Fort Weyr - Feeding Grounds

Milling herdbeasts dot this lightly grassy section of the southern end of the bowl. Fences keep them neatly secured on all sides, even extending into the lake, allowing the beasts ample drinking water without granting them an escape. Dragons young and old come here to hunt on a fairly regular basis, though not all come at once of course. From here you can easily make out the entirety of the Weyr's lake as it spreads out south and southwest to the tumbled rubble of the far shore, while the rest of the bowl lies beyond the fences to the southeast, east and northeast.


Zi'on is at Fort today it would seem. The bronzer is wrapped up in his flight gear. It may still only be autumn at Fort, but Zi'on is used to the warm temperatures of Western. Even though it's a nice sunny day out and mid-afternoon he's still freezing his ta-ta off. Suldith is circling around overhead, getting a good idea of what herdbeasts Fort has to offer. Zi'on reaches gloved hands into his pocket to pull out his wad of marks. He pulls off one glove to count them up. Suddenly Suldith dives out of the sky, and in a frenzy kills off his choice of 'beast. Then he drags the carcass, leaving a trail of blood, over to the part of the fence where his rider is standing and proceeds to eat.

Jheth has just finished up his own meal, licking blood from his muzzle before he trots over to the fence and leaps over with a sail of wings. He lands overall with practiced ease and completely ignores the strange bronze and his rider. He's much more interested in the sixteen turn old weyrling that was approaching from the opposite direction, his lopping gait slowing to a trot and then stops. Lowering his head, he pokes at K'hys gently but nearly topples the poor lad over in the process. His laughter can be heard clearly off in the distance. Something is said, the blue rumbles and his icy blue facets close as he's treated to soft words and a bit of scritching.

It's a Western migration it seems, as another rider from that tropical wear meanders towards the feeding grounds. Hands in her pockets, Kimmila's dressed in her riding gear, the hood of her jacket hanging down so her layered hair can shift in the breezes. With the jacket partly unzipped, only her malachite necklace is visible against the brown tunic she wears as she walks towards Zi'on. "Hey," she says, grin crooked as well as mildly surprised, "does Th'ero know you're eating from his pens?" She's teasing, clearly, green eyes amused. Looking past him, she spots Jheth and K'hys and offers a little wave towards the weyrling pair. Her own lifemate is nowhere to be seen for the moment, and it seems the bluerider is on her own.

Another bronze soon joins in stirring up the herdbeasts into frenzy from the skies above, though Velokraeth makes short work of his kill. Quick and neatly, the pale, misshapen bronze drags off his prize to a more private spot to the side of the grounds, but not without a distracted rumble of greeting to Suldith, the older bronze no stranger to him. Th'ero isn't long in appearing as well, striding down from another path. The Weyrleader is also dressed in his riding gear, though his jacket is completely unfastened, revealing a mahogany dyed tunic beneath that breaks up the monotony of his otherwise completely black ensemble. His attention seems turned to the feeding grounds, a tired and far away look to him but as he approaches, his brown eyes seek out what Velokraeth has no doubt already informed him on. "Zi'on!" Th'ero calls out in greeting, a vague and crooked grin on his features. "What brings you to Fort?" he adds as he comes to a stop in front of the younger bronzerider. Kimmila is given the same grin, though there's a flicker of another emotion there, carefully subdued. "Afternoon, Kimmila." The Weyrleader greets pleasantly enough and seems surprised to see both Western riders here. K'hys and Jheth he has yet to spot, distracted as he is.

Suldith gives a low trill at the blue as he flaps away over the fence as if to say 'where are you going'? Suldith pulls open his herdbeast once it's up against the fence. Zi'on is bent on ignoring the bronze for the time being it would seem, even though Suldith feels the need to be right next to his rider while he eats. "Yo." He says, to the familiar voice that greets him. "Eh?" He looks up then to spot Kimmila. "I didn't realize Th'ero owned all the herdbeasts. I guess I owe him one." He grins a bit to Kimmila. "Or maybe I'll drop off what's left over. Speak of the devil…" Zi'on gives a wave to the approaching weyrleader. "Hey. Kimmila says you own all the herdbeasts. Did this one have a name?" He asks, laughing a bit and motioning to the torn open beast Suldith is gnawing on. There's a warble of greeting to both Kimmila and Th'ero, as the bronze knows both of them.

Jheth warbles back to Suldith, in a passing 'why I'm going this way of course' sort of way and continues on unpausing. Unfortunately K'hys misses Kimmila's wave, focused less on the people arriving then properly greeting his lifemate. Complain as he might about how much of an idiot the blue was, there was little doubt that the boy loved the dragon deeply. Slow and steady, the beasts tail glides side to side over the short kept grass, about as close to a wag as dragonly possible. Dressed in riding leathers so dark a blue they easily pass for black, it's when Th'ero calls to Zi'on that the boy looks up and brown eyes train on the collected riders over by the fence. Brows twitch downwards, gaze darting this way and that between their faces. A nudge from Jheth, altogether insistently, draws the lad's attention back to the blue and he can be seen laughing and smiling, giving that snout a gentle pat.

