him on the shoulder. Then she's turning, putting her back to the room so she can rest her elbows on the bar, and also so her body provides even more of a shield for her words. "I haven't found a damn bit of information about that piece of trader phlegm," she says, her voice low. "Hard to search for information on something when you don't know what it is, but believe me I've been trying."

"Challenge?" Th'ero echoes, considering that new spin for a moment before giving another grimace and a frustrated grunt escapes him. "Now you're tempting me." He almost drawls in a teasing manner to Kimmila. The Weyrleader smirks then, when his next round arrives and again, the new mug is lifted to toast her words and he takes a hearty sip of it, never flinching and taking the clap to his shoulder in good stride. The gesture is returned, one shared between good friends so that no curious gazes wander their way. As the bluerider shifts her position, so does he, though Th'ero also draws his flight jacket up onto the bar to keep it close at hand. A heavy frown settles on his features and despite the drink now going to his head, his thoughts are clear enough to grasp what Kimmila is speaking of. "Nothing at all? No shred of any information?" he asks her, mouth drawing down into a thin line. "I'll take a guess and you visited Landing then?"

Kimmila grins, "It's what I do," she laughs with a wink for her friend. Then her attitude shifts to the more somber second topic, shaking her head. "Nothing that I could find anywhere. And yes, I've been to Landing on several occasions. I even visited the Smiths with a sketch of it, and even their oldest Masters were baffled by it. My suggestion," not that he asked for it, "is to stash it somewhere in the Northern Reaches, where it won't be found or used against the weyr. Get rid of the damn thing."

As the topic takes a somber twist, Th'ero grows more thoughtful, the frown never leaving his expression and his gaze now seems to fix on the reddish black of his drink rather then the bluerider. "What's the damn use of those computers then? All I hear is how they're supposed to hold a wealth of information. We can find obscure Earth legends but not this object?" The Weyrleader's obvious bias against technology is showing, but he's keeping his voice low, just enough for Kimmila to overhear and his gaze does dart up now and again to be sure the bar tender, cavern workers or anyone other then the bluerider aren't near. There's a pause after her suggestion while Th'ero takes a long pull of his drink, grimacing this time only because of the words he's about to say, "Don't think that hasn't crossed my mind a hundred times already. But everyone seems smitten by it… despite its obvious lack of purpose." Another pause and another sip, then the bronzerider is almost growling. "Can't believe all that risk and for what? Only good that came of that whole mess was P'on. But even /that/ is a double edged sword."

Kimmila shakes her head, "The computers can't find anything based on a picture I have in my hand. You need a word. If I knew what it was /called/ then maybe I could find something. But it has no marks. No name. Not even a Smith's stamp. All the search terms I've tried have come up with hundreds of bits of information, but none of them pertain to our object." Damn AIVAS-oogle. The bluerider shrugs, green eyes peering up and down the bar idly behind the rim of her drink. "So let me steal it. The idea that someone would take it for their own personal collection - or to sell - isn't that far-fetched. I'll dump the damn thing and no one will be the wiser." Except Th'ero. But he doesn't count as a threat. Then she snorts softly. "Pick your most loyal Fortian bronze or brownrider, and assign him to be P'on's mentor. The boy's just a boy, and from what I've seen he doesn't have many opinions of his own. So give him yours. I'm sure he could grow into a trustworthy, loyal Fortian rider."

Th'ero shoots Kimmila a narrowed look for a moment, smirking. "It wouldn't have a stamp. If it came with the Ancients, it came before Smithcraft even existed." He remarks, clearly frustrated with the whole matter. He takes a slow, steadying breath though and to help further his calming, he takes another sip of his thought-numbing drink. "Have you tried looking under useless lamps?" The Weyrleader quips sarcastically, seeming to bond with the fact that the bluerider is no more thrilled on the artifact then he is. When Kimmila offers to steal it, Th'ero gives her a level look. "Don't tempt me. But no, don't steal it. That will just open more sharding trouble then I want to deal with right now. Give it time and it won't seem so flashy and new. People will forget about it and it will disappear again on it's own." That seems to be his theory anyways. To the rest of Kimmila's advice, Th'ero's mood seems to be lifted from its darker recesses for a moment. "Hmm. Not a half bad idea. He seemed rather fond of Dtirae too. That… could be to our advantage as well. And I suppose I should talk to the boy. He's the only bronzerider of the group, after all." That seems to bring a chuckle from Th'ero and he polishes off the rest of his second drink in a few long sips. There is no gesture for another though and perhaps for the best, if the slight flush to his cheeks is any indication.

Kimmila snorts, "Yes, but my search of 'pre-smithcraft ancient metal piece of shit that worthless traders dumped on us' didn't give me any new information," she mutters, her own frustration showing as she downs the last of her ale and sets the mug down with a solid thump. She doesn't motion for another either, but just meets his level gaze with one of her own. "Yes, sir," she mutters, actually seeming a little disappointed that he won't let her steal it. "I certainly hope you're right." Then she smirks at her friend. "Of course it's a good idea." She came up with it! "Yeah. You've got lots of leverage with him, to make him stop thinking of himself as Trader, and more as Fort Rider." The crowd begins to thin somewhat as time passes on, and the rain begins to let up as the storm passes, continuing its way east.

Th'ero chuckles dryly to Kimmila's own sarcastic reply, somber mood now breaking and good humor bubbling through. That, or the Weyrleader is now quite buzzed on whatever vile, evil drink he's submitted himself to this time. When he meets the bluerider's gaze in turn though, his is surprisingly level as well and his brown eyes appear clear. "I'm sure he's well on the way to thinking that route. All of them are." He says, seeming pretty confident on the issue now. Even as the crowd begins to thin, Th'ero keeps his voice low and is still vigilant for anyone's approach. In the lull of conversation though, his gaze turns to his jacket and something jogs his memory. Straightening a little, the Weyrleader begins to fuss with it, eventually reaching into one of the many inner pockets. It takes him a moment or two, but eventually his hand withdraws and a cloth wrapped bundle is now set on top of his jacket, his hand lingering over top of it.

