Fort Weyr - Fort Sea Hold

Situated at the broad, semicircular mouth of one of the few coves along Fort's coastal territories, Fort Sea Hold is aptly named. The age old debate rages still, was the Harbor built first before the Hold or the Hold before the Harbor? Regardless, both have been built and tended over the Turns with a zealous pride. Rare is the day that there are not some ships tied at harbor or gliding in and out of the cove, folk bustling along the various criss-crossing decks. Most business and trade occurs in the lower stone buildings built along the beach on pillars or those carved out and into the towering cliffside. It is also where a majority of the day's catch are brought in to sort, clean and store away. Wooden boardwalks have also been erected along the more harrowing pathways that slowly weave their way up to the mainland above for those brave enough to walk them. For those wishing for a more sedate and leveler path, the beaches eventually curve towards pathways made from interlocking stone and though a much longer route to the Hold itself, the incline is gentler.
Fort Sea Hold's courtyard is wide and expansive with two archway entrances: one turned towards the cliffside and overlooking the sea and harbor below while the other faces the mainland and the forests and mountains in the distance. There is ample room for several dragons to land at once on the outside of the stone walls, while the inner courtyard has a spot reserved for caravans and other land-based methods of transportation. Pathways leading to the stables and herd pens can be seen drifting off towards the westward side of the hold, while to the east seems to be a small marketplace of sorts, a few stalls with colorful signs or banners describing their wares. Set in the center are the stairs leading up to the tall, carved wooden doorways to the Great Hall and the rest of the Hold proper within.
With the weather holding clear, the festivities for Fort Sea Hold's Gather has been set primarily outdoors. In preparation however for cooler weather or any rain, tents have been setup to offer some comfort, most dedicated to wide and spacious dining areas. Music can be heard drifting over the coastal winds, along with the sounds of many voices and laughter and the sounds of the sea below. And what would a Gather be without a dance floor? Nestled in the center of the ring of tents within the inner courtyard, it is large enough to hold a good number of folk and still leave room. A small section has been roped off, no doubt for the Harper's to set up when the time comes.

With the seasons on the cusp between Spring and Summer, the day could be no better for a Gather. The skies remain clear, scattered with a few lazily drifting clouds and the sun for once is pleasantly warm. It's a hint of the season to come, but without being overwhelming and even if one does get too warm, the seaside breeze is cool and refreshing. Fort Sea Hold has been bustling with activity since the morning hours as residents and visitors alike began to take in the festive mood. Even the harbor below the cliffside and along the beaches has taken on a brighter look with all the sails of many ships now tied at dock.

The inner courtyard is filled with tents and stalls, the latter seeming to draw most of the attention even as the hour grows later and drifts on towards afternoon and the dinner hour. Even a few trade caravans have made the journey out and one is bound to find something of interest to purchase. Though there are many Fort knots pinned to shoulders, there are some from neighbouring regions as well and all varying in rank. Music drifts over the sound of the sea below and the mingled voices of the Gather visitors, adding to the light and joyful atmosphere within the Hold. The smell of food cooking have a few wandering closer to the tents, but for the most part the crowds remain dispersed throughout the courtyard.

Th'ero had arrived sometime earlier, the Weyrleader dressed in his more formal clothing, though still keeps his dagger and sword belted to either of his hips. Freshly groomed and in a reasonably approachable mood, the bronzerider is currently conversing in a low tone with a few ranked Crafters. Another stands with him, though it's not hard to guess whom that individual may be. Velokraeth has likely relocated himself with the other dragons present, content to bask in the sun and some social interaction among his kin and brethren and well out of the way so as not to be underfoot. There was some gossip that his arrival, or that of his companion, was a touch unusual but in light of the festivities that has soon fallen to the wayside. "… and if you'll excuse us?" Th'ero can be heard saying as he politely tries to detach himself from yet another awkward formal conversation, likely reaching to slip an arm around his partner and turn them both away.

Kimmila stands beside Th'ero, dressed in a light blue gown with black trim. The gown is loose, but at this point anything and everything clings to her rounded belly, the pregnant bluerider standing with her weight on her heels, limbs a bit swollen as she enters the last month of her pregnancy. Varmiroth is up with Velokraeth, the strapless blue giving suggestion to just how they did - or didn't - arrive at the party. Resting a hand against Th'ero's back in return, Kimmila also bids farewell to their conversation partners and tries to steer the bronzerider towards the food. "I'm starving." Surprise?

Dremkoth is thrilled to be a spectator to how humans play AND be in a new spot both. The bronze is already sprawled on a vantage point overlooking the gather grounds, muzzle resting on his foreclaws and watching the thing with bright interest. As for D'ani, dressed almost casually in a crisp white shirt with sleeves rolled up to his forearms and khaki trous of fine linen, he hasn't been to a gather since he was Edani and so this will be a first. Another first - at least in a long time - he's come with a date. A 15 turn old date, how awkward! See that carefully-schooled expression on his face, the odd mixture of patience and politeness? That's the party face he's wearing today as he walks Hotaru towards the gather grounds from the landing spot where he met the dragon that dropped her off. Since he's not yet allowed to Between with passengers, he's come separately. "What would you like to do first," he asks her. How did he get roped into this, anyway?