Kimmila turns her head, her eyes easily picking out the pale bronze dragon, watching him make the neat kill with a small, fond smile. Green gaze then turn towards Th'ero, the bluerider's grin remaining crooked as she leans back on her heels, hands slipping into her jacket pockets. "Afternoon, Th'ero," she replies. "How's things?" Turning at Suldith's rumble, Kimmila tips her fingers to her brow in a little salute of greeting to the dragon she flies with nearly daily. She laughs at Zi'on, shaking her head. "Don't think Th'ero would like your leftover sloppy seconds," she says, grin twisting to something a bit more mischievous. Looking past him once more, her green eyes focus on K'hys for a long moment, and she puts two fingers to her lips to whistle at him. "K'hys!" she hollers, cupping a hand against her mouth to make the sound carry so there's no way he could miss her call.

"No…none of them have names. That's just wrong." Th'ero muses and gives a darting glance to the torn beast Suldith is currently devouring. He doesn't look too unsettled by the bronze's habit at least, but neither does he let his gaze linger too long. "And the herdbeasts belong to the Weyr." He corrects, glancing between both Zi'on and Kimmila though his continued grin keeps his words from being too serious. "But Suldith and Varmiroth are always welcome to feed or hunt, even." So it would seem the Western bronzerider is safe. Glancing back to Kimmila, Th'ero's grin shifts back to something of a warm smile and the Weyrleader shrugs his shoulders slightly as his arms come to cross over his chest. "Well enough." He replies, "Almost beginning to find this quiet unnerving." There's a dry chuckle given and next he's grimacing at the bluerider's remark. Sloppy seconds? He doesn't ask however, only shaking his head. Pulled from that line of thought though when Kimmila suddenly hollers to K'hys, Th'ero glances up sharply and his eyes dart to glance past both Western riders to spy the weyrling and his blue not far off. To give the Weyrleader some credit, his expression doesn't falter by much and the tension in his posture is minimal (for now). Seeing as the bluerider has called to him, he frees a hand as well to give a brisk wave towards K'hys and Jheth by way of greeting.

Zi'on stuffs away the marks he was counting. Then he pulls out a flask and wraggles his eyebrows. Mostly at Kimmila. There's a laugh for the female bluerider. "I don't want his sloppy seconds either, honestly. Though I might make an exception here or there.." He squints a bit as Kimmila addresses the weyrling. "Eh? Someone you know?" Zi'on takes a swig from the flask, then offers it to the other riders. "Saucy Wench. I mixed in a little citrus flavor, so it's not too strong." Zi'on laughs a bit at Th'ero. "Well, that's good. I was going to ask if you wanted me to drop off its bones or something when Suldith was finished. I wonder if the weyr has named the beast." Zi'on face moves into a more serious look for a moment. "I told you the baby was born, right?" Not that Th'ero wouldn't be able to tell already. Since Zi'on was no longer a man-beast. "If you're looking for some noise I can put firecrackers in your toilet or something." The younger bronzer laughs.

K'hys startles with that whistle, eyes widening and then again darting this way and that as he tries to discover the source. This is quickly remedied when Kimmila shouts his name and he looks right in her direction. Jheth too turns his head to way, icy blue eyes whirling with hints of snowy white, his tail stilling as he peers over towards where the three full riders were collecting. The weyrling lifts a hand and waves in a general and polite way, though whether this directed towards Kimmila or Th'ero is entirely unknown. At least from that distance. The blue chuffs and loses interest in the people doing their people thing and abandons his lifemate in favor of trotting off towards the bowl. There were greens there to investigate no doubt, and he should not keep them waiting. Kai watches the beast move off, hands sliding into the front pockets of his leather pants, before he looks back towards the two Western riders and the Weyrleader. Perhaps trying to decide if he wanted to brave that, or escape the way Jheth had.

Kimmila chuckles, pushing hair behind her ears as she shoots Th'ero a crooked but warm grin of her own. "Shall we stir up trouble, then?" she asks, all /too/ innocently. Then her eyes are snapping to Zi'on and a brow arches before her gaze narrows and she casually attempts to backhand punch the Western bronzerider in the shoulder. "Fuck off," she says, but it doesn't have that much heat to it. She does take the offered flask though, tipping back a swallow. "Not bad," she says, offering it next to Th'ero. She looks over at K'hys, frowning slightly when he stays allllll the way over there. "Yeah, he's a bluerider. We blueriders have to stick together against you bronzeriders you know. Hey! K'hys!" she hollers, "get your ass over here, boy, stop loitering on the edges."

"Shards no, please. No trouble. And definitely no firecrackers." Comes Th'ero's abrupt reply to Kimmila's too innocent remark and Zi'on's suggestion, but it's all in jest. The little interaction between both Western riders, from swearing to the attempted backhand to the shoulder earns a wry grin from the Weyrleader and a low chuckle, though he doesn't interrupt them. Whether the question from Zi'on was directed to him or Kimmila, Th'ero does answer that one, "That is K'hys and the blue is Jheth." He informs Zi'on in a simple and casual way, though a subtle undercurrent of awkward is there but still masked. "From Velokraeth's clutch with Zuhth." The Weyrleader adds, though it should be obvious enough given the timeline from the Hatching and theirs being the only weyrling class. The flask is accepted and given a slight tilt of thanks before Th'ero takes a sip, "Still has a kick to it," he admits once he's swallowed, passing it back to Zi'on. Mention of bones being delivered as payment goes unnoticed, as the Weyrleader adopts a serious look of his own, perhaps only now noticing how groomed the Western bronzerider actually was. "I hadn't heard!" And he doesn't seem hurt in the missed announcement, grinning crookedly again as he steps forwards in an attempt to clasp the younger bronzerider on the shoulder. "Congratulations, then. A boy or a girl? And how is Enka fairing or yourself for that matter." Luckily, Zi'on is saved from further questioning as Kimmila's next call to K'hys distracts him. Narrowing his eyes a little, he shoots the bluerider a pointed look, though his words seem almost amused. "Smooth." Is all he says with a shake of his head.