Kimmila reaches out to grab some nuts out of the basket, rattling them in her palm before a few find their way into her mouth. "Good," she says. "Fort's full of tradition and history and lore. That's got to sink into their thoughts, that they're part of a long line of riders that goes back to the Second Crossing." As the bundle is withdrawn, she gives it a curious look. And, never one to keep quiet, she asks about it. "What'cha got there?"

"That still surprises me to the day when it's put to words like that." Th'ero muses on the matter of Fort's traditions and extensive history, lore and bloodline. His reply is distracted though, as his gaze is fixed on the bundle that his hand still rests upon and unmoving. Kimmila's question has him turning to face her though and a vague smile tilts one corner of his mouth upwards. The Weyrleader must have predicted she'd be curious and not quiet about it, because rather then answer her, he only slides the bundle to her and then gestures with his hand to open it. Th'ero says nothing then, only leaning back a little, weight resting on the one arm he keeps firmly planted on the bar and watching the bluerider carefully.

The bundle is wrapped in cloth and obviously with some care. Once unwrapped, it will reveal a wooden box, wider then it is long and surprisingly lightweight, simple and plain. What it holds is the key. Inside, three blades are nestled safely, each in it's own leather sheath. A fourth has been tucked into the lid, secured so that it doesn't fall when the lid is raised. The three blades are a set: field dressing, skinning/fleshing and caping. Each blade looks to be well crafted and of good metal, each ending in a bone spacer and a hilt made of a durable blue material not unlike polished stone. All are well balanced and will suit their purposes well. The fourth blade is in a simple decorated sheath of blue-dyed leather and the blade tucked within is a hybrid type, both made for hunting, survival and tactical weapon. Its hilt is made of the same metal it's blade is fashioned from, but with blue stone inlay where the grip would be.

Kimmila gives him a rather curious look as she unwraps the cloth and lifts the lid to look down at the knives. She whistles softly under her breath, reaching out without invitation to pick up one of the blades, testing the weight and unsheathing it to study the honed edge. "Very nice," she says, setting the knife back where it belongs. "/Very/ nice. These are top quality, Wingmate. Someone give them to you?" she asks with a grin, pushing the box back towards him. Utterly clueless.

Th'ero threads his hands together while Kimmila examines the knives, barely holding back the grin that threatens to break out. By the time she's made her comments though and is sliding the box back to him, he's completely neutral and straight faced. "They're not mine." He states, completely deadpan and so utterly serious. Oh, he likes this way too much. But then, he's also on his way to being slightly drunk by now and so there is no awkwardness there or shyness because the Weyrleader doesn't have the mental strength to keep his shields up. "They're yours, Kimmila." He finishes then, gesturing with a nod of his head to further indicate he's not kidding her.

Kimmila blinks, blinks again, looks around, looks back at the knives, and blinks once more. "Mine?" she asks, green eyes lifting to his face, half baffled and half…suspicious? "But…" she begins, slowly reaching out to curl her fingers over the edge of the box and draw it slowly back towards her. She glances around again. "Why?" She can't resist lifting the lid once more, trailing a fingertip along the three blades nestled in the box, hesitantly, as if afraid they'll vanish or he'll snatch them back and yell 'Gotcha!'

"Yours." Of course Th'ero does none of those things, but he does chuckle heartily at Kimmila's reaction, unthreading his fingers only to gesture for her to keep it. He ignores the suspicious look she gives him, instead only giving the poor, baffled bluerider a bemused smile. "Shards, Kimmila. It's a gift. Does there have to be a why?" The Weyrleader chides, though his tone is teasing. He then gestures to the bartender for another mug of the black poison he's insisting on consuming. Th'ero's mood just gets all the stranger and when the drink arrives, he uses it as an excuse not to meet the bluerider's gaze and instead focuses on taking a good swig of it.

When Th'ero orders another drink, Kimmila is quick to pull out payment, flicking it across the bar to the bartender. Then her attention moves to the box of blades again, pulling out the one that's fastened to the inside of the lid, tilting it to catch the blade in the light, and lightly running her finger over the edge. "Gifts usually have a reason," she mutters, but it's under her breath and more petulant than actually argumentative. She shifts, brows furrowed as she deals with the unfamiliar emotions of receiving a gift. Especially one as nice as this.

Th'ero would have intercepted the payment if he could have, though by the time he's put his mug down with an audible thud, the bartender is already tucking the marks away. Kimmila won that round, but it's clear the Weyrleader isn't too thrilled but has enough manners left not to call the bluerider out on it. So he leaves her to examining the blades and working away at his third drink. The mug is already half empty by the time he sets the mug aside. "Reason?" Th'ero echoes and this time he's obviously distracted and quite obviously well on the road to being muddled in the head. "Can't good friends give gifts to one another without reasons attached?" he drawls in a low voice, feeling and showing no awkwardness over giving the gift. At this point, it's probably unnecessary that he is so quiet, but the Weyrleader isn't really focused on the time or the surroundings.

Kimmila hefts the blade in her hand, testing its weight and then idly running it along the top of the bar, listening to the soft rasping sound it makes. She is quiet for a moment, pondering his words, before she just smiles. "Thank you," she says, her voice low and sincere. Setting the blade down, she reaches out to rest a hand on his shoulder, giving it a squeeze. Her hand lingers there for a moment, and then she's picking up the blade again, turning it slowly against her palm so she can study it. "Why are you drinking so much, tonight?" she asks, out of idle curiosity while her eyes remain fixed on the knife in her hand.