Ezra is here too, though for the moment the boy is keeping to the edges of the crowd, keeping his space. Someone has dressed him though, as the boy is neat and clean in black pants and a pressed teal tunic with black piping. Perhaps a bit dark for a seaside gather, but that's what he wanted. His hair is even combed as he hovers near the food tables, a plate in his hand - full - though he just eats right off the buffet with the other. Sometimes he gives food to Alpha, perched on his shoulder.

Hotaru is here! She's hitched or bribed her way over, from some poor unsuspecting rider no doubt. Even Hotaru's nice clothes don't seem to fit her that well. At least not the pair of baggy pants she's wearing with a button-up collared shirt. And yes, still with the glasses. But it's true, she's sent D'ani a note informing him that he's to be her date. She's not exactly hanging off him currently, but she does have a hold on his arm. The weyrbrat is sporting a smug look on her face that indicates she's somehow 'won'. Even if she is still mad at D'ani for impressing without her. "Mmm… Let's go look at the crafters stalls. Maybe there's a candy maker. I want to get some taffy." Is her response to his question.

Eirwyn and Xucieth blink from between high above the hold with their escort rider. The green does a circuit around the hold before angling for the landing field. There is a certain elegance to the delicate green's flight and perhaps she is trying to show herself to her best advantage as she lands with a showy flare of wings. Once settled Eirwyn leaves Xucieth with some parting instructions to behave and heads to the Gather field. The weyrling is wearing neat black slacks and a nice longsleeve shirt dyed to match Xucieth, her Fort knot secured upon her shoulder. Eirwyn tugs at the collar a bit as she makes her in to the gather, looking around for any familiar faces.

Wearing an open chested simple white shirt, the sleeves are long though rolled to elbow length, Yurolt puruses the stalls and their wares. Clearly in his off duty attire, the guard still carries his service sword at his hip. His left arm hangs in a loose sling tied off around his thick neck. He shuffles back and forth picking things up with his good hand and placing them back, not finding anything that interests him.

Th'ero doesn't seem surprised at all by Kimmila's request, allowing her to steer him towards the largest of the tents and clearly the one boasting the main dishes and buffets. The Weyrleader is keeping his features schooled to a carefully practiced neutral state — just the barest of smiles to be polite and somewhat welcoming but for the most part he is distracted. His gaze is constantly roaming the crowds when he isn't focused on the pregnant bluerider at his side. Protective? Nah. "Probably best we get to the food now, before the lines form. Did you want to see the stalls later?" he murmurs, only to have to stifle a bit of a curse when he's bumped into, which has him press in a little closer against Kimmila. There's a sharp look given to her then and a silent quirk of the brow. Really? But the incident is brushed off and he resumes their slow walk. "Velokraeth tells me some more Fortians have arrived. Weyrlings…" And you bet he's casting a quick glance for them. Where or where are you? Futile, really. "See anyone you recognize?"

Kimmila glances up at Th'ero, and her response to his sharp look is a sly grin. Of course. "Mmm, really?" she asks, peering around and rising on her tiptoes a little. "I miss them," she admits honestly, pulling him to the food area. Smiling at Ezra, she picks up her own plate and begins to fill it. "Yes, I want to walk around the stalls in a bit. When will the music start? Figure the Lord and Lady will kick things off, you think?" Glancing beyond the food stalls towards the others, she does notice Yurolt, giving Th'ero a little nudge. "Is that from you?" she asks, meaning his sling. "And I think I see D'ani and…Hotaru?" Blink blink. "They're not a couple, are they? Surely he wouldn't…"

While D'ani could have claimed he didn't see the note until after the gather, he can't quite make himself be that callous and so here he is, doing his best to be a proper date. "Candy it is. I'm sure there's a few stalls doing that," he replies gallantly, turning them towards the appropriate area, perhaps passing close enough to that food tent to catch the scent of what's been cooking. Ezra is glimpsed and waved to, but that might be easy to miss in the milling crowd. They pass within sight of the Weyrleander and Kimmila, the weyrling nods to them, the picture of proper and polite. It's a very good thing he doesn't hear her whisper to Th'ero, he'd be spazzing. Instead, he's scanning those stalls for Hotaru and so spots Yurolt, whom he doesn't know, He asks him, "Hello, have you seen any taffy-making stalls in your wanderings?" Dremkoth has seen Xucieth arrive and bugles a greeting to his clutchsibling.

Hotaru hasn't even attempted to make contact with D'ani until the note. Also she promised to buy lunch. Or dinner. Or whatever meal he wanted. Really the only reason she's got his arm is so that they don't get separated. Either accidentally or on purpose. As they pass Kimmila and Th'ero, Hotaru waves to them both. "Hello Weyrleader and weyrleader's weyrmate with baby!" Since D'ani is leading though there's not much other time for chatter unless the pair follows them. There's a wave to Yurolt. "Hey guardman. What happened to you? Did you have to rough someone up?" Hotaru's met Yurolt before, but can't recall his name right off. "Is it broken? D'ani here had broken ribs when I first met him. Remember that, D'ani? Some herdbeast kicked him or something."

