==== September 21, 2013
==== Sienna, Kehemath, C'zan, Khallth, Valiuth
==== The aftermath of Kehemath's first flight - much backdated.

Who Sienna, Kehemath, C'zan, Khallth
What The aftermath of Kehemath's first flight - much backdated.
When Backdated
Where Igen

The evening has drifted into night, cool and cloudless, with a billion stars stretched out across the desert sands and rocky mountains. The moons are waxing, crescents not lending much light to the landscape, so that all the light that exists comes from the reflection of the stars across the sand and red and white stone. Sienna had found a little cave off the edge of the road, down a short dip and between two large boulders guarding the entrance. The floor is sandy but hardly smooth, sharp stones abounding for scrapes and scratches against nude, writhing bodies. At least Sienna is nude, clothes discarded outside during her running flight here. Nude and wild, feral, with nails and teeth ready to both push against and cling to the flight winner.

Outside, a short distance away, Kehemath found a spot in the sand to rest after the flight, digging herself a little depression in the sand to settle, and if her winner wished to join her she would drape herself across his body, wiggling until comfortable and dropping into a deep sleep. While dawn is still many candlemarks off, wakefulness might just come to these twined pairs.

C'zan half dozes, exhaustion holding him in its grip, worse mentally than physically. Pale brown eyes are half closed as he lies in a strange, contorted shape, trying to avoid the worst of the sharp rocks, at least the ones that haven't already left their imprint on his skin, through the tattered remains of the undershirt that barely manage to cling to his chest. The rest of his clothes are scattered somewhere outside. He shifts, half sleepily, trying to avoid resting a scraped shoulder against the sand, but perhaps brushing Sienna in the process.

Khallth is sated, content, happy to be used as a bed by the green so newly won. The brown does not sleep, single eye whirling as he keeps watch, occasionally shifting to touch his muzzle to the green if she will allow.

Sienna shifts, turning her curvy (moreso now with the pregnancy) body until a stone prods her in the back. With a low groan she opens her eyes, staring up at the jagged ceiling, blinking with a frown until it all comes flooding back to her in a wave of guilt and shame, and she turns her head sharply to squint in the darkness, trying to determine who it is that lays beside her. She knows it's not W'rin - Valiuth didn't chase - but who is it?

Outside Kehemath is happy to snuggle with /this/ brown, sleeping deeply while her dreams ram around her mind, open to Khallth if he wants to join. Otherwise, she'll just snuggle and rest until her rider's panic awakens her.

The tiredness drains away at the sound of the groan, and C'zan fully opens his eyes, lying there staring at the ceiling as he tries to process just what is happening now. At the sound of movement he turns his head as well, trying to see Sienna. She must be awake, or nearly conscious. "Good evening, I think," he says quietly, soft enough that if she is asleep, it shouldn't disturb her.

With the invitation, Khallth hovers on the edge between the mindlinks, his own mindscape compressed down from the vast night sky to a small tent, lit by a flickering candle or two. The flap is half open, and the candlelight dances on the black canvas as his star man hovers in the entrance, just watching.

Sienna squints, tilting her head at the voice and peering at the shadow that is C'zan. "Who…are you?" she asks, her blush invisible in the darkness as she can't quite place the voice with the shadowy outline. Shifting again, she sits up with another groan, this one of pain and discomfort before a low hiss as scrapes and scratches from the stones, bruises, and soreness all over makes itself known. "Did I hurt you?" That's her next question even as she's checking herself over for more serious injuries. "And your lifemate?" Is he okay too?

Kehemath's mind brushes against Khallth's, her vast desert landscape narrowing in focus somewhat around that tent. Dunes shift beneath the stars, and creatures dig and slither over the sand while her mindself approaches that tent, muzzle sniffing at the fabric. Curious, she prowls around the outside, scenting where fabric touches earth.

C'zan shifts back from the moving figure slightly, to give her more space (or give her less chance of smacking him.) "C'zan, Sienna," he identifies himself, still in that quiet tone, ignoring the stinging sensations that are growing the more that he moves about. "Khallth is fine," he adds, ignoring the fact that she asked about him. "He's happy."

Carefully, Khallth lets his representation pull the flap open fully, slowly, inviting Kehemath into the cosy retreat. He stands sideways in the entrance, his soft mental breeze of pleasure and happiness drifting out to dance playfully over the dunes.

Sienna blanches, but it's hard to tell. "Is he? You're sure?" It's a stupid question, but she knows the brown's history and she has to fight against the sudden thud of panic. "Did I hurt you?" she asks again, shifting around with a muffled groan. "Don't have a glow, do you?" she mutters, looking at the exit where the starlight gleams and starting to very slowly make her way towards it.

Kehemath prowls around the tent until she's back to the entrance, and then with a little lick of the star man's leg, she zips inside the tent, peering around curiously. Tail fans the air and her ears are up and perked, alert for every little sound.

That might be the faintest hint of a chuckle from C'zan. "I'm sure," he says, his tone warmer than its usual, more obvious in the darkness. "He tells me that they're marks of honour." He shifts, more upright now, wincing in the dark. " I have a few cuts and scrapes, bruises as well," he explains partially. "And believe it or not, dear greenrider, glows weren't one of the things on our mind tonight."

The tent is laid out for two, blankets laid side by side. Two candles sit either side of the blankets, on rough crates. Khallth chuckles deeply, the sound echoing from the sky rather than the star man. «Kehemath» he intones gently, softly.