Th'ero watches with eyes that are not quite as focused as before while Kimmila tests her new knives. The thanks are met with a crooked smile and a dip of his head. "You're welcome." He offers in turn as a hand comes up to clasp her shoulder as well, linking them together for a moment. The Weyrleader doesn't care who sees it either, though really the gesture is harmless, something undoubtedly seen all the time. Her question though is met with a puzzled look and his arm falls back to his side. Th'ero is then staring blankly at his drink, as though the answer that eludes him is within the black depths. "Because I can?" Another long sip and then a very crooked grin are flashed from Weyrleader to bluerider. "Necessary." He adds, pausing when his thoughts tangle and he has to think his sentences through. "Had to, or you'd get no gift. Not tonight anyways." The answer doesn't really make sense, but Th'ero seems to feel he's explained himself. And in a new record, the third mug is polished off. Give a few moments and there will be one drunken Weyrleader. "Is it still raining?" he suddenly asks, blinking.

Kimmila tilts her head at him, her lips pressed together and her brows furrowed, but she decides not to ask him anything further. Instead, she just gives her head a shake. "Nope, it's blown out by now," she answers.

Velokraeth senses that Varmiroth will ask his rider's questions of the bronze, instead. « Does yours have to get drunk before he gives gifts? » he asks with a lazy swirl of blue against a black sky.

Varmiroth senses that Velokraeth replies with obvious amusement, golden wine positively bubbling with barely subdued mirth. « Seems he required some liquid courage. Not his usual style but one can't complain, really. Maybe when he wakes up with a sore head and cursing his actions he'll remember that the easier route is to just grow a spine and not be a coward.»

Th'ero seems to sit up straighter from Kimmila's answer or an attempt to do so. The abrupt movement has the Weyrleader off balance, though he manages to keep himself from listing too far to the side. "Hmm." Is all the Weyrleader mumbles, cheeks obviously flushed with the sign of drunkenness and he hasn't even got to his feet yet. "I'm going to go walk." Th'ero suddenly declares, not slurring his speech too much yet and begins to slide off his stool. For a moment, he seems steady enough but by the time he's fumbled his flight jacket on, it's clear he's unsteady at best on his feet. "Not raining. Good for patrol." Wait, patrol? Isn't that a guard thing? Kimmila is given a vague but twisted smile and then he's stumbling off before she can stop him. His first few steps are shaky, his hand coming out to touch empty chairs or other surfaces to steady himself but the Weyrleader seems dead set on some determined mission. And when he slips out to the caverns and then outdoors without mishap, it seems all would be well. That is, until he moves to the paths that will take him to the rim.

Velokraeth senses that Varmiroth is thoughtful for a moment, chuckling quietly with soft popping sounds. « Huh. Why was he afraid of giving mine a gift? She would never use the blades /against/ him. » The idea that Th'ero might have thought that is clearly distressing to the small blue. « She is embarrassed, » he whispers, as if sharing some great secret with the bronze. « But she loves them. She is already wanting to go hunting and use them. And she already knows where she will keep them in our weyr. » Their pathetic, empty weyr.

Kimmila blinks at the drunken Weyrleader and then she exhales sharply. "Damn Weyrleaders," she mutters under her breath, paying for her drink and snatching up her knives before she stalks after Th'ero. STALK.


Fort Weyr - Arch Stone Bridge
Stretching the span of a deep chasm hundreds of feet below, the bridge connects one cordillera to the next. Engineered by imaginations of historic times, the bridge has stood between these plateaus for ages. Built solidly with a technique lost to those of today, there is evidence that it has become slightly weather worn, but is also indestructible. A dragon span in width, the bridge is constructed out of huge blocks of stone, layered in a fashion that each chuck supports the next and carries the burden load to the base, where it is meted together with the walls of the bowl - there by creating an arch in the design.
Exposed to the elements, the bridge is often dangerous to navigate. Winds or ice could become a potential threat, which is why the sides of the bridge have been built up with stone guard railings, reaching at least five feet in height. Scenic views aren't necessarily easily accessed for those who are smaller in height, for the rest, the view can be disorienting due to the height but spectacular otherwise. One can view the central and northern bowls from here, as well as get a glimpse of the hatching cavern and the training complex.


Varmiroth senses that Velokraeth's mind is just roiling with amusement, golden wines literally alive with bubbles. «He has his reasons, though he knows yours would never harm him.» He soothes, «He will be delighted to know that she loves them so. I know I am. Though his delight may have to wait until tomorrow. He's gone and muddled his head quite well tonight. I'll be surprised if he can tell north from south and east from west in a few moments.»

Th'ero never hears Kimmila's muttered remark and as he escapes the caverns to the bowl outside the Weyrleader suddenly veers back inside and doubles back to the stairs. Somehow, he navigates those without mishap and it's not long before he's out on the stone bridge. Given it's weathered state and that it's exposed to the elements, it's a passage that's tricky to navigate on a good day. Now that it's slick with rain, it could very well be dangerous. Not that Th'ero stands a chance in tumbling over the side with the five-foot guardrails, but the slick stone is just asking for trouble. He stumbles out to the middle of the bridge until he comes to a stop, approaching the edge to peer down at whatever of the weyr he can see from this height.

Velokraeth senses that Varmiroth is slightly confused, in his own addle-brained way. The blue ponders the bronze's words for a moment, and then decides to say no more on the matter.