Zi'on gives a wave to K'hys as well. He's been spotted! He should be thankful Suldith is busy eating. Otherwise he'd be over putting his big muzzle in the blue and his rider's face. Zi'on laughs as Kimmila hits him. "Yes ma'am, whatever you say ma'am." He raises a brow as Kimmila explains the first law of blueriders. "Is he shy or something? We don't bite. Well, Th'ero and I don't." He eyes Kimmila. She seemed like the biting type. "Ah." He says as Th'ero explains who the blue and his rider were. He takes the flask back, taking another sip before sliding it away. "Thanks. Boy. Ezio. We're doing alright. Tired though, most of the time. He's up all hours needing feeding or changing or… cuddling." Zi'on grins though with a prideful look. "He looks like me."

Officially full bluerider in a few months, but for now, the approaching lad's knot said weyrling clear as day. Also, apprentice weaver. While the kid was tall, six foot two, the youth of his features out him in his mid-teens. Certainly no older than sixteen or seventeen. It might be the shuffle to, to his step that betrays his real age, this or the lingering innocence in his seemingly muddy brown eyes. "Is there something you need, ma'am?" he asks, perhaps a little curious as to why he'd been called over. After all, he barely knew Kimmila, having only met the woman twice in his entire life. Though, he could hardly help the way his gaze was flickering over towards Th'ero, with a noble attempt to make it not appear as if it was happening at all. He didn't look like he knew Zi'on at all, offering the strange man a soft smile and a nod of his head in hello. For the most part though he tries to keep all of his attention on Kimmila, brows lifting upwards expectantly but with nothing that said that he was trying to rush the bluerider woman along, or anything suggesting he had places to be and people to see.

Kimmila smiles sweetly at Th'ero, making no promises on the lack of trouble. It seems to follow her, what can she say? Green eyes flick back to Zi'on as his news sinks in, and she makes herself smile. "Congrats," she says, without Th'ero's enthusiasm, though she does glance at the bronzerider, brows furrowed slightly. But quick as a flash, her crooked grin has returned. "I'm always smooth," she murmurs. Hands return to her pockets and she rolls her eyes at Zi'on, shifting on her feet and a touch uncomfortable with the baby talk. She does quirk a grin at the talk of biting, though, but she makes no comment on that either. "I don't think he's shy, no. I don't know what he's doing. Being weird." She shrugs dismissively, and then watches K'hys approach. "Not really, no, you were just lurking over there so I thought you might need an invitation to come talk to us or something. How's it going?" Her eyes narrow slightly as she looks up at the young man, sizing him up with lips pressed together slightly.

"Usually how it is with infants," Or so Th'ero has heard. The Weyrleader has no spawn to claim as his to his knowledge and thus is inexperienced in that field. So it's the only bit of wisdom he has to share with Zi'on. "Glad to hear you, Enka and Ezio are well then. And I would /hope/ he looks like you." The Weyrleader teases with a brief but wicked looking grin before pulling his hand back and crossing his arms again. His expression sobers then, back to a simple smile and neutral look as Kimmila remarks on K'hys' possible shyness. The Weyrleader doesn't add his own opinions in, though he seems to be giving the bluerider a few long, lingering looks that have some subtle message hidden to them. Behave? As K'hys approaches them, Th'ero's gaze settles on the weyrling despite the weyrling doing his best not to look his way. He's on to that game now though and the Weyrleader has to keep himself from smirking. Instead, it's a strained smile he manages and a brisk nod. "Afternoon, K'hys." The Weyrleader greets, same tone and manner that he had addressed the other two Western riders. Awkwardness seems minimal for now, though Th'ero is anything but relaxed now, his attention drifting from Kimmila to K'hys with an almost cautious manner. He turns to Zi'on then, giving the younger bronzerider a curious sidelong look. "Aside from the birth of your son, all has been well?"

Zi'on hasn't ever met K'hys that he can remember. But he gives the weyrling a wave as he heads over. "Hey. I'm Zi'on, Suldith's rider." He motions to his bronze, who lifts his muzzle, red with blood. Suldith trills at K'hys and takes a break to stick his head in the bluerider's face, looking for some attention. Zi'on raises a brow at Kimmila. "Didn't I tell you the other day?" That he was a newly made father and all. He considers pressing the issue by making more baby talk, or bragging but he decides against it. "Well, he could look like Enka. Or Faranth forbid, my -father-." It was always a possibility. There's a brow raised at all the looks Th'ero was giving the weyrling. Was he… making eyes at the young bluerider? Zi'on peers a bit, then looks to Kimmila. "If I said it wasn't would it matter?" He laughs. "I haven't seen your assistant headwoman lately. Of course I've been busy with the baby and all."