Sienna blushes, crawling to the exit and pushing to her feet outside, her skin visible now in the starlight. Scratches and scrapes along her back, some bruises on her knees and shins and arms. Nothing terrible, the cuts having dried and scabbed over. She needs a good bath and it'll sting, but she looks fine. Turning back towards the cave, she offers C'zan a hand. "So she did mark him? I'm sorry," she says with a wince. "Her flights…well. I tried to warn you…You don't think we're freaks?" Her big worry - how the nowtimers would react to Kehemath's feral flights.

Kehemath prowls forward, sniffing the flame and snorting when it flickers and gives off the heat. « Khallth, » the green replies, stepping with slow paws onto the blanket. Then one, two, three turns before she's flopping down, licking her paws and looking up at the star man curiously and happily. Her mind is content, twining with his again.

There is no prickly pride here in C'zan, not in this place, at this time, and he gratefully accepts the offered hand. His undershirt hangs off him, shredded by nails and by the sharp rocks. Faint red tinges the fabric, and as he shifts, scraps can be seen on his chest. His upper arms bear scratches, as does his back. A large black bruise is blossoming on his right leg. "You did warn us," he agrees, casting his eyes over her form in the starlight. There is still a lot of Khallth in that gaze. "Greens do as greens do, and we browns just follow along."

The flap stays up, overlooking the desert, as Khallth turns away to lower himself down to the blanket, cross-legged. He extends one star filled hand towards the green's representation. Scritches?

Sienna winces when she sees him, reaching out to gently push aside the tatters of his tunic. "Let me tend to those," she murmurs. "Let's…we can go to my weyr? If the dragons would oblige? Please, it's the least I can do, tend to those. I have all the best things for scratches and scrapes and bruises. Plus…I need clothes."

Kehemath's mindself stretches her muzzle over, resting it on the man's knee. Dark eyes peer up at him, bright and intelligent, ears swiveling. Yes, scritches.

"Khallth will go wherever Kehemath will," C'zan says, fondness and a strange kind of mockery in his voice, as he looks over to where his mindlink tells him the brown is. "If you're willing to have us cluttering up your weyr? Ours is not exactlydesigned for company." Read, dirty laundry everywhere. "You are beautiful, my dear green, but we agree. Clothes." His clothes were scattered outside the cave, and some lucky trader may find a pair of underpants, but his coat still remains, and with a fluid motion, C'zan lifts it from the ground, shakes the dust from it, and offers it to Sienna. "For a while, anyway?"

Khallth obliges with long and sweeping strokes of that formed hand, star dust drifting free with each motion, ever smiling face fixed on Kehemath. He extrudes a kind of contentment, pleasure and happiness seeping through every inch of his mindscape and beyond, out into the draconic ether.

Sienna blushes, glancing down at herself. "Thank you," she murmurs. "To our weyr, then," she agrees, reaching up to take his jacket and pull it on with a grateful smile. "Follow us, then," she says, moving carefully in her bare feet over the rocky terrain.

Kehemath leans happily into those touches with a croon, but then her image begins to fade as she's called back to reality. Rising, she gives Khallth a nuzzle - a promise of only temporary parting - before she's padding swiftly to meet her lifemate so Sienna does not have to walk far in bare feet. Climbing up nimbly onto the strapless dragon, Sienna waits until C'zan is mounted before Kehemath rises into the sky to make the swift flight back to the weyr, soon touching down on her narrow ledge and scooting onto her couch to give the brown as much room as possible to land.

And follow the brown and his rider do, C'zan stepping carefully to his lifemates side, as the brown gives Kehemath and her rider space to move and to fly. When the weyr is reached, Khallth hovers, almost protectively over the ledge as Kehemath lands, before he lands himself, almost immediately coiling in on himself to try and make more room. C'zan slides down to stone of the ledge, and rests one hand on the foreleg that he's just descended. He waits a moment, in case Sienna wants privacy to dress.

Sienna doesn't seem to need privacy to dress, as she beckons C'zan in after she's dismounted. "Does he need tending to? I can send for more numbweed," she offers, eyes scanning the brown, searching for those injuries. Moving inside, the greenrider uncovers glows to set the weyr into brightness, but not so bright that it's painful. Just enough subtle lighting so they can see. Removing his jacket, she brushes it off and drapes it on the back of a chair. "I'll be right back," she promises, vanishing into her bedroom and pulling the curtain closed behind her. On the ledge, Kehemath waits for Khallth to be settled before she's wiggling over to snuggle against him once more, a low rumble of contentment followed by a nuzzle and a little lick.

C'zan follows the beckoning hand. "He wouldn't accept the tending right now," C'zan explains. There aren't that many marks on the brown, a few of what might be scuff marks along his sides, a few talon scraps around his neckridges. There's also indentations of what might be teeth marks near the top of his tail, but that is the only one that holds a beading of ichor, faintly green speckles against the brown hide. The brownrider smiles faintly as Sienna vanishes behind the curtain. "He thanks you for your concern." A pause. "Did I injure you?"

Khallth croons softly, and extends one wing as best he can, letting it fall haphazardly till it just hovers over the green. He settles himself, and opens up the mindscape again, that warm tent, set in the desert sands.