Kimmila takes the stairs after him two at a time, tucking her knife box inside her coat and fastening it so she has use of both her hands. "Th'ero!" she calls into the still misty night, the shifting clouds above creating odd, moving shadows across the wet stones and the weyr below. "What are you doing?" She walks carefully along the rocks, not glancing left or right. Sure, there's a guardrail, but that doesn't mean much if the worse was to happen. Approaching him, she gives him a crooked grin, though her eyes are worried. "What's up, Wingmate?"

Th'ero turns his head a little to the sound of his name being called, his expression partially hidden by the mist and shadows. Brows knit together for a moment in confusion and then his thoughts jump back on track. "Patrolling." He tells Kimmila as if it's the most obvious of answers. When she approaches, both grinning and worried, Th'ero only leans against the guard rail and mostly for support so he doesn't weave so on his feet. "Nothing is up. Not yet." He adds, face screwing up again as his alcohol muddled thoughts fail again. "Why are you here?" Th'ero suddenly asks the bluerider, though he seems to chuckle at some inner joke. "Warmer inside, isn't it? Or do you patrol too?" Now he's just making no sense.

Kimmila stops when she's next to him, taking a brief glance over the railing. "Why are you patrolling?" she asks with a slight tilt to her head as she looks up at the Weyrleader. "I'm here because…" She pauses, reconsiders, and shrugs. "Sure, I'm patrolling too, why the hell not." Her grin is crooked. "What are we on the lookout for tonight?" Might as well play along, right? See if he does anything amusing.

"Because…" Th'ero begins to drawl, only to drift into silence as his gaze turns downwards to the Weyr below. A slow blink and his frown returns as his thoughts turn sluggishly and give him no answers. Eventually he can only shrug his shoulders and the shake of his head has him reaching out to steady himself again. "Shards. Why are we patrolling? I'm not even a guard anymore. I have guards though." A grin is returned and just as crooked as the bluerider's. "No idea. Let 'em figure it out." Th'ero then pushes away from the guardrail and stumbles forwards a bit before he catches his balance again. Turning to Kimmila, he tilts his head, looking thoughtful and quite…drunk. "You're not a guard, I'm not a guard." Way to point out the obvious. "Let's find something else, hmm? Got to be something up here."

Kimmila steps up beside the Weyrleader when he moves, ready to steady him if he needs it. "I have no idea why you're up here," she laughs, "You just finished your drink and came up here, talking about patrols. Not much up here, really," she says, looking around to the empty bridge. "Just…stone and sky. But sure, let's see if there's something up here." She looks over at him assessingly, and then loops his arm around her shoulders to help keep him steady. "I'm cold," she adds, incase he wanted to protest her help.

Th'ero chuckles and doesn't resist Kimmila as she loops his arm around her shoulders. It doesn't last long though and rather then pull away, the Weyrleader's arm simply slips down to loop around her back and his hand rests against her side as he pulls her in close. "Did I do that? Really?" he half mumbles, trying to recall the last few moments and coming up blank. "Stone and sky." Th'ero echoes next, on the verge of saying more before his sentence just drifts off to nothing again. Blinking, he gives himself another shake and then begins to drag her forwards with him. "Stone is awfully cold." The Weyrleader points out not so helpfully with a grin. Never mind they're completely exposed out here too, but it's doubtful if the bronzerider is feeling the cold at this point or anything else for that matter.

Kimmila nods, "Really," she says, grinning crookedly up at him. "You drank three of those devil drinks of yours, still not sure why you did." Her eyes glance around at the windswept and weathered bridge, and she nods. "Stone and sky." The misty wind pushes some strands of hair against her face, and she pushes them back with her fingertips. She is drug forward, her arm latching around his waist in return. "It can be. Or it can be hot, if you keep it in the fire. Mother used to do that for us during the winter. Warm rocks in the coals and heat up our beds with them, so when we got in the sheets would be nice and toasty." She watches him closely and steers them towards the center of the bridge, just incase they should slip and fall, they'll have bridge to fall against instead of that yawning, empty sky.

"They're delicious." Th'ero mutters in his defense, though it's not entirely the truth. "And fortifying." He adds, lifting his other hand though his gesture tends to be more of a random flail of his hand. Yep, the Weyrleader is definitely not feeling much of anything. But he does his best to point at the bluerider, though his aim is quite off. Kimmila's explanation on the stones goes right over the bronzerider's head for a moment but then it clicks and he gives an appreciative sound and a lopsided smile to follow. "Smart woman, your mother. Need to try that." Th'ero says while stumbling and weaving with Kimmila at his side, though the bluerider keeps him balanced enough that he doesn't wind up kissing the stone with his face. So when she steers him, he almost boneless in the way he follows along without an ounce of resistance to him. Suddenly, Th'ero tilts his head upwards, peering into the night sky. "Let's fly." He announces abruptly.

Kimmila laughs. "Fortifying against what?" she asks, as she leads him to the end of the bridge. Then she laughs again, though this has more of a snort of exasperation to it. "That's…" That's what I've been /trying/ to get you to do, you lughead! "That's the spirit," she settles on, with a wry grin. "To the Star Stones, then? It's an amazing night to fly." Her mood lifts with the very idea, as from below her blue takes to wing, soaring upwards to meet them.

"Everything." Th'ero offers cryptically. Even when drunk, the Weyrleader still lives up to his old tricks. Only now he does it with a ridiculous smirk to his features. Her laughter changes that smirk to a grin though, but the Weyrleader misses the subtle point all together. "Great!" Th'ero's mood seems to lift as well, though it could just be the alcohol talking. Even so, his pace quickens though Kimmila may be pressed to keep the bronzerider from wiping out and taking her with him. "Star Stones it is."