The weyrling blinks, "I wasn't lurking," he laughs, looking at Kimmila like she had three heads for a second before broad shoulders are shrugged vaguely. "I was meeting up with Jheth, and then he took off to go find himself some pretty green to stalk." A lopsided grin is given to his fellow bluerider, "When you see the Weyrleader and two Western riders hanging out, you don't just jog on over to hang out. Melze and Miki do teach us, respect and protocol." Of course, once Th'ero greets him, it was double-take time as the weyrling initially glances to return the greeting, but then stares a second with a completely confused expression on his face for the strained smile and brisk nod. "Hello, sir." he replies, sounding unsure if he should sound a certain way in particular, considering. He lingers there a second, but manages to turn on the friendly and welcoming of his usual charm again just as Zi'on introduces himself, "Well met. I'm K'hys, blue Jheth's." he replies with a toothy grin. There was only a small amount of tension in his slim frame, perhaps subconsciously detecting something being amiss that the rest of his brain hadn't quite the ability to sense as of yet.

Kimmila chuckles at Th'ero's comments to Zi'on, but all the bluerider does is nod to add her own agreement to what the Weyrleader has already said. Meeting Th'ero's lingering look and catching on to his silent request to behave, the bluerider just smiles, reaching out to rest her hand on his lower back. Letting it linger there for a long moment, she moves her hand in a slow circle and then returns it to her jacket pocket, leaning back on her heels. Green eyes flick back to Zi'on, and the bluerider blinks at him, before she has the good grace to look a bit sheepish. "Um. Maybe? You probably did," she mutters. Floundering for a moment, caught in the social awkwardness that comes with forgetting you've been told someone's big news, she then manages to come up with a quip and a crooked grin for Zi'on. "I heard that she's just been devastated without your visits," she teases. "Got to take care of your lady, Zi'on." Green eyes move back to K'hys, her brow arching slightly. "Ah," is all she says, though it's clear she disagrees with his denial that he was lurking. "Well thank Faranth for that," she mutters with a low chuckle, when he assures her he's learned respect and protocol.

Th'ero seems to share Zi'on's reservations, grimacing slightly. "Guess I could agree with that." Since he'd not wish for any to carry a likeness of his father either. When the young Western bronzerider brings up the assistant headwoman, the Weyrleader's look turns searching. "Of course." Is all he says in reply to that, yet so many questions remain unspoken, as now is not the time to heckle? Or is it? Turning his attention back to the conversation between Kimmila and K'hys, Th'ero interrupts with his own comment, "There are exceptions," he points out with a slight chuckle. "One of which would be now. This is simply casual, not official business." In more subtle terms: relax. Which is advice Th'ero should be taking himself, but it's hard to do when awkwardness runs rampant in the undercurrents. To make it all the trickier, Kimmila rests her hand against his lower back, which earns her a darted sidelong look that is a touch startled. He doesn't pull away though and instead just continues on as if nothing had happened. Continues and looks right at K'hys again as he smiles a small smile. "You and Jheth are doing well?" he asks the weyrling in a casual and curious tone, brown eyes glancing past him and the Western riders to where the blue had wandered off to seek the company of greens. Like father, like son? Th'ero then snorts in amusement, turning his head to glance back between Kimmila and Zi'on both as the bluerider teases the younger bronzerider.

Zi'on blinks at K'hys, then laughs. "Sure you do. I do, at least." Zi'on is bad at protocol. Though he at least was respectful most of the time. That's what happens though when you date the senior weyrwoman for so long. You forget that most people don't just make conversation with their higher-ups. "We're making trouble. You want in?" Zi'on asks Kai with a grin. He laces his fingers behind his head then. "I bet she is," he says about Xanshalla. "But I don't think she needs me to take care of her much. Unless you're talking about taking -care- of her." He hip thrusts to indicate what he means. "In which case… we're not quite to that level, yet." The younger bronzer watches Th'ero's reaction to Kimmila touching him and then rolls his eyes. Though he doesn't say anything. He knows what it is to keep things a secret, after all.

That smidgen bit of tension easily triples when the looks between Kimmila and Th'ero become obvious to the weyrling, his brows sinking and meeting towards the middle as brown eyes find themselves lingering on the intimate gesture of her hand to the Weyrleader's lower back. As he's standing before them, he can't see exactly what goes on back there, but the length that the touch remains is undoubtedly noted by the boy. As well as the resulting motion her slow circle produces along the rest of her arm. He says nothing, but his smile falters, and his gaze flicks upwards to her green and then to Th'ero's dark. Something clicks, reflecting on his features and his lips part but no sound manages to emerge. He stares, unbeknownst to himself, at Kimmila's hand long after it's tucked back into her pocket. "What?" he asks of the Fortian bronzerider, the unhappiness as plain as the nose on his face but like a champ, K'hys does his very best to shove down whatever he might be feeling just then and draw his lips up into a smile. A smile that doesn't even remotely touch the kid's eyes. "I'm not an eavesdropper sir, even if I had super human hearing. I had no idea what was going on over here." He winces in way of a twitch around his mouth, unable to keep the hint of bitterness in his voice from being less than subtle. There was more meaning there than just on the topic of casual verses business. "We're fine sir, thank you for asking." He relocates his hands to his own jacket pockets, sliding his attention then to Zi'on, "I'm not really the type to make trouble, sir. Sorry. Especially not when it might get back to the Weyrlingmasters. Melze is a very sweet woman, but Miki just enjoys torturing us." The chuckle that follows is strained and tapers off awkwardly, looking to Kimmila as she makes it hard to take her comment on his denial of lurking as anything but doubtful. He merely nods, and goes very quiet indeed.