Sienna's voice takes a few moments to reply from behind the curtain. "I injure myself," she finally replies. "Please, have a seat, make yourself comfortable." A moment later she steps out of the bedroom in a loose tunic and loose trousers, with a few folded pieces of clothes in her hands. "I stocked up on men's clothing…" she explains, setting the pieces down on the table. "Can I get you something? Water, wine, whiskey? I have some food as well…"

Kehemath snuggles beneath that wing with a rumble of pleasure, easily slipping back into that shared mindscape. Shimmering back into life, she rests her chin on the star man's knee, tail thumping the blankets softly. The stardust sparkles on her brown fur, gleaming with silver and gold.

Before he accepts the invitation to sit, C'zan tears free a hanging strip of his undershirt, and conscientiously sits on it, slouching, and wincing slightly when he manages to knock a bruise or two. He attentively watches the curtain, a curious cant to his head. When Sienna emerges, he smiles. "Do you need your injuries treated?" he asks, before adding. "Water, please. Wingleader W'rin has barred alcohol." He's being a good wingrider, and also mentioning the elephant (or pernese equivalent) in the room.

Khallth lets his wing fall now that Kehemath seems to approve, and lids his good eye as he focuses back on the mindscape. His star man gently pets, twirling the stardust on the brown fur into random patterns. «Happy?» he dares to ask, quietly.

Sienna blushes, shaking her head. "Of course, my apologies. I keep forgetting…" Pouring water for him and juice for herself, she returns to the table. "Would you like to try those on?" she offers, gesturing at the clothes. "And thank you for the offer, but no. I'll ask W'rin to…" Elephant in the room indeed, as she glances at him and then away, moving to a low table to remove her old S&R first aid kit.

Kehemath's mindself body shifts, shimmering before some of the stardust seems to soak into the fur. Gleaming for a moment, Kehemath decides she's tired of this form, and shimmers into that of a silver skinned female. Stretching, her lithe, lanky body adjusts before she's satisfied with the image. Plastic surgery at its best, with a tweak here, a tuck there, an added curve to the hips. Then, satisfied, her head rests on his knee again. « Yes. »

So the gossip tree is actually correct for a change. C'zan quietly sighs to himself, before he rises to examine the clothes. Pants, pants, wherefore art thou, pants. He does watch Sienna as she moves away from him. Pretty. "Do I need to expect W'rin to come and find me?" he asks bluntly, while rummaging around.

Surprised, Khallth broadcasts surprise, and pleasure in an uncontrolled burst, as Kehemath shifts in his lap. «Clever» he approves, that star spun face never changing even as the sound of the wind keens merrily. For a moment, the fabric of the tent above them dissolves into the vastness of the wasteland and then reforms back into the cosy nook. «Clever, cunning, my dear green.» Dragon echoing rider, or rider echoing dragon?

Sienna knew the flight was coming, and so she found several sets of men's clothes in varying sizes and styles, for her flight winners. Since she knows from experience that clothing is often lost or damaged beyond repair during her dragon's flights. "I…am not sure," she answers honestly. "I wouldn't think so. It's a flight…" But she's uncertain. Apologetic as she returns with her supplies and begins to set them out on the table before she's eying his body with another wince. "I have tried so hard to temper her," she murmurs guiltily.

Kehemath is smug and pleased at his response, her silver skinned female form shifting to sit up. She moves oddly for her form, though. Not like a human. More like a canine in a human's body, with those small mannerisms. Head tilting, she tosses long hair over her shoulder rather than using her hand to push it back. « You like? » she asks, studying her form curiously. A new thing. An experiment, as she goes with the flow of her environment.

C'zan picks out the plainest pair of pants that he believes might fit him, and motions with them to the curtain. "Would you like me to?" he asks, awkwardly enough. Her uncertainty as regards W'rin is met with a slight shake of his head. "You would know better than I what goes through that man's head. I could have Khal bespeak Valiuth when he's finished flirting with Kehemath," he half suggests, half states. Until Sienna winces when she looks at him. His eyes go slightly distant. "My dear green, you warned us about you. You made it clear what happens. And yet we chose to chase. You did not make us. We knew what to expect."

Khallth reaches up with one star spangled hand, aiming to run his fingers through that hair. His motions are jerky, remembered, borrowed motions. «You are still you, beneath.» he notes. «But yes. Like.»

Sienna shrugs, smiling at him. "If you want, but I don't mind," she says, glancing to the curtain and then back to him. Then she laughs, pouring some water into a basin. "I don't know if that's true or not," she admits with a crooked smile. Briefly her hand rubs over her stomach, and then she resumes preparing to tend his injuries. "That might be best…" she agrees, glancing to the ledge for a moment. And then a soft sigh. "Okay." She'll accept his reassurances, even though it's difficult. Every time it's difficult.

Kehemath tilts her head towards that hand, cocking it slightly. « Good, » she says, stretching out long - too long - legs, pointing toes, wiggling her body with a smile. « This is a silly form. » Not bad, but silly. « No teeth, no claws… »

With no further ado then, C'zan pulls the pants on, looking slightly more relieved now that he's not standing mostly naked in the weyr. Despite the fact that he was standing mostly naked in a cave earlier. His legs aren't that injured, anyway. He regards the remains of his undershirt as best he can, and then simply starts removing it, to give Sienna better access, if that's what she wants. "I'll ask Khal to ask. And hopefully the wingleader won't feel the need to bawl me out in person." He gives her a faintly sceptical look for the acceptance, but lets it lie.

Khallth projects affection, although the face of his avatar doesn't change. He raises his unoccupied hand. «You could give it claws?» he suggests. «Make it less silly?»