Kimmila snorts, but she's quiet as she keeps her focus on the slick ground beneath them, determined to get Th'ero to his dragon's side without him - or her - falling to their deaths. It's serious business and requires all her focus. "I love my knives," she does say, as they approach the Star Stones. In the darkness of the night, and the empty space around them, she stands to give his cheek a swift kiss. "Thank you." Then they're there, on the Stones, and the Watchrider is turning to give Th'ero a salute. "Sir," the man calls, as Varmiroth lands on the edge of the rim, warbling his excitement.

Th'ero seems oblivious to all the effort that Kimmila is putting into keeping them both from harm, but her words and the kiss do seem to bring a flash of sobriety. "You do?" he asks her, as if still uncertain. In the end though, he does carry himself a little straighter and looks so clearly pleased. When the watchrider salutes, Th'ero manages to pull off the same without causing too much alarm. "At ease. Don't mind us." He calls back to the rider, letting his grip fall from the bluerider. Luckily the Weyrleader doesn't have to move far, as Velokraeth comes in to land not a second later. By the time the pale bronze settles himself, Th'ero is already by his side and the young bronze rumbles low in his throat, oversized head turning to regard his own rider with an amused a look as a dragon can possibly muster.

Kimmila whispers, "I do," before Th'ero is moving one way and she is moving another, smoothly climbing up into Varmiroth's wild looking straps and buckling herself in. "Your lead, sir?" she calls to him with a crooked grin, as her blue crouches and rumbles a wordless challenge to his once wingmate bronze. Flying he can do.

It takes a little longer for Th'ero to climb the straps on Velokraeth, though the Weyrleader manages even if he's far slower then even most newbie weyrlings. At least he didn't fall? "I don't want to lead. Just for once!" He calls back to Kimmila as he buckles himself in and gives his bronze an encouraging thump to his neck. "So it's your call," Th'ero adds, before giving the all-clear signal. Velokraeth rumbles the challenge back, though the bronze knows well that Varmiroth will rule the skies when it comes to flight. Even so, he crouches down, excitement evident in his posture and the tensing of his muscles as the bronze prepares to leap, though his misshapen head turns to Varmiroth, awaiting the blue's first move.

Varmiroth's mind exudes a sudden near /wicked/ emotion, before he's pushing up onto his hind legs and spreading his wings, and simply falling /backwards/ down off the rim of the bowl. Like a scuba diver falling back into the sea, the blue tumbles back and vanishes from sight. At least until Velokraeth follows. When the bronze does, he'll find the blue shooting across the bowl at breakneck speed, angling straight for the opposite bowl wall before, at the last moment, he tilts his body vertically and trades his speed for altitude, soaring up and over the opposite rim and over the trees with a roar of joy.

Velokraeth has only a breadth of a second to react to the near wicked emotion Varmiroth exudes before he's pushing off the ledge after the blue. He doesn't go for such tricks, but he does twist sideways to shave much time off his own take off and catching his rider completely by surprise, even in a drunken stupor. The pale bronze has been known to take a laid back attitude at times while flying, but he's not about to let Varmiroth off easy without some challenge! So when the blue is spotted, he's already a good distance ahead but Velokraeth isn't dismayed in the slightest. With a sweep of his wings, he surges forwards and begins to climb steeply upwards after him, though still a sizeable gap remains between blue and bronze.

It's a challenge. A dance in the night sky. An exploration of /freedom/. Varmiroth soars high over the Fortian forests and then curves sharply to the left, standing on a wingtip as he does, angling back towards his bronze wingmate. On his neck, Kimmila crouches forward, resting on the balls of her feet in the stirrups like a racing runner rider, urging him on and then upwards, the blue pushing towards the moon and star draped clouds while Kimm whoops from his neck.

Velokraeth is no stranger to dances in the sky, though the ones he usually attends are of a different sort. This one of freedom is new and the bronze is finding he /likes/ it, a feeling that is soon absorbed by Th'ero, even through the fog of drunkenness. The cold of the night sky and the wind, coupled with his lifemate's growing excitement and the rush of the challenge and flight have a slight sobering effect on the Weyrleader, enough that he has the sense of when to hold tight and when to shift forwards or back. Velokraeth follows the upwards climb, roaring a challenge at the blue while Th'ero begins to laugh, adopting a similar posture to Kimmila's as he urges his bronze to his fullest potiential. While the pale bronze is less then graceful on the ground, Velokraeth is different in the air, a different form of freedom that only he could grasp. There are no limitations here, aside from his lack of agility, but that is such a small insignificant detail to him.

Varmiroth vanishes into the thick clouds and reappears above them, soaring across the new landscape that is bathed in moon and starlight on the peaks, and plunged into shadow in the valleys and canyons. A whole other world awaits them up here, and Varmiroth soars in a tight circle around a column of clouds, fracturing it in his wake so it drifts away and vanishes into nothing. He spins, diving down into a cloud's valley, treating it as if it were solid stone and not something that wouldn't harm him if he were to get a little *too* close to it. Then he twists into a barrel roll, pushing himself to the limits of physics while Kimmila clings to his neck and squeezes her eyes tightly, fighting the G-forces that threaten the edges of her vision.