Eirwyn makes her way to the food stalls as any normal teenager would. Once she has a meatpie in one hand and a mug of juice in the other, she makes her way to the crafter stalls. She gives casual observation to the tailors and woodcrafters, finally stopping at a leathercraft stall. She quietly peruses the wares as she works on her meal. Once finding some work she likes she pauses and starts up a conversation with a crafter, "I am looking to get some saddlebags made for my green." She raises her shoulder with the knot on it and so the discussion continues forth.

Yurolt glances up from the stall in front of him (some sort of carvings, a weird mixture of squat little people with wild brightly colored hair…Dolls?) as D'ani and Hotaru approach. He eyes D'ani up and down and then looks to Hotaru. There is a brief pause as he accesses her name from his memory. "Hotaru. How are you?" A guard must be good with names. He jerks a thumb a rather vague direction behind him, saying, "Four stalls back and to the left." Clearly that's his answer to D'ani, rather short, but it gets the job done. At the mention of his arm he only smiles and nods towards the Weyrleader and his mate, heading towards the food. "No, nothing like that. Perhaps I'll tell you later." As cocky as Yurolt is, he doesn't want to mention anything about his new hero without his permission. He notices Kimmila's glance in his direction and attempts to wave with his slinged arm. Fail.

"We will no doubt run into them at one point," Th'ero assures Kimmila, slipping his arm a little more firmly around the pregnant bluerider as they near the food tent. Having turned his head to curiously glance over some of the selection, the Weyrleader does not catch a glimpse of Ezra though his attention is focused enough to answer his partner, "We will go after we eat, then. And there is music already. Or did you mean the dancing?" Is there a hint of dread in his tone? "Lord Taves and Lady Isama will no doubt officially start it once the sun sets. Or so I heard." Right now, the sun is lowering in the sky but it is still some time yet before it'll begin to sink to the horizon. At the nudge, Th'ero is glancing to where Kimmila has hinted and noting the sling on Yurolt's arm, he frowns. "I may have." Guilt? Hard to say. As for D'ani and Hotaru, well, the Weyrleader only snorts and begins to fill a plate of his own, though he's far more finicky — and skipping anything that is wholly seafood. "I wouldn't know. I don't follow relationship gossip." he teases lightly to Kimmila, all the while giving D'ani a brisk but polite nod as the Weyrling passes with Hotaru in tow. Her greeting however has him looking a bit baffled and glancing sideways to Kimmila. That — was different?

Kimmila returns D'ani's nod with an arched brow and darted look to Hotaru. Really? And then she's looking at the girl and smirking a bit. "Kimmila," she says, brows furrowing just a tad. Clearly she is more than just Th'ero's pregnant weyrmate. Eating some of the food she's put onto her plate, she tugs Th'ero towards the stalls, where most of the action seems to be. "That's not from Th'ero, is it?" she asks of Yurolt, glancing at his arm. "He didn't hit you /that/ hard." This is how rumors start. Glancing past the group, she spots Eirwyn and offers a smile of recognition, though she has no free hand with which to wave. "Dancing, then," Kimmila says with a shrug. "It's fun to watch." Slight emphases on the /watch/, there. "We should be there when they start things, is all."

Ezra keeps a close eye on the goings on, stepping back a bit away from the tables to lean against one of the poles holding the tent up. Only briefly though, as his weight makes the fabric sway and a cook shoos him on with a sharp look. Edging towards the stalls, the kid spots D'ani and his expression lights up at seeing his friend, only to falter a bit when he also sees Hotaru. Awkward. The youth finds a clear space next to a woodcarver's stall to start putting a serious dent into the mound of food on his plate.

Right, Hotaru's got his arm so D'ani's doesn't escape. That's totally what he's suspecting, anyway. But seriously, with Hotaru behaving the weyrling is less likely to bolt off or hogtie her - again. The red-haired teen's perky chatter draws a half-smile of amusement, though he does prompt, "Kimmila," at nearly the same time the bluerider does, though the look he gives the redhead says he doubts she doesn't already know it. The guard's answer is acknowledged with a polite inclination of the head, mouth twitching to restrain his amusement at the younger lad's up-down look. "Thanks. I'm D'ani by the way," he says easily with a glance down at Hotaru and no curiosity for the sling since guards get hurt all the time. He lifts his brows questioningly at the teen. Does she want to linger and chatter or go find her sugar rush? Ezra gets a grin and a head jerk that openly invites him to join them while beyond he spots Eirwyn and whistles sharply a one syllable note to gain her attention. If she looks up, he'll wave.