Sienna gestures for him to sit sideways in one of her dining room chairs, so she can pull up a chair behind him. Then she begins to tenderly tend to his injuries, cleaning with water, dabbing with redwort and then numbweed. Her touch is gentle but practiced, with no hesitation in her movements. "It was a flight, C'zan, I'm sure it'll be fine," she murmurs softly.

Kehemath lifts her slender, lengthy hands and with a slight shimmer, talons emerge from fingertips. Reaching down, she uses one to slice a neat cut in the blanket, sitting up to do so with her hair falling over her shoulders and covering her face. Click click go the talons, and she laughs. « Good for hunting, » she admits, but then fumbles as she tries to push her hair back. « Not good for anything else. » Amused, she turns her bright face to the starman's, before she's stretching and pushing to her feet, lanky body uncurling with the green's own power and grace.

When in a greenriders weyr, do as the greenrider asks. C'zan obediently sits, arranging himself as indicated. His expression blanks as Sienna tends the scraps and scabs, but if she's watching, there is pain, muted, in his eyes. "He rides bronze. You're carrying his child. Fine may be looking on the bright side." Glass half empty, that's C'zan.

Star-Khallth tilts his head and watches with evident fascination as the green rises to her mental feet. «Limited.» he agrees with her last point. «But we are better at hunting.» Candleflame dances against the canvas, and memory images form, of the great white creature brought low by Kehemath, flickering and distorted. «Mine remembers this for me.»

Sienna shakes her head, leaning around a bit to try and see his face. "It was a flight, C'zan. W'rin is a reasonable, logical man. Are you okay? Do you want me to put more numbweed on it?" she asks as she sees that pain. Concerned, she gently squeezes his shoulder.

Kehemath begins to prowl around the inside of the tent, exploring what little details Khallth has imagined. « We are, » she agrees with a soft growl, before she's peering at the flickering image across stretched canvas. « What is it? »

C'zan muffles a grunt when Sienna squeezes his shoulder, by biting the inside of his cheek. "Dear greenrider," he seems to reconsider what he was about to say. "The redwort was unexpected." Yeah, that'll do. "Thank you for troubling yourself with my sorry hide."

There is not much to the tent, simple canvas, blankets and candles. It fades slightly to reveal the wasteland and desert behind, before coming into focus again. «It is a memory of a memory. Of a hunt that you and I shared, once.» Khallth explains, eloquent as he usually isn't. «You were clever. Cunning. You are. »

Sienna watches him for a moment longer, concerned, before she just smiles and goes back to work dabbing his scrapes and cuts. "I should have warned you, sorry," she murmurs. "And of course, C'zan. It's the least I can do. It's only polite." Proper. Nice.

Kehemath pauses, studying the memory again, and something flickers into her own thoughts. « A good hunt, » she agrees as she remembers. Then a distant chuckle, an echoing laugh of amusement and joy. « I am. » No bragging, just fact. Restless now, she prowls again, a different sort of passion rising in her thoughts. « We should hunt. » There is a hunger in her for the stalking, for the kill and for the flesh to sate the hollowness in her insides. On the ledge, the green shifts, nuzzling Khallth's neck gently while she growls low in her throat.

"Igen's healers have not been thatskilful," C'zan comments quietly, as he shifts a little to make it easier on Sienna. "Someone who knows what they're doing is strange." Curiosity flickers across his face for a moment. "Sienna, may I ask you something?" he asks.

«A very good hunt» Khallth agrees, letting the memory image fade, and standing upright. «Another hunt?» he repeats, checking, as the star-man fades, hovering on the edge of dissolving. Beside Kehemath, Khallth croons lowly, softly in response to the growl, lifting his mantleing wing slightly.

Sienna frowns a little bit, before she just exhales in a long suffering sigh and shakes her head. "I learned well in Ista's Search and Rescue wing…I can do more, too, but thankfully you don't need more." It's a small attempt at humor before she pauses, hands resting lightly against his skin. "Of course."

Kehemath pushes to her feet and stretches, forelegs out straight while she arches her spine and then shakes out her wings. Swinging her head around to peer at the brown, she croons softly, her mind tickling with eagerness and anticipation, as well as low drum beats of the hunt. There is hunger in her now, forgotten in the afterglow of the flight, but undeniable as her senses return. She's not ready to kick the brown from her ledge just yet though, intrigued and pleased by how he responds to her mental touches. « Hunt, » she says simply, shifting to the edge of the ledge and looking back to see if he is going to join her as she stretches her wings.

C'zan chuckles. "We should have you teach lessons to Sandblast. We're meant to be the Search and Rescue wing, when we're not fucking up," and his tone is gently teasing. "If I ever fall over Khallth in the dark, I know who to come to for healing." And he has her permission to ask, and he pauses for a moment, to gather the thoughts in his head. "Why were you one of the only ones to accept our Weyr as what it was?"

Khallth curls himself in on himself, wings clutched tight to his back as he gives the green all the room that she might need. As she shifts to the edge of her ledge, he rises and uncoils. «I follow.» he projects simply, and half unfurls his wings, anticipation pulsing through his mindscape.

Sienna nods, "I'd be happy to. Though it might insult the Healers here? But…if you want search and rescue specific things, I know a lot." And then at his question, she tilts her head a bit before resuming. "What do you mean?" she asks quietly.