Velokraeth vanishes into the same cloud and reappears above, still some distance away from the blue but close enough to follow his movements. There's a rumble of appreciation to the new world awaiting them and even Th'ero has to pause to observe the beauty of it all as the bronze tilts his wings and takes them in a tight, slow arc around, lingering as the pair forget of the challenge and chase set by the blue's pace. The Weyrleader has just enough time to grip the straps with all his strength before Velokraeth spins and dives down after Varmiroth at a break neck speed and angle that both startles and excites Th'ero as adrenaline kicks in to his already muddled head. The wind rips away any sound he would have made as he presses down and forwards in his straps, encouraging his bronze farther and faster. There is no barrel roll from Velokraeth though, unable of such movements. Instead, he dives down past Varmiroth and then banks sharply upwards again at the last possible second and sending swirls of clouds in his wake as the powerful sweep of his wings disturb them. Just as he begins to reach the peak of his upward arc, he twists sharply to the side, diving down in a tight curve that has Th'ero leaning away to keep himself balanced in the straps. The Weyrleader lets out an uncharacteristic whoop of a laugh, though if anyone would be close enough to see would notice the bronzerider looks a little uneasy.

Varmiroth veers to the left and then to the right in a tight s-curve maneuver, dancing with the clouds and then doubling back to circle his bronze brother, cutting in close with some precision flying, his mind locking onto Velokraeth's in the way dragon minds do. It's why no one comes out of between inside another dragon. Nice trick, that, to know where others are in relationship to yourself. He circles the bronze and Kimm lifts a hand to wave to the bronzerider, letting out another whoop before she's leaning forward in the straps and urging Varmiroth down, down, down. The blue flies through the clouds with some intent, seeming to know where he's going rather than flying aimlessly.

Velokraeth takes the reins of his own freedom for a moment, leaving Varmiroth to his s-curves while he tests his own limitations. He weaves, he dives and twists, pushing himself further and further, encouraged to feats not usually attempted, no longer inhibited by Th'ero's reservations. The pale bronze locks his mind with Varmiroth's in turn as the blue cuts in close. The Weyrleader manages to free one of his hands to wave back to Kimmila before Velokraeth turns away, tilting almost entirely to the side, lingering there before he lets gravity take hold and pull him down after the blue in a steep dive and into the clouds, ever trusting the other. The move has Th'ero's stomach dropping from the sheer change in directions, the bronzerider not used to it in the slightest. Despite the queasiness though, the wicked grin on his features show that he's grown to enjoy every second of it.

Varmiroth roars his joy at the flight, his entire /being/ singing with the excitement and the freedom and the happiness. It's not ponies and rainbows and unicorns. It's a deeper joy. A fiercer joy. The joy that only comes when someone is doing what they /truly/ love, at the core of their being. Beneath the clouds the forests and the mountains rise up to meet them, and nestled amongst the peaks there is a shimmer of moonlight on water. It is towards this that Varmiroth angles, the small dragon beginning to tire. Not that he'd readily admit that as he backwings to a landing on the shore. Snow clings to the mountains above, but in this spot it has been a part of the spring thaw, and though it's chilly, there is no ice or snow that holds to the ground or the trees.


Mountain Pass /^\^\ Fort Weyr - Glacier Lake
Wind and water washed stones of harsh gray and black scatter the area surrounding a large bright greenish-blue body of water. As if carved out with a spoon the land abruptly dips down into a deep and pure crystal lake, where the bottom is visible because of how clear the lake actually is. The water is a strikingly contrast with the cold harsh landscape that surrounds it. The shore is rugged with large boulders and chunks of rock prevent easy access to the shore line, making it less than ideal for swimming. Of course, the water is also freezing to the touch as its source is the glacier nestled between the higher peaks of the mountainsides surrounding it. Marks exist higher along the walls of the gully, a washed out white water mark showing the variability of the water level, scarring the stone as a permanent reminder of what once was.
To the west of the lake, hidden in the grove of rock, is a foundation built up with matching stones. Its very indistinguishable against the background, often hidden from view as it so easily blends in. The only feature that gives it noticeable is the thatched roof. Partially collapsed, old wooden rafters still hold up the remainder of the slats thatching the roof. Surprisingly, around the building are rugged plants which grow little red berries, edible too.
Still, to the north, the mountain peak towers into the clouds, often covered with snow and ice. This is where the glacier roosts, some hundreds of feet further up. Scaling it requires a skilful climber with ice and rock climbing gear. Its also treacherous and known for unforeseen fissures and the odd avalanche. Caution is aired when heading up that route.


Velokraeth has begun to tire himself, though his downwards plunge takes some of the edge off his efforts. And while Varmiroth doesn't readily admit to it, the pale bronze does with a low groan when he backwings to land and then settles heavily to his stunted limbs. His head does turn though to survey the area, giving a chuff of approval to the blue's choice of resting points. Th'ero doesn't pause for long in the straps before unbuckling himself and dismounting, though it's anything but graceful or steady. Fate treats him well though and he at least lands on his feet and Velokraeth strategically places his forearm to keep the bronzerider from toppling too far backwards. He's not as drunk as before, but his head is probably spinning for various other reasons.

Kimmila slides down off Varmiroth's sides, laughing with that breathless rush of adrenaline and nerves that such a daring flight would bring. She, too, is a little wobbly, and holds to Varmiroth's straps until she's sure her legs can support her. "That was fantastic," she laughs breathlessly, taking slow and careful steps towards the lake, crouching down between two boulders to splash icy water onto her face with a hiss. "Ever been here before?" she asks, straightening up and wiping her face on her sleeve. She walks back to her blue, pulling the box out of one of the pouches affixed to his straps, and pulling out the main, blue hunting blade. Unbuckling her belt, she pulls it through the loops of her pants, carefully removing everything that's attached to it before it hits the ground. Removing her older knife, she tucks that into Varmiroth's straps before she threads the sheath of her new blade through her belt, and begins threading it through her pant loops once again, letting it settle against her side. She grins, patting it with a hand and then letting her hand rest comfortably against the hilt, clearly satisfied with how it feels at her side.