Hotaru is bad with names it would seem. Especially if she's distracted, which she was the other day out at the lake. "I'm okay. Better than… that." She motions to Yurolt's bum arm. There's a curious look shot his way when he says he might tell her later about what happened to it. "Okay…" She's not quite sure what to make of that. Was a story not meant for public consumption? "Kimmila, then. You're a huntress, right? My gramma taught me how to shoot, but I've never been out officially hunting. You guys must be excited about the baby." She looks up at D'ani then. "Dancing?" In reality Hotaru isn't the dancing type. But she figures the thought might make D'ani squirm a little. Apparently she's been distracted by chattering at least for the time being. When D'ani whistles she jumps and then squeezes his arm, furrowing her brow. Apparently Hotaru is enough to scare Ezra. "Candy is this way?" She points in the direction Yurolt previous has. "Can you show me?" And also tell her what happened to his arm while they're separated from the group.

Eirwyn looks up as she hears a whistle. Her eyes scan the crowd nearby until she finds the source of it and lifts a pie filled hand to wave at him. There a questioning look as she notes who he is with, a smile of amusement. She turns to the crafter and makes her fairwell before heading over to her fellow weyrling and the former candidate. "Hey there, haven't seen you in awhile Hotaru…good of D'ani to bring you." She says with amusement touching at her voice as she looks up at D'ani."Keeping secrets?" She teases lightly to the older weyrling before she notices the Weyrleader and his mate and lifts a hand to wave to the pair.

Yurolt notes the odd twitch in D'ani's mouth but passes it off as nothing. He straitens up when Th'ero and Kimmila come nearer. Giving a curt nod, he says, "It's mostly my fault…I'm the one that got hotheaded. But it's only a fracture." He's talking about his arm of course. Glancing swiftly to Th'ero to ensure he's not going to put the man on the spot…Does the rest of the weyr know about their match? Being a keen observer he sees Hotaru is delibrately not using his name.."Yurolt." He offers and extends his good arm to lead her to the candy. Giving a nod to Eirwyn as she joins the group he shimmies off into the crowd, assuming that Hotaru will grab on if she wants to get her sugar fix.

Th'ero is once again tugged willingly along, plate in hand though he may cast a wistful look towards the wines being served at the other end of the tent. Ah well, there will be time for that later. The Weyrleader balances his plate on one hand, while keeping his other hand more or less free when it is not resting against Kimmila. Even in that regard he's proper and respectful it seems, though occasionally his gaze does linger on her. That — or he's pointedly trying /not/ to look at Yurolt's sling-wrapped arm. Clearing his throat slightly, Th'ero speaks up in a low tone, "Doesn't have to be a hard hit to do damage in a spar. You would know this," he tells Kimmila with a darted look to one of her wrists. Remember? He snorts at the emphasis on "watching" the dancing and adds, "We will be there." Because it is required. Even in a Gather, the Weyrleader has duties. Yurolt's remark on his arm being fractured pulls Th'ero's gaze towards him and it lingers there on the Guard for a moment. Maybe it is a warning? Nothing is said though, as the Weyrleader then turns to greet Eirwyn and incline his head politely to the green weyrling in return to her wave.

Kimmila nods at D'ani with a little smile for his help with her name as well. "How was between?" she asks him as a quiet aside, before she's looking at Hotaru again. Blink. "Bluerider and hunter, yes. Though not much recently. And, uh. I'm ready to have my freedom back." Harsh, perhaps, but she's not at all the picture of a glowing pregnant woman, radiating joy at impending (second) motherhood. No, she just looks…swollen and uncomfortable. "Hello, Eirwyn," the bluerider says with a smile. "How are you?" Glancing at Th'ero, the bluerider snorts softly, then looking after Yurolt. "Didn't think it'd get fractured though," she mutters. "But yes, I do know."

Eirwyn looks curiously to D'ani as he steals Hotaru into the crowd, then looks back to the Weyrleader and his mate and smiles, "Well I never expected to see that after how they were in candidacy." She can't help but comment before straightening up and giving a salute to Th'ero, "We are doing well. Made it through between as you can see. She might be distractable, but she has a great head for images." She says with a grin, looking off in the direction of her green before looking back up to the pair. She tilts her head to Kimmila with a sympathetic smile, "You look about ready to pop, bet you can't wait?"

Ezra lingers by the stall until Hotaru is away from D'ani, and then the boy creeps over to the bronzeling's side. "Hi," he says with a little smile, gaze darting where Hotaru went. "She your date?" And he shifts a little bit, glancing quickly at D'ani and then away.

So his introduction to the guard is lost on Yurolt, but D'ani doesn't seem to mind or even be surprised by it. Most teens aren't big on manners. He'll remember the name the guard gives to Hotaru though. The redhead is making him squirm already with her blithe chatter about the Weyrleader and Kimmila being excited about their baby. But then, he's tried congratulating them - or the bluerider - once before. The thought of Hotaru let loose with any kind of weapon is enough to make him cringe, so he makes no comment about the redhead hunting. "Dancing," he responds flatly. "Uh, sure? Later." Maybe she'll forget? He sighs in relief as she goes off with Yurolt to satisfy her sweet tooth and her curiosity in one shot, shoots Eirwyn a mild look. Keeping secrets? He retorts, "To do that I'd have to have one." Ha ha, very funny Eirwyn! "It was… foreboding. Dremkoth loved it. We survived," he tells Kimmila of *Between* and shoots Th'ero a furtive look. Has the man recovered his leading them all through that lesson? And "Sort of," he tells Ezra with a lop-sided grin. "I'm hers anyway. She, ah… gave me no choice," he finishes dryly.

