====February 13, 2014
====Diya, N'thu
====Over a broken wagon wheel, a reunion and a baby naming.

Who Diya, N'thu
What Over a broken wagon wheel, a reunion and a baby naming.
When It is afternoon of the nineteenth day of the first month of the first turn of the 12th pass.
Where Igen River Road

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Igen River Road
The scent of mud fills the air here, rich and organic. The source, of course, is the broad brown river to your east: the mighty Igen, Pern's largest, and the heart of life in its namesake Hold. The buzz of vtols and cries of wherries mingle with the rumble of carts and chatter of people, for this part of the road lies at the foot of Igen Hold. The road stretches north from here, towards the just-visible mountain range that houses Igen Weyr.

There is a minor traffic obstruction going on for some of the Igen River area's traders. It's not the obstruction itself that is minor; in fact, the obstruction is very large (for an obstruction), sandy-bronze colored and enjoying its mud-soak. The bronze dragon (who while large for an obstruction is actually very small for a bronze dragon) is lounging next to a small wagon filled mostly with metal cookware, oblivious to the fact that there are a couple of families unable to pass. "Zot, get your things," N'thu is complaining, looking exasperated, "and just get on the dragon and we'll come back for the cart, because this is ridiculous — Itzquintlith." Beat. Glare. "Move."

Somewhere, elsewhere in the area there is another fair-hided Igen bronze, near enough to have made N'thu's presence in the area well known but far enough that he is, for the most part, merely enjoying the play-by-play immensely. Everyone has their burdens, though, which is why it is not N'zi's rangy figure with its micro-expressions that makes its way through the obstructed traffic. It is, however, yet another of the river hold's far-flung children come home to visit that arrives: round and roly-poly Diya with her sunshine-smiles and her equally exuberant profusion of glossy-dark curls hops to see above other peoples' heads. Hops, hops (shames her mother; hops) and whoops, "N'thu!" cheerful-caroled on the wind.

"Oh, who's that now?" N'thu calls over the bulk of Itzquintlith's hind leg — which is not that bulky — as no doubt one bronze is suddenly warning something to another. "Voice sounds familiar. You recognize that voice, Zot?" Whether it's because of the difficulty with moving his cart along or because he does not actually like the nickname, N'thu's red-haired brother is silently packing up pots to load them dragonback and doesn't say anything. It doesn't take long for N'thu to not be able to resist the charms of approaching Diyas, though, and hops over the dragon's foot in order to offer an extended arm. "Hello, runaway," he teases.

The omnipresent background jungle sounds and soft birdsong that exist whenever Itzquintlith is in comfortable mental range of a dragon he genuinely likes kicks up a bit in Zateriyath's direction, almost as if the birds have begun to pay proper attention to something. (Since he's started spending so much time around Liareth, the songs are even a little less cacophonous so long as he hasn't been startled.) Or perhaps the birds are laughing. « You have lost a cub, » he warns. « The one who jumps. »

Poor sullen Ahuizotl and his busted wagon are ignored entirely in favor of N'thu and Itzquintlith, the latter of whom gets a wave while the former, well. The former nearly gets knocked into, but Diya stops her headlong plunge with a grab of the offered arm that propels itself into a hug. It is brief, for all its exuberance: she is not shy when she pulls back, but her smile is soft-broad rather than her elder siblings' bladed. "I did not run," she chides back, "if you were to listen to my mother, I was kidnapped like my brother, but farther and oh!" she presses the back of her hand to her forehead, mock-dramatic, "these weyrs will be the death of me." When she drops her hand there is a small, a tiny-small, indignant chide from under the glorious excess that is her hair, unbound.

The jungle is met by the desert, a swift scouring breeze that saps its damp heat and replaces it with dry; Zateriyath's laughter is the electric-blue crackle of heat-lightning, there-then-gone; his words are born on an acrid tang of ozone. « We have not lost her, » he informs Itzquintlith, mock-solemn in his actual delivery, « but aimed her exuberance at you and yours. »

« We will take good care of her, » is the wafting of words on Itzquintlith's passing waterfall noises; there, to balance out the dryness and humidity fighting. « But you must, eventually, take her back as well — my weyr is not large enough for such energy. »

"That is precisely the same thing," N'thu affirms solidly: the idea that running away and being Searched are one and the same, despite the fact he actually knows full well that they are not. The impression of her mother, though, that gets a true laugh that shakes him out of his put-upon nonchalance. "And that is a work of art. It's been months if not a turn since I saw her and yet that is an impression I can tell is accurate —" What he is not expecting is hair making noise, and so the smile fades to a curious quirk, bronzerider squinting at his younger friend's hair as if it has done something strange like, say, produce a sound.