Outside, Kehemath rumbles in pleasure and soars off the ledge, catching the currents as she swiftly drops to the feeding pens. There, she lands, not being a dragon that hunts from the sky. With a mental brush, she tries to convey to Khallth a question. Projecting an image of the pens, with the beasts on the far side, she sends a mental representation of him down to the far side, intending for him to herd the beasts towards her while she prowls on all fours, stalking the creatures until she can catch one. Hunting in a team. In a pack. If he is willing.

"I think that when your W'rin has us working as a wing should, we need to keep learning." C'zan begins, and there is an openness to his tone that is usually missing. "We can't fall back into our old ways when he returns to Whirlwind." C'zan apparently is enjoying sobriety, mostly. "And if the healers are insulted, let them be. Dragonmen know dragonmen. Dragonwomen," he corrects himself, before sighing. "I asked around, after we met." After he was a rude ass. "Other riders came here, determined to find fault with Igen, to rebuild it into what they thought it should be. Few didn't. Why?"

Khallth follows, as close as he can without impeding her flight, landing beside her, at least until her image reaches his mind. Affirmation shrieks in the keening mental storm that gathers, as Khallths goes skyward once more, banking round in a large circle to approach the pens from the appropriate side. Anything the lady wants, the lady gets, tonight.

Sienna chuckles softly, nodding her head. "Well then you let your new Wingleader know that I would be happy to teach a few classes." Be it 'new wingleader W'rin' or 'new wingleader that W'rin names'. "I'm…not sure," she says honestly as she finishes tending to the cuts and withdraws with some reluctance, her lifemate's pull still fresh in her mind. Walking to a basin, she begins to wash her hands. "We were asked to come forward to help. I think some people saw 'help' as…turn Igen into what we wanted Igen to be. And maybe some people's intentions were good, but they were over zealous? I earned a few scathing looks while I was helping clean out the kitchens, to be sure…"

Kehemath rumbles, growls, low and deep in her chest as he does as she asks. Her communication simplifies as the instinct of the hunt takes over, and when he circles and the beasts bolt, she lashes out with a nimble strike to catch one. She lets it drop, and swiftly strikes down a second, wings tucked close to her side. Bloody muzzle lifted, the green howls towards the sky in triumph, and a call to her packmate to join her for the feast. Head down, she begins to eat. Instinct has taken over, her mind empty except for the emotions of hunger and satisfaction.

"We'll talk them into it, somehow," and that's a generic we that C'zan uses. "You cleaned the kitchen?" and that's a faintly appalled look from C'zan. "But you're a rider." Rider trumps being a women, apparently. "Who told you to do it?" Assuming that someone told her. Since Sienna seems to be finishing tending him, he looks down over himself. Admiring the work.

Khallth hovers admiringly as Kehemath strikes, approval and pride colouring the ether as he broadcasts broadly. At her howl, he descends, folding his wings back nearly as soon as he touches the ground. And yet he doesn't approach too quickly, or too closely to that second kill. His eye is green and red, but he waits. Predator turns prey turned predator again. Magnificent.

Sienna returns to her seat, pulling it back a bit to regain a sense of personal space before she sits and takes a sip of her juice. Then there's a little smile. "I was a Baker before I was a rider. And no one told me to do it. I offered. I didn't want to be cooking - or eating - out of that kitchen. So I got to work and cleaned it up, with the help of others." She quiets for a moment, glancing away as Kehemath digs into her kill, the greenrider clearly temporarily lost to her dragon's whims, eyes unfocusing and posture shifting, straightening, uncurling in a human mimicry of the predator's stance outside.

Kehemath pulls her kill back a bit, rumbling an inviting croon to the brown, though she doesn't spare too much attention for him as she feeds. She glances to make sure he's actually eating - if not, he will - and rumbles again.

The requested water was long forgotten, but as Sienna sips her juice, it reminds C'zan that his water exists. He retrieves it, nodding his understanding. Offering is different from being ordered. "Thank you for the explanation," he offers politely, quieting as she shifts. His own eyes unfocus a little more, and he shakes his head. "Kehemath fascinates him," he notes absently.
That is all the invitation that Khallth needs, and his claws start to shred the herdbeast into a bloody mess. It's only when Khallth has it shredded to his satisfaction that he begins to feed, still keeping his head tilted so that he may watch the green.
Sienna returns slowly, with the long practice of easing her mind away from her predatory lifemate's. "She does?" she asks, a bit surprised but also a little proud.

Kehemath tilts her head to watch him in return, curiously observing how he shreds it first before he begins to eat. But she is not a chatty dragon while feeding, slow and steady as she works her way through the carcass until little remains but the bones. Grabbing the biggest bone she can find, she rumbles softly and kicks into the sky again, soaring to her ledge to lick her paws and chew on that bone. But there is an invitation offered as well, for him to rejoin her when he is finished, if he wishes.

C'zan nods, even as his eyes go deeper out of focus. "Predator," he says simply. "Strong and powerful." It takes him a moment to come back to the moment, and his fingers twitch, as if they want to shred the herdbeast along with Khallth. "How much will Kehemath tolerate Khal hanging around her?" he asks.

Khallth is not exactly the neatest of eaters, and the shredded meat leaves rather a bloody mask strewn across his head. Late at starting, he is late at finishing, but he notes the taking of the bone, and when he returns to the ledge, speckled in red, he carries a leg bone uncomfortably between his teeth.