Hotaru gives Eirwyn a wiggly-fingered wave. "Hey Eirwyn! I was back at the cothold for a little while after the hatching. Then at Igen for a little. Now I'm back here." She chuckles. "He didn't technically bring me. He's just escorting me." She tilts her head and grins at the word 'escorting'. Whatever that means. There's a bit of glancing between Yurolt and the weyrleader. "I see. Right, Yurolt! Like lightning bolt." Hey, at least she might remember it that way? She nods to Kimmila. "Yeah, I guess it might be hard to get around for that right now. How much longer 'til you get your freedom back then?" Hotaru looks up to D'ani. "Do you want anything? You're not eating all my taffy later." She wiggles a finger at him. Once they're at a break in the conversation Hotaru runs off after Yurolt. She's his problem now! She latches onto his arm if he'll let her.

Yurolt weaves through the crowd, favoring his bad arm. Hate to bump up against anyone and risk refracturing it. He only glances over his shoulder to see if Hotaru is follow as an afterthought. As soon as she's close enough to hear his softened tone and latches leachlike onto his good arm, he tells her about the match with Th'ero. Leaving no detail out, in fact adding a few that may or may not have happened. Hey, they happened in his mind at least. Oh the excitement is palpable, especially when he gets to the part where he and Th'ero 'killed' each other to end in a draw. After regailing her with this epic, sure to be told by harpers forever, he shows her the taffy stand. He even buys her some. What a nice guy…A braggard, but nice.

Th'ero gives a rather pointed and sidelong look to Kimmila for her rather harsh comment, though not wholly surprised by it. Could be too that the Weyrleader seems to step just a little closer to the bluerider… but he could also be resetting the plate he still balances in one hand — food untouched still. Hearing Eirwyn's remarks on Xucieth's knack for Between, he nods again though promptly clears his throat and leaves Kimmila alone to answer the green weyrling's question. He's going to… totally focus on D'ani right now. "Which means you both did well," Th'ero says in a firm but genuine tone. Out of the lessons he's lead, the bronze weyrling gave him the least strain on his heart and nerves. The Weyrleader is beginning to look a touch awkward with all the conversations circling around and just when he thinks it couldn't get any worse —- there is a tell tale strummed cord of an instrument and there's a shift in the mood of the crowd, whispers traveling swiftly. Is that the signal that the Lord and Lady are going to speak? Which means, the dancing will soon follow! Already, many are making their way towards the tents surrounding the dance floor, where there are ample seats. Th'ero only exhales heavily, "Seems it is time already for the official start," he says, turning his head to gaze almost apprehensively towards the floor. Sure enough, there are the Lord and Lady, distinguishable alone by their formal and elaborate clothing. Nothing too flashy, but it's not hard to miss them.

Kimmila smiles faintly at Eirwyn, briefly touching her belly. "I can't wait, no," she agrees. "I am very ready to be-" Be rid of it, is what she was about to say, but she amends it to something a bit more kind. "To have some freedoms back. And to find out the gender." It's so hard to wait! "Glad between went well for you both," she says, glancing from green to bronze, and then to Th'ero with a knowing smile. Poor, poor man. "I had no doubts." About you two. To Hotaru, the bluerider shrugs a bit. "Officially it's another few weeks, but you never know when they might show up. I don't think it'll be for another month though." Siiiigh. As the chord is struck, she turns her attention towards the dance floor, giving Th'ero's arm a little tug as she sets her plate down. "Come on, we have to be there," she murmurs to the Weyrleader. Giving everyone else a smile and a 'c'mon!' look, the bluerider tugs Th'ero towards the crowd.

Ezra blinks at D'ani, eyes darting to the others before they're focused on his friend. "No choice? How can she…do that?"

Eirwyn and Xucieth on the other hand have probably caused a few grey hairs for the Weyrleader. Well they may survive weyrlinghood, but the bets are still on the table about that. "Yes sir, we did." Eirwyn says with a grin and a glance up to D'ani before looking over to Kimmila, "Ma sometimes would go down to dolphinhall to have the babies checked out. The dolphins can /see/ a lot. " She suggests, with a glance towards the water before looking back to the rider, "But it ain't long now." As the music is struck, Eirwyn glances towards the stage and then the weyrleader, "Oh…I would pay marks to see him dance." She asides to her fellow Weyrling. "Reckon he can relax long enough to?"