"She says she misses you," Diya adds, her own merry aspect taking over, "because be they sons of the heart or sons of her loins, they do not visit near enough to satisfy." That last sentence is obviously her mother's, but less of a imitation so much as a turn of phrasing that is not quite Diya's own. As for what is Diya's own: when she sees her hair has caught N'thu's attention she moves it aside, reaches her hand underneath it and withdraws a very small, very pale gold firelizard, one who trills irritably at the indignity of having been moved so. It is then thrust up toward N'thu, gentle but no less abrupt. "She is very new."

"Ah." The curious quirk of an expression morphs into a fonder one, as N'thu takes the very small creature in — first visually, and then with a gentle scritch to her eyeridge, if accepted. "Very new indeed. Maybe a day old?" is his guess, and by now Ahuizotl is — observing, if not commenting, and Itzquintlith has completely tuned the humans out. (His birds might be touching the edge of the tiny firelizard's mind, but on the other hand that could be cruel and unusual punishment for such a young brain.)

"That is right!" From Diya's tone, you'd think N'thu did something much more impressive than correctly identify the approximate age of a creature whose species he has some experience with. "You are very clever. Zizi's queen, that is her mother? I do not think he was expecting this one to be a queen, too, when he gave me the egg." As for the baby: she ruuuuuuuuuubs her little head into the scritching.

There's a little bit of a chuckle there, too - why give away a gold egg to your sister when you could make money off it, after all? "She is small, at least," N'thu sort of backs up his friend's assessment, "so if the egg wasn't gold — I heard a story about a man from the Oldtime who could hear dragons and had five gold firelizards, from one of the much older riders, so maybe it's not always that unusual to not be able to tell, with the littler ones." He is grinning, because of course he is that impressive, or else she is someone who has always been good at inflating his ego. The firelizard is getting all of the love except for the grin, though. Scritch, rub. "She's very affectionate." Because he knows what he's doing, but it could also be in general!

Diya warms up to N'thu's grin, her own broadening; sorry, Ahuizotl, you may as well be scenery. "She is. Also she looks like sand, when the light hits her hide, see?" She tips her hand carefully, so as to most adequately display the young gold's hide without disturbing her too much. "I have yet to decide upon a name, though."

Ahuizotl is used to being scenery, though at least some people pay him closer attention. The Steen girls. And Taryn, who isn't really a Steen girl, but … It isn't as if it matters, he is packing up a dragon and our heroes have far more interesting things to pay attention to, like hatchling firelizards. "A very good color," he muses, and changes his eye-scritching to neck-rubbing with the back of a knuckle, instead. "If you're up for suggestions, I think she looks like a Yoloti." Not a name he made up; presumably the name of an elderly relative, a long-deceased family member from stories, someone's dearly departed runnerbeast — something that was already on his mind, inspired by the hatchling.

Sorry, small firelizard, your perch must be disrupted — though if N'thu is clever he will just move with her, as Diya lifts the little gold to her eye-height and considers her solemnly. Here, her expression reveals her N'zi's sister: it's there in the faint furrow of her brow, the even line of her mouth; the smile that breaks as her expression clears is all hers, though. "Yes," she declares, "I believe that she is a Yoloti. Thank you, N'thu - your suggestions are much more pleasant than Zizi's were."

"N'zi has a firelizard named Daggerbutt," N'thu points out blandly, as he picks up on the precise cue and his hand travels to keep contact with the tiny gold. He dotes on draconic babies far more than he does human ones, to say the least; he would hate for her to lose her comforting neck rubs. "So I think just about anyone's might be, but maybe that isn't fair. I just thought it might make a good name." His dragon even offers an exhaled whuffle of approval, though most of his attention remains with N'thu's younger brother and his pots. They are mostly clean of mud now, at least. "She's pale enough they could be related, if that sort of thing carried," head-jerk at the sandy bronze providing shade and sometimes obstructing roads, "so I think he likes her."

"All of the things he suggested had butts in them," Diya reports, nose wrinkling. "I could not decide if he was doing it because he cannot help himself, or if he was trying to make our mother," what the younger brunette does next is not a word, so much as it is a sound: not quite a tch, not quite a sigh, but a combination of the two that conveys the utmost of matronly despair and/or disgust. It's a very accurate impression, yet again. "But I could think of nothing better. So, Yoloti she shall be." Now, finally, she deigns to allow Ahuizotl and his pots some of her attention, and only then in extension of the attention shifted to Itzquintlith. "I did think so, myself," she asides to N'thu, then wades in, her, "Your pots are very difficult today, Wheezy," somewhat … carrying. Sorry, Ahuizotl. (Sorry, N'thu).

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