Khallth thinks to you, « I bespoke Valiuth with: Khallth opens communications quietly, a gentle breeze approaching, bearing with it hints of apology for the interruption this early in the morning. Laid beneath is pleasure, and still further beneath, a small taste of smugness. «Valiuth.» he greets quietly. The wasteland of his mind opens up, a vast dark space, speckled with glittering campfires. «May I question?» »

Khallth senses Valiuth's allows the gentle breeze to mingle with the ocean winds that blow through his own mind, the wasteland allowed to occupy the space between them with only the faintest outline of the sea on the horizon. The distant shouts of ocean warriors echo through the darkness, « Yes, wing-brother. »

Khallth thinks to you, « I bespoke Valiuth with: Khallth gratefully stills the questioning wind as the connection is made and the mindscapes meet. «Kehemath flew.» he states, and his mental stars reflect the instant the green took to the skies. «I caught.» and the smugness is still faintly there, but hushed in deference. « Mine worries about yours.» »

Khallth senses Valiuth's response comes slowly, his voice a rolling thunder, « We know. Kehemath flies quickly and with great dexterity. You must have flown well, a deserving catch. » He is not particularly jealous, having no feelings beyond those he has for his other wingmates for his rider's chosen mate. « W'rin knows well flights are a part of the dragonrider's life. There is no need to worry. It is one of the prices they pay for their weyr. »

Khallth thinks to you, « I bespoke Valiuth with: Khallth absorbs what he is told, passing it on as that wind returns, stronger now, keening of pride and pleasure in the praise of the respected bronze. «Mine is grateful. He has no wish to offend.» Implied is that neither does Khallth, but dragons are more sensible about this. «We thank you.» »

Khallth senses Valiuth seems ready to pull himself away, the ocean in the background fading slowly away, but then something strikes him. And the ocean floods the deserted land, the sailing vessel which is the center of his mind bobs gentle on the water, though it is Khallth's wind that blows through. Work takes over. « While we are speaking, mine would ask you if you could show us what you remember of drills yesterday evening, as detailed as possible. »

Khallth thinks to you, « I bespoke Valiuth with: Khallth lets the mental ocean flood over his wasteland, drowning the ruined buildings in salt, and snuffing out the campfires, as the stars above rearrange themselves. Memory images play, the view through the eye of the one-eyed dragon. And above that, another image, drawn from the memories of the rider. The formation, seen from the two perspectives. The dragon's memories are blurred around the edges, the dragons seen at the rear of the formation are just colours, with no mental names attached. The rider's are clearer. «I borrow.» Khallth admits as the memory reel unfolds. »

Khallth senses Valiuth is silent for a moment, his presence barely remains for a moment, when he returns the wind sweeps into the sails, excitement rumbles through his thunderous voice, « This is very good, Khallth, it a skill which W'rin would like to use to help the weaker of our wingmates. » The clanking of harpoons as the sailors ready for an impedening battle with the beast below them. « During drills you will fly less time in formation and the rest of the time watch different riders. Then during meetings you can show them, and W'rin will be able to tell them how to correct things. Can you do this? » The dragon seems less concerned with whether the brown wants to, only about possibility.

Khallth thinks to you, « I bespoke Valiuth with: Khallth waits in stillness, a faint distant flickering in the stars, the only sign that he is in contact with his rider. He listens as the bronze returns strongly, his own mental presence held back in politeness. There is no hesitation when Valiuth questions «We will do this.» Khallth states firmly, lowly. «We will help those that want to hear. We listen.» The ruined mindscape beneath the waves is practically thrumming with determination. »

Khallth senses Valiuth is embattled by the brown's response, the frenzied activity men preparing for battle draws to the foreground of his mind, the heavy thudding of scurrying boots and the sharp calling of commands by an unseen captain, « This is good! You shall help, Khallth, you shall help your wingmates greatly as we prepare to face our foe! W'rin and I must go prepare for this new strategy! Until drills, Khallth. »
Khallth thinks to you, « I bespoke Valiuth with: Khallth withdraws gently, taking his ruins and the keening wind with him. «Till drills, Valiuth.» »

Sienna nods, shifting her grasp of the mug. "Yes, she is very much a predator. Lots of folks have compared her to a canine. But…not a pet canine. A wild one. That mental image she uses for herself…I don't know. She's unlike any dragon I've ever met." But then, a laugh. "Though I'm sure everyone says that, right?" As for his question…"She usually does not tolerate her flight winners being around for long, mostly because she doesn't tolerate many dragons at all being around, winners or not. But because she knows him and she likes him, she is fine with him hanging around. Does he like to stay with his wins?"

Kehemath rumbles a greeting when the brown arrives, licking her chops at the sight of the bloody mask and the bone he carries. Her rumble shifts to a grown as she prowls forward, offering to take that bone from him with a hesitation only born from caution - if he wants to keep it, she will back down with a whine.

C'zan looks thoughtful. "I can see why they would say that," he accepts. "Khal has shown me some of what they've talked about. She makes a dangerous canine," he smiles. "He likes to stay with them as long as he remembers. For some, he asks me to remember for him," he admits this last, slightly sheepishly. "Now he knows that Valiuth won't chase him off, and that I don't have to be protected from W'rin, he's happy to sit and admire Kehemath for as long as she'll let him."

The bone is happily relinquished to the green, before Khallth settles himself to watch her with that same fascination. He doesn't care about the blood speckling him, he's just curious to see what she'll do next.

Sienna nods with a soft chuckle. "She…makes a dangerous dragon. When we first impressed I was afraid she'd hurt someone. She's not /vicious/ or mean, but…she's wild. No intent." And it's all about intent. "Oh? Did Khallth speak to Valiuth?" Does she look relieved? "She will let him until she forgets, and even after…he is a friend, so she will welcome his company."