"I'm good," D'ani assures Hotaru, patting his stomach after which he gives her a little 'shoo' wave. He doesn't envy poor Yurolt. He can only choke at her headtilt and grin over the redhead's own choice of words, obviously reading it as meaning something squirm-worthy. Which is on par with baby-popping. Now if the subject were heifers it would be another story! He gives Eirwyn a gargled sound at her persistence in the birthing talk. Th'ero's comment is a lifeline to which he grabs in this sea of estrogen he's drowning in. "Thanks Weyrleader," he starts to say when the harper's chords forestall anything further. He's curious enough to turn his gaze to the Lord and Lady but it is a brief look for he's also scanning the crowd, something he's been doing subtly since he got here. "With a note," he asides darkly to Ezra, attempts to snag his sleeve and tow him along as he follows in Kimmila and Th'ero's wake like a lamb to slaughter. Dancing. With Hotaru. Really??

Hotaru attentively listens to Yurolt's story. She gives him the look for some bits. The ones that sound a little embellished. At the end, she giggles. "It doesn't look like it was a total draw. I think the weyrleader still got the best of you." She motions at his arm yet again. "That sounds like fun though. Maybe when you're better we can spar. No weapons." She makes sure he knows she can buy her own taffy, but if he insists she'll let him buy for her. Who is she to turn down free taffy? One piece immediately gets unwrapped and tossed into her mouth, and then she offers him some if he's so inclined. "So what do you do for fun then? Other than beat other people up in a friendly way." Of course the conversation is a bit interrupted as the music starts. "Come on, we don't want to miss it!" This time Hotaru will do the leading, though they're moving with the rest of the crowd most likely.

Yurolt opens his mouth to speak, however, the music has clearly diverted the course of questioning. He allows Hotura to lead him and true, the crowd does move in the same direction. "We'd better catch hurry, I'm sure you date is anxious to dance." This lad doesn't mind a dance or two and expects that's the same for D'ani.

One of the weyrlings has been busy until recently it seems. Abigail is making her way along towards the gathering once Niumdreoth is tucked away for the moment it seems. She runs her hands through her hair a few times batting away a few strands to get it tucked behind her ear. Her pale gaze drifts over the area, a soft smile and nod seen to a few while she continues onwards. The music is picked up, and thus she goes on following it along with others towards the center of things, along the way she catches sight of Eirwyn and soon heads on towards where her friend is. "Hey Eirwyn." This said with a wave, an she is soon catches up and soon see's all whom she is with. A polite nod and slight salute even sent towards Th'ero and Kimmila. "Hello Weyrleader, Kimmila." She even waves towards D'ani once she has caught sight of him off to the side there.

Th'ero doesn't seem as eager to be tugged along this time, though the Weyrleader is trying to keep his expression locked in a neutral look and not let his apprehension slip through. Lamb to slaughter — quite the apt way of putting it. This part of social protocols always set him on edge and he's not even doing any public speaking! But he will go, because it will look quite bad if he starts to balk. Embarrassing and likely downright scandalous. The Harpers are busily setting up in their corner of the dance floor, while Lord Taves and Lady Isama have taken their place on a small, raised dais on one side of the dance floor. Even before everyone has gathered closer, the Lord Holder has begun to thank everyone for coming, his voice carrying some distance as voices hush to overhear. "… We hope you all enjoy your visit here and to all Fort Sea Hold has to offer. Now, as the sun sets and the night settles in, let us enjoy a night of feast and dancing, saying farewell to spring and greeting a bountiful summer!" Many voices lift in a rousing agreement to the blessing and toast, which is then followed by the Harpers chiming in with a few cords of music. Taking their cue, Lord Taves and Lady Isama step down to the dance floor and as the first stanzas are played they start the slow dance as is tradition. Conversation resumes, but muffled so as not to override the music too strongly. Th'ero, however, has begun to tense a little and looking ever the more uncomfortable. Poor Abigail will only get the briefest of nods to her greeting before the Weyrleader is suddenly taking Kimmila's hand… and leading her out onto the floor? Seems it's a tiered traditional dance and not long after they are joined by other pairs and even before the song has reached half way point, it's a free for all to join.

Kimmila shrugs at Eirwyn, shaking her head a bit. "I don't want to get in the cold water just for a dolphin," she admits. "I can wait." Looping her arm through Th'ero's, she leans on him and close by as they walk into the crowd that begins to gather. She smiles and even leans against Th'ero as she watches the Lord and Lady begin the dance, but when the Harper on stage beckons them to join - that it's their turn - she pales and looks at Th'ero. "But…wait…" Nooooo! But how can you say no to an invitation to join the Lord and Lady in the opening dance? So she steps out with Th'ero, her hand squeezing his tightly before she turns to face him. And just stand there. Awkwardly. Is it possible they've never actually danced before? Why yes. Yes it is.

Ezra is pulled along, his awkward steps skipping a little bit to keep up until he gets his feet under him the way they're supposed to be. Ahh, growth spurts and all their awkwardness. "A note? Couldn't you just…not read it?" There's a little pause then. "Is Inri here?" he asks, almost a whisper, eyes darting around. Thinking of asking her to dance, perhaps? And since he's beside D'ani, he hears Eirwyn's comment and gives her a little look, and then laughs. "Him? Dance? No." But it seems he's going to be proven wrong, as Th'ero leads his weyrmate onto the floor. The boy claps a hand over his mouth and begins to giggle. "Glad /I/ don't have to dance."