Kimmila glances to Th'ero and lifts her brows in mild surprise at his reaction to her touch, before her expression shifts to a casual smile and she rocks back onto her heels, hands shoving deeper into her coat. Focus returns to Zi'on, and she snorts. "What sorts of trouble are you proposing?" Then she laughs outright at the hip thrusts. "There's more to relationships than sex, Zi'on, even you should know that," she teases, but it's almost…fond? Are they actually getting along now? Alert the Harpers. "Send her a present or something." Though she smirks as she says it. Her eyes move back to K'hys, brows arching at his staring at her jacket pocket, "What?" she asks, looking down to see if she has something on her jacket. Then her head tilts and she gives him a look that's both questioning and knowing, that brow staying arched upwards. "Glad you two are doing well," she does say, with a little smile to add to the genuineness of those words.

Playing innocently unaware of the tension or awkwardness, Th'ero continues through the motions of casual conversation even though he must sense some change in K'hys or even the two Western riders. Suspicion lurks somewhere, hidden, the bronzerider left to wonder who knows what and how much and on two very different issues. The Weyrleader's smile does falter though at K'hys' obvious unhappiness and that puts him a little on edge. "I never said you were." He counters back, a touch defensive. "Just meant it more to say that you shouldn't worry about approaching ranking riders. Even if to just give a passing greeting." To the weyrling's well being and that of Jheth's, there's a brisk nod and a strained smile. "Good to hear." Is his last remark directed to K'hys, gaze lingering and searching before he's distracted again. Th'ero almost groans when Zi'on gestures with a thrust to imply "taking care" of Xanshalla, though bites it back. Instead, he only closes his eyes briefly as one hand frees itself to pinch the bridge of his nose. Embarrassed? Oh yes, he is. That's his assistant headwoman Zi'on is talking about, after all. "Shards, do you have to be so literal with everything?" he mutters, though it sounds like he's holding back a chuckle as well. Kimmila's remark earns a curious quirk of his brow and then Th'ero's hand comes up to rub up along the side of his face. Or so it seems, as he could also be hiding that knowing smile of his too to the bluerider's teasing. Wisely, he doesn't comment.

Zi'on wrinkles his nose at K'hys. "…Sir? Who are you calling sir? You don't have to call me that. I'm just a rider. And that makes me sound -old-." Zi'on certainly looked older than nineteen, but that didn't mean he wanted to be called sir all the time. At least not by other riders. Even if they are weyrlings. "What! You're only in trouble if you get -caught-, right Th'ero? Also, I think a weyrleader trumps a weyrlingmaster any day. And thirdly, weyrlings are supposed to get into trouble every once in a while. Otherwise it's boring for the weyrlingmasters." As if Zi'on would know really. "There is!?" Zi'on teases and then laughs at Kimmila's notion. "Oh right, like… well, nevermind." The younger bronzer grins. "A present. Hm. Maybe I will do that. It'll have to be something sweet, but also embarrassing." He tugs his beard in thought. "Well, don't leave me hanging here, guys. What should I get her?" There's just a grin to Th'ero about being literal. "What? Would you rather I use clever euphemisms? We're all adults here. Well, I'm close enough." He laughs then, at both himself and his own joke.

That hip thrusting gesture that Zi'on performs is utterly missed by K'hys, with other concerns on his mind. Those brows of his are still pinched, meeting in the middle of his forehead. "Actually I do sir, and I'm sorry for that." the boy says, his lips set in a long thin line, before he tries another smile with an apologetic tilt, but it just comes off as a grimace. "The Weyrlingmasters were very insistent that until we graduate we're to address all full riders as sir or ma'am, even those we already knew before we Impressed and riders from other weyrs." Helplessly, the boy shrugs, unable to do anything apparently in this situation. Perhaps even more so, with the Weyrleader standing right there would be a decent guess. "I'd have to call you sir even if you were younger, sir." Or maybe he just likes annoying the hell out of oversexed bronzeriders that hump at the air when talking about a girl they fancy. It was difficult to say, especially with the way he couldn't seem to keep his eyes off of Th'ero and Kimmila for whatever reason. For the female bluerider, there is a shake of his head, when she asks him what. He wasn't going to explain, sadly. Her following comment, genuine or not, gets a smallest lift of one brow, but he's quickly distracted by the defensive tone of Th'ero which clearly has the weyrling taken a back. There's a blink that's riddled with confusion, before the slightest of frowns causes the corners of Kai's lips to flip upside down. He draws in a breath, straightening himself up to his full height as he'd come to hunch his shoulders up to that point, and his chin jerks upwards slightly. "I see that congratulations are in order for you ma'am," he abruptly tosses out there at Kimmila, his smile friendly and for all intents and purposes appearing genuine. However, it was his tone that gave him away, as well as the way his eyes suddenly threatened to shoot daggers straight from his pupils. "And sir…" Those brown orbs glide to Th'ero, "It seems that love is blooming, even with winter reaching out to slowly choke life out of everything else around us."