Outside, Kehemath now has /two/ bones to chew on, so she does what any gnawing canine would do - she goes back and forth between the two of them. First that one, then the other, held with dexterous paws pinching the bone to pin it where she can best get her mouth around it. But the scent of blood is distracting, and with a rumble she extends her muzzle to start cleaning him off, if he allows, with small little licks and a rumbled croon of pleasure.

C'zan shrugs. "Khallth likes that wildness, I think," It's not something he and his dragon have really talked about. "Yes, while you were working, Khal reached out. You were right, Sienna," and he looks down for a moment. "I was worrying about nothing." That's a sorry, or as close as he's going to get to it. He smiles faintly again. "Do you mind having bones cluttering your ledge?" he asks.

Khallth not only allows the licking, he goes a little cross-eyed (as best he can), as he tries to watch her. He sends the slightest tendril of appreciation to the green for her actions.

Sienna smiles, "I'm glad you have nothing to worry about." Other than scratches and bruises. "Some dragons are drawn to her wildness. Others…do not like it at all or do not understand her. She's had her fair share of misunderstandings and hurt feelings, but…having to prepare for thread has helped a lot. I've had to work very hard to get her to speak. She never used to use words. /Only/ images. But those aren't good enough for threadfall." Then, glancing to her ledge, she laughs. "I'm used to it. Bones, trees, anything she can get her talons in to chew, really. She's gone through more sets of straps than I care to think about. So bones are a small price to pay for her not tearing into her straps - or the stone itself." Oh, her dragon.

Kehemath rumbles again, her tongue working methodically over his hide, getting him all clean - or getting all the tasty blood for herself. Win-win?

C’zan has enough wit about him to know that whatever he might say about Kehemath could come out wrong, so he settles for nodding in understanding, with a pleasant smile. “Some dragons just don’t seem to be that talkative. Khal isn’t, to most,” he adds this last as a note. “Would she really work at stone?”

Win-win, as Khallth lids his good eye, which whirls in all the shades of pleasure at Kehemath’s ministrations. He’s happy, he’s content, and he’s with a beautiful green. That suits him down to the ground.

Sienna nods, shifting in her chair and adjusting her tunic, arching her back away from the hard back of the chair before she glances down into her mug. “No, they’re all different that’s for sure. And I was content to let her be how she was - not speaking - until we came forward. There was no real need for her to speak before now. So…we’re adjusting. But I know she’s strange. I’ve come to terms with it, and with the fact that most dragons just won’t like her or understand her. It’s okay. She has her small group - her pack - and she is content. And yes, she would.” She chuckles. “When she first hatched she tried to dig through the stone in the barracks. She has a passion for digging, and she’d go after anything that was nearby. Had some sore feet and broken talons a few times before I wised up to her tricks and was able to stop her before she did herself damage. Did he do anything odd when he was young?”

On the ledge, Kehemath settles her muzzle across her forelegs with a contented sigh, licking her muzzle clean before she begins to drift off to sleep.

C’zan laughs, and looks fondly over his shoulder to the entrance, eyes a little more distant. “Khal was never really fond of the water. His bathing sessions were in, scrub and out again as soon as possible. And flying…” his sentence trails off and he shifts, leaning forward carefully. “The weyrlingmaster was talking us through our dragons first flight that day, how we were to watch and make notes, and he’d make sure they didn’t overstrain themselves. Up piped Khal, in the politest tone you can imagine,” his voice drops in mimicry of his dragon’s mental tone. “”Why fly? Good feet.” and he holds up his foreleg for inspection.”

On the ledge, satisfied that Kehemath is satisfied, Khallth once more extends a wing as a blanket, and relaxes.

Sienna laughs, grinning towards the ledge as well. “That’s so adorable. Kehemath doesn’t fly much either, when she can walk. She prefers to hunt on the ground instead of on the wing. Because her feet are great, exactly.” With another chuckle she shakes her head, shifting a bit on the chair, arching her back.

On the ledge, Kehemath curls up beneath Khallth’s wing with a contented sigh, and drops off to sleep again.

“It was adorable,” C’zan agrees. “Even the weyrlingmaster laughed, and then insisted that Khal do extra flights. Dragons were given wings for a reason,” and his voice raises in pitch in another mimicry, before it returns to normal. “Apart from that, we really were quite a boring weyrling pair.” He eyes Sienna’s shifting. “Uncomfortable?” he asks.

Sienna chuckles, shaking her head. “Yes, they do. And yet…some seem to prefer the ground, when it’s available to them. To each their own I suppose.” She grins at the mimicry, chuckling and sipping her drink. “Were you?” she asks curiously, glancing towards the ledge again. “Our Weyrlinghood was very difficult. She fell off a cliff once. Before she’d learned to fly.” There’s a faint grimace for that memory, shaking her head. Then she coughs. “A little bit, but it’s okay.” She doesn’t want to kick him out, and yet her scratches are starting to bother her. She considers calling W’rin over but that would just be too awkward. So she sits until a better solution presents itself.

C’zan nods. “ Duty was everything, in weyrlinghood. We browns were expected to be unexceptional. Sturdy. It was learnt early on that if you weren’t a bronzerider, it was best to keep your head down. We did,” and his expression is open as he explains, before he looks puzzled and concerned. “She fell off a cliff?” and his tone invites explanation, if Sienna is open to it. Her mention of the discomfort deepens the concern, and C’zan half hovers. “Is there anything I can do?”