Eirwyn doesn't join the dancers, no, she is having quite enough fun watching them. Especially the rider couple. "Oh yes, this is too much fun." She waves at Abigail as she joins the group and points out Kimmilla and Th'ero, "They are dancing…I think." She says with a brightness in her eyes, but before she can partake in the peanut gallery for too long, a young man with a passing likeness to Eirwyn comes up to her, "Lady Sister, will you join me on the dance floor?" Eirwyn almost squeels and jumps up from her seat, "Lyerdes, I didn't think any family were coming!" She says as she hugs her eldest brother. "Sure sure. As long as you get me caught up on the gossip from home!" And so the Lord Heir of Rubicon and sister make it out on the dance floor. No doubt having danced before in lessons at home. Afterward, they would go off to talk about home.

D'ani enjoys dancing with young women closer his age. Little red-haired teenagers ten turns younger than he is? Not so much. But he'll be nice and proper if she finds him again by obliging her. "Abigail. You look nice," he greets his fellow weyrling with a smile that is more queasy than easy, but that's only because of the dancefloor ahead. "She put it in with my underwear drawer," he undertones to Ezra. "If I'd said I didn't see it, you know… She'll make some sort of comment about me not wearing clean ones. Or something." Inri? Dark eyes scan the dragons on the heights and he shakes his head. "I don't see Kouzevelth. Maybe something held her up." There's a little knowing glint in his eyes at his young friend's comment about dancing but he doesn't tease him by asking if he'd feel differently about it if Inri were there. Instead he turns to watch Kimmila and Th'ero have that first dance. "Awkward," he mutters in sympathy for the both of them.

Hotaru looks at Yurolt and giggles. "I don't think he's anxious to do anything with me, trust me. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to go over and look at him to make him uncomfortable." Though no one can probably match the awkwardness that is Th'ero and Kimmila "dancing". At least they'll be able to blame it on Kimmila's condition? Hotaru spots Abigail as she nears the rest of the Fortian crowd and gives her a wave. "Hey Abbey!" She turns to Yurolt then, finally releasing him with a smile. "Thanks for being my date for a little. And the taffy. I have to go bug D'ani, but I'll be back." She winks at Yurolt, and then, true to her word, shoves off to find D'ani. Eventually she's able to poke her head between the bronzer and Ezra. "Hi guys. You don't wear clean underwear D'ani?" She asks, only hearing the last part of his comment. Ezra is offered taffy from her bag. "Taffy?" D'ani is only offered: "Dance?"

Abigail is quiet like many others while the Lord and Lady go about giving there speech, an once it is over there goes Th'ero and Kimmila out on the dance floor? She peers, watching curiously for a few moments a she seems a bit amused while offering a soft smile. "So it seems." Is murmured to Eirwyn before the girl is off to speak with her family it seems. Hearing D'ani she glances over, a soft smile seen and she nods to him. "Thanks." This offered while brushing off a bit of dirt from her clothing, simple blouse and pants, boots too, nothing too fancy which is rather normal for her. "Hello Hotaru, how are ye doing?" She just watches while others go about dancing, she isn't making any move towards it, no not in the least!

Relieved of the temporary date, Yurolt looks out onto the dance floor and grimaces at Th'ero and Kimmila's 'dance'. "I'll look forward to it." is his response to Hotaru's promise..threat? However he took the comment he truly sounds committed to what he said. He turns back as he hears Abigail greet Hotaru. Having meet before he nods and smiles saying, "Abigail." Although there is a slight delay in the nod and the name, as before with Hotaru and he accesses the name form his head. Giving a slight bow, he offers his good arm to Abigail and says, "Would you care to dance?" A bit forward, perhaps, but the young guard is no stranger to the dance floor. How could he be with a harper sire.

Too late! Th'ero does not want to be out on the dance floor just as much as Kimmila, but tradition and duty says he must be and well… technically he could have found another partner (the Weyrwoman, maybe?). But the bluerider was there and well… he can't change his decision now. The Weyrleader does his best to ignore any and all glances their way, focusing instead on his partner and with an hint of an apology there somewhere. Facing her, he will take her one arm as is proper and then slip his other arm over her hip and take the lead. Awkwardly and stiffly. No, they have never danced before and ironically Th'ero isn't quite graceful at it. Give him a sword and pitch him in a sparring match and he can move effortlessly. Dancing? Concept goes right over his head. But he manages, moving a little slower out of respect to Kimmila's advanced pregnancy. Not that that will save her feet, as he does accidentally step on her toes though mercifully not at full weight and realising his mistake. "Shards," he can be overheard, more hissed under his breath and likely not polite at all. "Sorry." Ugh. As he corrects their fumbling, he'll turn them further onto the floor, trying now to hide among the other pairs that come in. At one point, Th'ero does seem to be murmuring something to Kimmila's ear, his gaze momentarily turning to where several familiar faces are watching at the sideline and narrowing with warning. Not. A. Word. Of. This. But who is he kidding? Of course there will be gossip!