Kimmila turns her head to look up at Th'ero for a long moment, head tilted slightly in puzzlement. She keeps her hands in her pockets this time though, rather than attempt another 'relax' touch. She smirks a bit, liking Zi'on more and more as this conversation progresses. Or maybe she's latching onto him more in order to avoid the islands of awkwardness that are Th'ero and K'hys. "Being forthright is better than beating around the bush," she says, chin lifting slightly. "That way there's no confusion as to what it is that's going on." Double meaning? Probably. She doesn't look at anyone when she says that, quickly hopping to her next thought with a laugh and a wicked grin. "Edible underwear?" she offers innocently to Zi'on. "I know some Bakers down Crom way that make it out of fruit leather. Kind of sticky, but…that only adds to the fun." She then holds up a hand and shakes her head, "I know you're not /there/ yet with her, but maybe it'll be a step in the right direction? Otherwise…I know when I was an Assistant Headwoman, I was always wanting to have more styluses. Or knives are always a good gift," she says, patting the blue and silver handle of her beltknife and casting Th'ero a warm smile. "Or jewelry." She doesn't reach up to touch the malachite beads though. But then her eyes are snapping back to K'hys in time to catch his dagger look, and the bluerider visibly bristles. "Congratulations?" she asks, voice taking on a sharper edge. It's when the weyrling addresses Th'ero though, that Kimmila's anger flashes to the forefront. "Now you wait just a damn minute, K'hys. I am /not/ going to stand here and let you blame us for your own heartache, or put up with your guilt. Unrequited love sucks, yes, but this is also /your/ fault, for dragging it out for so long. You brought this on /yourself/, with your coy little games, and your hope that he'd fall in love with you despite /every/ evidence to the contrary, including the fact that he doesn't even /like/ guys." She stops herself abruptly, lips pressed firmly together and it's very likely that her distracted look is coming from her blue talking her down before she lunges at the weyrling to wipe that false smile off his face with her fists.

"Oh no, you're not getting me to comment on that." Shaking his head, Th'ero frees his hands again long enough to hold them up in a mock warding gesture, palms out towards Zi'on. His hands then disappear again, tucked under the folds of his arms as he resumes his usual stance. The Weyrleader then sighs a little at the Western bronzerider's antics, smiling crookedly. Oh, how he's missed times like these. "Something practical." He almost drawls his suggestion after a thoughtful but distracted pause. His thoughts truly are too jumbled to think of gifts. Zi'on's laughter is infectious and Th'ero soon laughs softly himself. "Good point. And I suppose I could lighten up for once." Like that will ever happen while he's sober or in public - or both. Then there's a shift to the atmosphere surrounding them and Th'ero's good humor seems to weaken. Unnerved, the Weyrleader turns to glance back to K'hys, frowning now as he sees a side to the weyrling he's never quite noticed (or so he assumes) before. As K'hys addresses Kimmila, it dawns on Th'ero too late to stop what is to come. So much for secrets being hidden, "K'hys…" he begins to say, almost in warning by his tone as he meets the weyrlings gaze with a narrowed look. The cryptic remark has the older bronzerider bristling though and his expression goes blank. Classic reaction of one who knows, has known for a bit and yet the confirmation still hits hard. Arms drop to his side, hands clenched and shoulders tensed as it all comes to a head and he's unable to escape it. Kimmila's outburst catches him off guard and Th'ero's arm darts out in front of the bluerider. "Enough." He says gruffly, voice cold and as hard as his expression has become as he takes a small step forwards, placing her slightly to his side and behind him. K'hys is given a closed look, though some sympathy shows through. "This isn't something we should discuss here." He tells the weyrling, clearly uncomfortable and even angry by this point, but at whom exactly, it's uncertain. "But I'm well aware now." The last is said just as his mouth draws down into a grim line and Th'ero glances away. Briefly, an apologetic look is given to Zi'on, who is undoubtedly caught in the middle of some awkward situation.

Zi'on stares at K'hys. "Ooookay. Do they tell you you ought to be bored as heck during weyrlinghood, as well?" Because he would be, without the ability to talk to people or do pranks. "Well, if you want to call me sir that's your choice, I guess. Did it hurt when they removed your balls at the start of weyrlinghood?" He laughs a bit. It's a joke, really. But…. clearly not the best time for one as Kimmila is suddenly digging into the bluerider about love and heartache and liking guys. He just stands there, blinking, looking between the three other riders. Even Suldith lifts his head, blinking at everyone. He gives a questioning trill. "Ooooookay then…." Awkward! "Maybe… I think it might be time for us to head back to Western. I think I can hear my.. oven… on…" Zi'on give Th'ero a sympathetic look. He doesn't want to abandon his friend though, the poor guy. "Sounds like maybe you guys need to talk…" Suldith gives his rider a strange look as he climbs over the fence to get to him, strapping him up.