Sienna listens with a small frown. “So even in Weyrlinghood…the colors had set roles they had to play? What if a green wanted to be a leader or a bronze didn’t want the attention?” She sighs, shaking her head at his elaboration. “So sad. I wonder how many brilliant riders and dragons were just…lost because no one gave them a chance.” Then there’s a soft laugh, shaking her head. “She did. She was - is - energetic and loves to play, but imagine her as a baby. She was running along the edge of a cliff, and it gave way beneath her. She fell, panicked, I panicked…her best friend - a brown named Kzydnth - he was older - came to catch her. It was terrifying, seeing her falling and /feeling/ her falling and knowing I couldn’t do anything. But he caught her, and we talked a lot about paying attention to where you are.” There’s another little laugh, and then she shifts with a sigh, glancing towards the ledge. “I…these need to be taken care of, and I think W’rin is busy. Would you mind?” she asks, gesturing to her back. Her supplies are still out on the table, though, “I’ll get some fresh water.”

“They kept it quiet, at least where I could hear,” C’zan is blunt about it. “It’s not something that’s learned, it’s just something that is,” he thinks for a moment. “The way things have always been.” He listens to her explanations of falling, and nods slowly. There might be a touch of pride in his expression for the fact that a brown saved her, but that could equally be coming from the half dozing Khallth. “I wouldn’t mind,” he straightens. “I’m not much of a healer type, but I’ll do my best for you.”

Sienna frowns as she stands to wash out the basin and get fresh water. “Just something that is,” she says from the kitchen. “I’m…learning what /is/,” she mutters, shaking her head. “Perhaps. I understand a reason for much of it, but. Not all of it. Don’t think I’ll ever understand all of it. It’s so very different here.” Understatement. She smiles, noticing that touch of pride and guessing it’s for the brown, and then she nods and turns, pulling off her tunic with a wince. “Just clean them, and put on redwort and numbweed please,” she requests, nodding to the supplies on the table. “Thank you,” she adds quietly. “I know it’s awkward, but…it’d really help.”

It would probably be more awkward if there hadn’t just been a flight, but C’zan is still high on the happy hormones, or still wrapped up in the mind of the doting Khallth as he stands up and moves towards Sienna. There is a faint, pleased smile on his face as he rinses his hands in the warm water, before soaking a rag in it. “You don’t feel too out of place here?” he asks curiously, as he wrings out the rag, and gently starts to dab away any dirt from around the scratches.

Sienna closes her eyes and tilts her head forward, exhaling softly when he starts to tend to her injuries. “I feel very out of place here,” she admits quietly. “I’m not used to being…so looked down upon for riding a fighting dragon. Not used to the names, to the looks. But I’m getting used to it, and they’re getting used to me. Us. Either I’m noticing less or they’re doing it less. Not that I have a choice, right?” she asks with a soft chuckle. “I can’t go back. So. Out of place or not, this is home now. Make the best of it.”

He is as gentle as he can be as he cleans around the wounds, before he rinses the cloth out again in the basin, before dipping it in the redwort. “This will sting,” he warns, as he lays one hand on Sienna’s back in a warning, before he dabs the cloth over the first scrape. “I think we’re all adjusting,” he adds his thoughts on the matter. “Igen to you, and you to Igen.”

Sienna braces herself and despite the knowledge and the warning, she still hisses softly at the sensation. But it must be done, so she doesn’t flinch away. “That’s true enough,” she says with a low chuckle, lapsing into silence. On the ledge, Kehemath is deep asleep, cuddled up with her mate, and inside Sienna breathes softly, slow and steady. “Thank you, C’zan,” she murmurs. “For letting him stay for a bit, and for talking with me, and for taking care of those. I appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome, and thank you, my dear green,” C’zan returns quietly, as he reaches for the numbweed to sooth away the remnants of the sting. “I think you’re ready for a restful rest of the night,” he notes, before his eyes go distant. “And as Khal has no intention of leaving Kehemath, may I impose on your floor?”

Sienna exhales softly as the soothing feeling eases the bruises and scrapes. “Thank you,” she says again, before she looks around with a small frown. “I think the couch would be more comfortable for you,” she says, nodding to the piece of furniture. “I’ll bring you pillows and blankets as well, and you’re welcome to help yourself to any food or drink in my kitchenette.” Adjusting her shirt back down again, she rises and sets to work being a good hostess, gathering up blankets and pillows - all high quality and all soft and comfortable - for him to arrange as he sees fit. “Is there anything else you need?” she asks when the items are delivered, standing near him with her hands clasped in front of her, smiling but looking tired as the evening’s events catch up to her.

Wounds tended, C’zan settles himself on the indicated couch, letting Sienna bustle where she will. He’d probably just get in the way, anyway. When all items are delivered, he offers a respectful, seated bow. “You’ve given me more than I expected, dear green. We bid you a good night, and pleasant dreams. We’ll try and keep quiet for you.” He manages to hide a yawn behind the back of his hand.

Sienna blushes slightly at his words, and in the end just inclines her head in a little return bow. “You as well, C’zan. Sweet dreams,” she responds, before she slips into the bedroom and draws closed the curtain. On the ledge, Kehemath shifts and snuggles closer to her brown victor, content to sleep the night away in the shelter of his limbs.

And while, come the morning, the brown may still be on the ledge, guarding his green friend, C’zan has vanished, leaving the blanket and pillows in a neat stack.

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