Th'ero leans heavily against Velokraeth's stunted forearm, cheeks flushed from wind and adrenaline, but there's a pale tinge to his skin as well. "Breathtaking!" The Weyrleader agrees, no doubt meaning both the flight and the area they've settled in and perhaps that he actually is still catching his breath. "Never been up this way before." Th'ero admits, though he sounds like he wishes he had before now. These areas are right up the bronzerider's preference for places to retreat too. All while Kimmila exchanges her knives, Th'ero watches, having not moved an inch from his bronze, save to perhaps turn a little to face the bluerider. Maybe he's unsteadier on his feet then he's letting on? "It suits you," he tells her though, with a light smile.

Kimmila grins, sauntering over towards him and leaning against Velokraeth's arm assuming the bronze doesn't protest, and giving the dragon a little pat. "Thank you," she says genuinely, smoothly pulling it from its sheath and twirling it in her fingers. "It's perfect. Nice and small, but wickedly sharp, and it fits my hand perfectly. I…I really do love the knives, Th'ero. Thank you so much for them." There's some awkwardness in her voice as she tilts the blade, watching it gleam in the moonlight. She slides it back where it belongs and smiles out over the lake. "There's lots of little retreats like this in the mountains around the weyr, if you know where to find them. This one isn't that hard to find, really. We're just up from the camp. Up a ways, granted, but this is a common day hike for the campers." Not so much a night hike, as the area is deserted. "How are you feeling?" she asks, trying to scrutinize his face in the shadow and the moonlight.

Velokraeth doesn't protest at all and to prove it he gives a low croon of appreciation before he settles down to his belly, leaving Th'ero to fend for himself now. The Weyrleader only manages a few seconds before he's groping for a new part of his bronze to lean against, grimacing a little. That doesn't last for long either before he's smiling towards Kimmila, looking relieved though something else lingers hidden in his eyes. "You deserve them. For everything." Th'ero murmurs, his own gaze following the movement of the blade, though he looks away well before she's sheathed the knife again. In fact, he seems to keep his gaze pretty stationary now, staring only at the ground. "It's still a lovely area, especially by night." He manages to say, before slowly looking up at the bluerider. "Regretting my choice of drink." Th'ero admits with a queasy looking smile and possibly Kimmila's only warning.

Kimmila opens her mouth to say something more - to ask about the 'for everything' part - and then she closes it. "Ah," she says, and she tries but she can't /quite/ keep a little grin from creeping onto her lips. "I'll leave you to take care of that, then. I'm going to go see if there's anything of interest stashed in the cabin. Maybe some bread. Or water." Pressing her lips together firmly, the bluerider gives him a nod and turns, vanishing into the cabin to give the poor man some privacy for his puking. And so she can laugh. Just a little.


Mountain Pass /^\^\ Fort Weyr - Rustic Cabin
Once inside, the cabin follows the basic theme of the exterior: There are some pieces of furniture also in several stages of disrepair. There is a chair that had fallen over that is missing a leg, and there is an accumulation of detritus on the table, causing it to sag in the middle. A bed, perhaps more solidly made, is shoved in the corner, but the mattress and whatever linens were there have long since rotted away, leaving only scraps where they once were. There are cracks in the walls where the wind blows through, and several animals have made their nests in various nooks and crannies here and there. The floor, also made of stone, contains cracks as well, the biggest formed by the small sapling that has somehow shoved its way through the stones, stretching branches towards the section of the roof that had fallen in. A rafter or two has caved in at the back end of the cabin, the pieces having fallen on the floor. The remaining rafters look someone sturdy.


Privacy seems the best medicine and a few minutes later Th'ero is wandering into the cabin, having taken care of that rather unpleasant outcome. The Weyrleader is sobering now, though probably nursing a bit of a headache and the leftover crash of adrenaline from the wild flying. He lingers by the doorway, a slightly embarrassed look to his expression though that soon is given away by the almost blank look he gives the interior of the cabin. Th'ero is grimacing again once he's observed enough. "It's seen better days." He mutters. "Any luck?" Not that he's very hungry at the moment.

Kimmila stands in the middle of the cabin and chuckles, shaking her head as she tosses the broken leg of the chair down onto the floor. "Nope. Looks like it's glacier water for us, until we get back to the weyr." She gives him a smile. "I guess that sort of flying wasn't the best idea while drunk." Sitting on the edge of the bed, she picks up a scrap of fabric from the floor and pulls out her blade, neatly slicing the fabric down the middle. She nods, pleased at the sharpness of the knife. "So…" Awkwardness starts to creep in again as she glances up at him, twirling the blade in her fingers. "You said…'for everything'. I'm just wondering what that 'everything' is."

"No, it wasn't. Getting drunk wasn't a good idea to begin with." Th'ero grumbles, still somewhat buzzed now but he's come back enough to his senses to begin feeling the effects. At most, the Weyrleader looks ready to just plunk down in the nearest (and sturdiest) looking spot and instead deems the doorway safe enough to lean against. Even his head rests against the wooden beams and letting his eyes close for a moment. When Kimmila addresses him, they open slowly and seek her out, the frown that follows slightly puzzled. "For being a good friend. For all you've done for me. And not just our ah…private activities." Now he gives the bluerider a long, narrowed look. "Don't you dare think for a second I'm gifting you for those reasons, Kimmila. I respect you more then that."