K'hys might of caught what Kimmila had been hinting at before he opened his mouth and let out probably the least favorable thing out of it, along the same topic. Then again, at sixteen and holdbred it was unlikely that the boy had enough experience to deal with everything that'd just been revealed in the most discreet of simple gestures. Not to mention a young dragon equally immature emotionally, unmistakeably now in full presence despite his lack of physical form where all could see. As Kimmila launches herself full at him verbally, the weyrling stands there with a cool expression on his face the smile that had graced his lips long since discarded against the ire of the female bluerider. "Blame? Who said I blamed anyone?" Kai replies, "If you feel guilty that has nothing to do with me, ma'am, though I can assure you that making anyone feel anything was never my intention." His voice was cool and collected, any other reaction to both being attacked so openly in front of a perfect stranger and the Fortian Weyrleader hidden away behind an endless field of neatly packed snow. "How I choose to approach deeply personal issues is really none of your business, but if you insist on throwing around accusations, I'm afraid I'll have to stop you there. I do not feel that choosing to keep inappropriate feelings towards a ranking rider to myself during candidacy and weyrlinghood could possibly be considered a coy little game, not only because such things are strictly forbidden during both, but also as there happened to be a dragonet involved. I'm truly sorry if you think that damaging my lifemate with strong emotions was a sacrifice worth making in your eyes, just to spare you a look and some resentment from someone who you've so clearly just pointed out, represents absolutely no threat at all to your relationship." Those words should of been seething, but they are flat and devoid of a single scrap of emotion, having a precisely logical and even clinical edge. He's bottled up everything and put it where no one but perhaps Jheth can find it. "I commend you, ma'am for never once in your life having been in a hopeless situation, where you clung to a single spark of possibility. That must be wonderful for you." A pause, and then he looks to Th'ero. There was no stammering now, or blushing looks. All the awkwardness had vanished as well, leaving only the icy disapproval. Especially with that nearly narrowing look, and steps protectively in front of the woman. His eyes narrow at this slightly before leveling his gaze on the Weyrleader, "You knew, and you said nothing?" he asks, disbelieving it even as he says it. All the ideals he'd likely built up as a pedestal for the bronzerider to stand upon comes literally crashing down all around him. "You knew and you were just going to let me embarrass myself after graduation…" he swallows thickly and shakes his head, "You didn't say a word to me, but you told her?" There's a long hard look, no longer any affection or fondness reflected in the teenager's eyes, as the doubt of Th'ero being capable of such a thing is replaced by cold hard fact. Obviously this was the case, or at least that was how the weyrling was taking it. Poor Zi'on and his manly comments on Kai's balls are ignored, as he turns and simply walks away without anymore more to say.

Kimmila is stopped from saying more by both Varmiroth and Th'ero, taking a small step back when the Weyrleader's arm crosses in front of her. Her own arms cross tightly over her chest as she watches K'hys, expression hard and angry. A short distance away, Varmiroth swoops in to land, crouching outside the pens with tension across his entire frame as he watches. The more words K'hys says, the more furious Kimmila becomes, her green eyes narrowing to chips of emerald, hard and sharp. Her mouth works, but Varmiroth must be saying the right things, because Kimmila does not respond to a single thing K'hys says, even though it's very, very clear that she has things to say. Hurt is masked by fury, as it usually is with her, her expression hard and angry, but unmoving.

Despite the awkwardness and rapidly growing tension as tempers flare, Th'ero glances away to follow Zi'on as the younger bronzerider stumbles over an excuse and then begins to climb over the fence. Grimly, the Weyrleader only nods in farewell and tries not to look too envious of the younger bronzerider's freedom to flee and quite tempted to do the same. It'd be a coward's way out though and so he simply raises his chin and braces for it. From his ledge, meal long devoured, Velokraeth gives Suldith a low, reassuring rumble and possibly takes care of formal farewells while his rider is preoccupied. With his temper rising, Th'ero listens as K'hys returns Kimmila's previous words in kind and the Weyrleader flinches slightly at some of the points the weyrling brings up. It's barely noticeable though and for the most part his expression remains cold and closed, frowning heavily and his posture rigid from stress. The accusations are met with another grim look and Th'ero doesn't deny them, only giving a nod of his head to what is obviously the truth. "I only just found out." He beings to explain, voice low, flatly calm and just as cold as his expression as he continues to fight back his anger. "What I tell Kimmila or anyone for that matter is also my business. But my aim wasn't to embarrass you. You told me when you wanted to speak and I had offered you the chance to before. You refused. So why would I press the matter?" Turning his head to glance behind him, he takes note of Kimmila's equally as angry and furious expression and looks back just in time before K'hys manages to walk too far. "Weyrling K'hys," Th'ero suddenly calls, pulling rank and taking on a commanding tone. It lies bitterly on the Weyrleader to go as low as to order him, but regardless he presses on. "We need to talk. Now." Clearly someone is frustrated with the games.

"Uh. See you… guys…" Is Zi'on's only means of farewell. He doubts anyone is even going to respond, so Suldith is taking off right afterwards. There's a final look for Th'ero as Suldith passes along the message that if he needs someplace to hide out he knows where Zi'on lives. A few moments later and Suldith disappears between.

"I disagree," K'hys replies, voice remaining even and lacking emotional response. Maybe this is how the weyrling delt with feeling betrayed, which if his eyes were any indication, was exactly what he was reacting to. "What you tell your mate is my business, when how I feel is the topic of discussion. I choose to speak with you after graduation, because to do so before hand would not only have been inappropriate and against the rules of candidacy and weyrlinghood, but also because I did not want my obvious stupidity to in any way hurt my lifemate. It's called control, maybe that's something you can talk about with her next." With Kimmila livid, but holding her tongue, there was nothing to stop K'hys from walking away, which he does in fact keep doing after his last toneless words are bestowed upon Th'ero. His back to the couple, any expression he might have on his face hidden for the words that chase after him, but he does pause as the Weyleader pulls rank. He hadn't gone off all that far, turning his head as if to look over his shoulder, yet his eyes remain downcast. "Respectfully sir, fuck off." With that, the weyrling continues on his way towards the bowl, following the path taken not so long ago by his lifemate.