Kimmila places her hands as is proper, and lets Th'ero lead. But when he steps on her toes she gives a little yelp and one of those hops backwards, giving him a narrowed look. She is just as fumbling and awkward, but that might only be because of her inept partner and her pregnancy. Maybe she's an excellent dancer. We'll never know. Tilting her head when he whispers, her cheeks flush crimson and she shakes her head, glancing down at their feet. Classic rookie move. Though maybe she just wants to avoid being stepped on again. "We need to practice this," she mutters.

Ezra blinks at D'ani, and then shakes his head. "Girls are weird," he mutters. Only to jump and blush when a girl is suddenly RIGHT THERE. "Uh." Taffy. Why yes, he'd love some! And he takes some - however many she offers him, he'll take. And shove them into his pocket before giving D'ani a sympathetic look. Haha, you have to go dance and I don't - "Hey, uh, hi. Um. Will you dance with me?" Suddenly there's a GIRL at Ezra's elbow. A rather plain and shy looking brown haired girl, dressed in a light, brand new dress that she seems a bit self-conscious in. Ezra just blinks at her a few times. Someone give him a kick, because it took all the poor girl's courage to come up and ask him, and now he's just staring at her while she shifts and slowly blushes.

D'ani sighs at Hotaru, longsuffering. To answer that either way would incriminate him so he just taps her on the nose and retorts, "That's none of your business, Young Lady." Now if only she would act like one! He gives Ezra a 'see what I have to put up with?' eyeroll and a very dry, "You have no idea," in hearty agreement that girls are, indeed, weird. Then he offers his arm to escort the red-haired teen onto the dancefloor with the firm answer, "One. Then to celebrate our successful Between lessons, I'm going to have a dance with each of the female weyrlings if they'll agree to it." And true to his word, guides her out onto the dancefloor where his hands are properly placed, moving her with grace and elegance, covering her missteps if any, gallantly ignoring stepped on toes if she does that. He also tries to keep them as far away from Th'ero and Kimmila as possible so the impertinent Hotaru doesn't overhear the hissed words and see things that might be repeat-worthy. If he can, at the end of the dance, he'll steer her towards Yurolt and hand her over. Have fun?

Hotaru looks between Ezra and the shy girl a few times. Girls are weird? What's the matter with boys? "Sure, he'd love to!" Hotaru gives Ezra a bit of a nudge. There you go! Go off and dance! The teen wrinkles her nose at D'ani as he taps it. "You better change your underwear. You all have to sleep in the same room as weyrlings and no one wants you stinking up the joint." Hotaru actually looks pretty surprised with D'ani agrees to dance. She was sure he'd put up some sort of resistance. Though on the dancefloor she's about as adept as Th'ero is. At least she tries and D'ani is a good enough partner to help her along. At the end of it all she's looking flushed, and likely not from the physical exertion. D'ani might steer her in one direction, but the teen disappears off in another direction entirely, getting lost in the crowd for now.

Just as the first song winds down, the Harpers pause only to strum the first cords of the next song — a much faster paced dance. Most of the couples leave the floor, the Lord and Lady among them as they disappear among a throng of people in the larger central tent. Th'ero of course takes the first chance to escape off the dance floor with Kimmila he can get. His duty is done and traditions observed. Now it's time to "hide" for awhile, especially after her yelp has likely informed half the guests to just how… awful his skill at dancing is. Really, if he'd /relax/ he may be fine. The Weyrleader will of course remember some of his manners in his haste to escape, finding a seat for the pregnant bluerider and gesturing for her to settle herself. Th'ero's head is still inclined a little, the bronzerider whispering in a low tone again to Kimmila. All around, voices raise in encouraging cheers as some of the dancers begin to take on the faster paced song and others simply watching in amusement to see if any wind up sprawling on the floor. By now the food and drink flows freely, folk mingling about or quietly drifting back out to the coolness of the early night. Now the sun has dipped to the horizon and with the the light is gradually fading, replaced by a sky filled with the first glimpses of stars and the two moons. The Harpers will take a break after the fast paced song, but not for long. It promises to be a night filled with festivities and likely not to wind down until the later hours.

Kimmila is just as eager to get off the dance floor and to a chair, though she doesn't sit for long. A moment later, the bluerider is tilting her head to listen to his whisper, and then getting to her feet with his hand for help. "Let's walk," she murmurs softly to him, the color flaring into her cheeks once more. Slipping her arm through his, she'll seek to lead her weyrmate somewhere a bit more quiet.

Ezra is nudged by Hotaru, and he shoots her a look that's almost panicked before he's looking back at the girl. "Uh…sure?" How awkward can this get? The girl's face lights up though, and she eagerly grabs for Ezra's hand, pulling him onto the floor. "Thank you for saying yes," she whispers, before they're in the crowd of dancers. And out there Ezra will have his first real dance, fumbling and awkward, but also confused and thrilled that someone asked him. And he's terrible. But she's patient, and the boy might just enjoy himself.

'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.