Kimmila gives him a slightly questioning look, and then grins. "Getting drunk is never a good idea, I don't think. Not that I haven't done it a fair few times. I usually get drunk when I'm angry or upset about something." The blade continues to cut up the bit of cloth into smaller and smaller pieces, before the motion pauses so she can look up at him. She has the grace to blush at his last comment, since that /was/ one of her worries. "I don't see what-" she begins, and then she cuts herself off with a shake of her head, and a rumble from Varmiroth outside. She starts again. "I don't get many gifts," she admits, turning the blade over in her hands. "None, really, in the last…six turns or so, other than some turnday presents from my folks. I just…it surprised me, that's all. I'm not sure what…how to accept them. Without…being all dumb about it." She looks back down at the knife again, turning it over in her hands.

"Usually I do it alone and in privacy." Th'ero mutters before he can catch himself and gives a flinch for how terrible that remark sounds. To take the edge away, the Weyrleader smiles crookedly, though it soon falters and he seems to settle himself more into the doorframe. A brow quirks up when Kimmila obviously starts again, but Th'ero keeps silence until she finishes explaining. "I had no idea, Kimmila." He says and the look he sends her proves his honesty on the matter. "Just trust me then? Had I known… I may not have sprung them on you quite like that."

Kimmila gives him another curious look. "Why?" she asks of him drinking alone. Then she chuckles, shrugging her shoulder and shaking her head. "Don't. Don't feel bad about any of this. I'm…I'm the one being stupid about it," she says with a self-frustrated sigh, pushing to her feet to walk to the tree that grows through the wall, running the tip of the blade lightly against the trunk. "I do trust you," she says softly, facing the tree. "I…I really do trust you. I was just surprised, is all." She looks over her shoulder at him with a little smile. "Never in a million turns would I have thought I was…important enough to be given such a grand gift. But I love them. And I'll treasure them always. And use them." Oh yes, Kimm is not the sort to take a practical gift and keep it on a shelf out of sentimental value. Those knives will be loved, abused, lost, found, thrown, kicked, buried, cleaned, sharpened, cared for, and above all, /used/.

"I don't know why?" Th'ero begins, only to close his eyes and visibly swallow. Oh for Faranth's sake, he's not going to heave in the cabin too, is he? But then it's apparent that the Weyrleader was only steeling himself to restart, much like Kimmila did. "Because I don't like to show that side in public? I'm a very relaxed drunk… and relaxed means I talk. Talk that can lead to problems." He tells her in a low voice, eyes opening again to follow her movements as she uses her knife on the tree. Th'ero smiles back when she looks his way and finally he pushes himself from the doorway, though seems to linger close to the walls - or what is left of them. "You are important. Maybe more then you realize." He assures her, before chuckling and then regretting that action when it jars his head. "I'm glad to know that." And he truly is, knowing his gift will be so treasured and enjoyed.

Kimmila smiles at the tree trunk when he restarts, giving her an actual /answer/ instead of dancing around the topic. "Oh," she says, turning around to face him. "That makes sense. Talk can indeed lead to problems sometimes. But I don't think you said anything that was bad in the Lounge." Her head tilting a little bit, she watches him approach, staying near the tree and twirling her blade in her fingers. She chuckles under her breath. "Probably more than I realize," she agrees with a little nod and a wry grin, "Since I don't think I'm all that important."

Th'ero gives a bit of a bemused smile, "I know I didn't. Came close and maybe would have had I not left before consuming a fourth round of that drink. Not often I let myself get that far gone though." He gives a bit of a sigh then, one hand coming up to scrub at his face, the Weyrleader looking exhausted now as he slowly makes his way closer to the bluerider. Eventually, he leaves the security of the walls, looking far sturdier on his feet though his head is still fuzzy. "You are." Th'ero affirms again, fixing her with his most serious and honest look yet, though it's soon possibly ruined by the slight hint of a smile.

Kimmila pushes off from the tree to go meet him, holding out a hand. Her cheeks flush with color at his words, and she just shrugs as she moves closer, hand reaching for his.

Th'ero doesn't hesitate in reaching back with his own hand, letting his fingers weave through hers and pulls her in against his body, his chin resting over the top of her head as he just holds her tight and close. It's meant to be comforting, supportive and probably more tangled all within. The Weyrleader says nothing, even when one hand begins to trail along her back in slow, soothing strokes.

Kimmila leans lightly against him, mindful of his probably still queasy stomach. Don't want to push there! Her fingers twine through his as her other hand loops around his waist, resting her head against his chest and closing her eyes. She is quiet for a moment, but then she takes a slow breath and whispers, "Thank you."

If Th'ero is still queasy, he's hiding it well now and he gives her hand a little squeeze as he lets his own eyes drift close. The Weyrleader basks in the moment for several seconds, even when the bluerider whispers. "And thank you." He murmurs in turn, smiling though probably unseen as his head still rests above hers. There's a long, deep inhale from Th'ero and then he's pulling his head back a little to stare down at Kimmila, another soft smile on his lips. "Shall we head back?" he asks her, his free hand coming up to gently brush his fingers along the side of her face should she not move from his touch.

Kimmila doesn't. She leans into it, in fact, her eyes closing. "I think we should," she agrees, her gaze questioning as she looks up at him. After all, 'back' is two different locations for them both.

"There's food back at my weyr. Not to mention warmth." Th'ero muses with a subtle hint and after another moment of silence between them, when he was simply gazing down at her and her reaction to his touch. The Weyrleader slowly lets his hold on her ease away as he takes a step back and glances towards the doorway, where outside both their dragons wait for them. When he turns to glance her way again, his hand is extended in offer. "Well?" he asks her with a tilted smile, still giving her the option to turn away or suggest another location.

Kimmila doesn't do either of those things. She is, after all, standing in an empty, ramshackle hut during a damp, cool Fortian night. And he is offering her food, warmth, and companionship. She smiles as she reaches out to lace her fingers through his and nod her silent agreement, walking out of the little hut and then joining him back at the weyr.


'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.