To say that Kimmila is livid is an understatement. She stands there with her body clenched, as tight as a coiled spring. Varmiroth is also tense, the blue rumbling softly and soothingly. But when K'hys disobeys a direct order from the Weyrleader, the blue bristles and his rumble is angry, red spinning into his eyes. It's then Kimmila's turn to get her partner under control, and it takes but a moment for the red flecks in the blue's eyes to vanish. She looks up at Th'ero, her expression hard and also shocked. And what can she do? She waits to see what he does, in this moment treating him like Fort Weyr's Weyrleader, instead of her…whatever he is. She doesn't even offer advice.

Th'ero's expression darkens when K'hys goes as far to suggest what he should and should not do. While the weyrling does hold so much truth in his words, the Weyrleader's flaring temper and habit of cracking under too much pressure has him overlooking the actual logic behind what is said. Later, when tempers cool and minds bend to reason, the bronzerider will see it but by then it will be too late. As K'hys turns to face him after having ordering him to stay, Th'ero raises his head up, hands still clenched at his sides and expression grim. Bracing for an expected emotional discussion that never comes. The weyrling's remark is met with open shock and the Weyrleader practically recoils, mind reeling as he attempts to grasp at what just occurred. Velokraeth does nothing; save for taking on a statuesque pose he's so unusually still, his whirling eyes still blue in hue and very much focused on Th'ero. If a dragon could glare daggers, he'd be doing it. Unaware of Kimmila's reaction behind him, Th'ero only scowls, jaw clenching so tightly as to be visible. Whatever words he had are choked back and K'hys is left to leave unchallenged, as much as it pains the Weyrleader to let him slide away. In fact, no word of that infraction, as serious at it is, will ever be uttered. So the weyrling may be saved from any future strife of having Weyrlingmasters or other ranking weyrfolk hounding him. Th'ero's gaze follows K'hys until the weyrling vanishes from view, hands clenched tightly into fists and rooted to the spot as indecision settles in, his mind a mess and his emotions as dark as the expression on his face.

Kimmila is quiet for a long moment, and then the first sound that she makes is a soft exhale. "Come on," she says quietly, as Varmiroth rises to all fours and approaches with slow steps. "Let's go." Where? She doesn't say.
Velokraeth stretches out as he too rises to his feet and glides down from the low hanging ledge. Landing as close as he can to the two riders without sending too much dirt flying their way, the bronze settles heavily to his stunted legs. His over-sized head turns upwards to the skies and he rumbles low and deep in his throat. Seems he's in agreement with leaving. Th'ero however, remains unmoving even as Kimmila quietly suggests what his lifemate is trying to also encourage him to do. Brown eyes are fixated yet distant, scowl locked in place and then with a sharp shake of his head, he closes his eyes. "Where?" The Weyrleader simply asks, speaking it so low and gruffly as almost to growl it, eyes opening just enough to glance sidelong to the bluerider.

Kimmila meets his gaze and tilts her head towards Varmiroth. "Another of Fort's secrets," she says quietly. But now isn't the time to be coy, so she elaborates. "An island in the middle of Drake's Lake." And as she says that, Varmiroth is sharing the image with Velokraeth, while Kimmila walks over to her blue's side and climbs up into his straps, buckling herself in and waiting for the Weyrleader.

Th'ero gives the barest of nods to Kimmila's reply and finally the Weyrleader begins to move, though his movements are stiff and his gaze downcast, heavy frown and grim look still firmly in place. Velokraeth is without his straps and so the bronzerider pauses to glance up to the bluerider, "Meet me at the complex. We'll leave from there." Th'ero tells her, before stalking off down towards the bowls while his lifemate springs into the air, wasting little time. As said, the pair arrive at their weyr and shortly Velokraeth is fully strapped and Th'ero himself now in full riding gear. Having left instructions with his staff, making up some bogus excuse for his absence, the Weyrleader mounts up. Waiting on Varmiroth's cue, the bronze crouches down, preparing to take flight once more once the blue leads.

Th'ero gives the barest of nods to Kimmila's reply and finally the Weyrleader begins to move, though his movements are stiff and his gaze downcast, heavy frown and grim look still firmly in place. Velokraeth is without his straps and so the bronzerider pauses to glance up to the bluerider, "Meet me at the complex. We'll leave from there." Th'ero tells her, before stalking off down towards the bowls while his lifemate springs into the air, wasting little time. As said, the pair arrive at their weyr and shortly Velokraeth is fully strapped and Th'ero himself now in full riding gear. Having left instructions with his staff, making up some bogus excuse for his absence, the Weyrleader mounts up. Waiting on Varmiroth's cue, the bronze crouches down, preparing to take flight once more once the blue leads.

Kimmila waits in the complex, mounted up, and when it's time the blue lifts strongly into the air and soars upwards, sharing the image with Velokraeth once more before he vanishes between.

'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.