==== February 15, 2014
==== Bailey, T'ral
==== T'ral pays a visit to Sands-bound Bailey.

Who Bailey, T'ral
What T'ral pays a visit to Sands-bound Bailey.
When It is midmorning of the twenty-second day of the first month of the first turn of the 12th pass.
Where Southern Weyr

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Galleries
Stone benches rise, black and showing the lack of polish from a thousand seats — by the look of it, these have not been used in… forever, if ever indeed.


It is nearly a hundred degrees outside — which means here, in proximity to the scorching Sands, the temperatures soars into the scorching triple digits. Luckily, some crafty engineering souls have figured out how to funnel some of the thermals above into the galleries, making it at least not stiflingly hot. As such, Bailey can be found walking up the steps to the highest tier, her red hair damp and clinging to her face. She looks tired, and hot, and altogether finished with this whole Sands-sitting business.

Far below the nose-bleed section, T'ral bows to Khalyssrielth upon entering Her Domain. He peers about, spotting red hair at a distance - however sweat darkened, it's still a beacon. The bluerider ambles up the stairs after the goldrider, an instrument case bumping along at his side and a strap slung across his chest. As he draws up, a salute, "Bailey, Ma'am?" He ducks under the strap and holds out a skin, "Thought could use something cold to drink." If she doesn't take it, he'll sling it over a shoulder. Eyes cut down to the sands, "And, ah, some company. As I recall, you didn't like… restrictions." He shrugs. That was a long time ago.

From the Sands, a rumble of faint — not quite approval, but a pleased noise for one who observes the proper protocol. Bailey has a wan smile for the same, an expression that brightens thricefold for what he comes bearing. "Oh, bless you, T'ral," she breathes, reaching out for the skin with grabby-gimme hands. "I still don't," she shortly concurs to the latter part of that, and then thumps the seat next to her with a booted foot. "Not that Xh'zil isn't good company, when he's around, but." She shrugs a shoulder. T'ral would know the bronzerider, if only as one of Bailey's clutchmates.

T'ral grins at the grabby-hands, "Fresh from the mountains," eyes dropping to the indicated seat. He perches next to the goldrider, opening the instrument case with a crack of flipping latches and a creak of hinges before lifting the instrument out. He nods at Bailey's admission, an answering shrug and a wince, Who does? About Xh'zil, "What, obligation doesn't make the best company?" He grins into the strings of his gitar, tuning the instrument with adjustments to pegs and pluckings. When it's tuned sufficiently, he mops a brow with his forearm. "Any requests?"

There's a moment of silence as Bailey takes a long swallow from the skin, carefully capping it before scooping the hair off the back of her neck and pressing the cold surface against the overheated flesh there. "Apparently not. Khalyssrielth has never been excellent company, so I suppose that explains one thing…" She seems in rare good humor, at least. Her eyes drift over the instrument thoughtfully. The goldrider deliberates a long moment and then lifts her eyes to T'ral's: "The one about brown-eyed girls. You know that one?" It's an oldie, but one that originated out of Benden, so maybe-just-maybe…

"She is… formidable," T'ral says carefully, eyes going to the icy Queen, resplendent on her sands throne. T'ral is oblivious to the rarity of Bailey's good humor, but he's aware of the mood itself. Eyebrows tick up, "I should have brought a skin of just water, to dump over your head." He takes a deep breath and blowing it out puffs his cheeks, eyes distant. "Brown-eyed girl." Fingers take up station on the strings, as he works through recollections, murmuring lyrics as partial snatches of the melody trip along. He nods, "Got it. My former-Masters are gnashing their teeth." Such a base and vulgar tune. And the lyrics! T'ral snaps a tempo, nodding to Bailey to snap or clap if she feels moved to do so, then the so-familiar tumble of the of the song's opening. Grinning, "Hey where did we go…" He fumbles through some of the lyrics, raising brows at Bailey to supply them if she knows. Laughing, he leans towards the gold rider, "Bring it home!" Bring home the Sha-la-lahs Bails!

"Mmm. Formidable." Bailey shoots a wry glance to the Sands below, shakes her head and shifts the position of the cold skin to a different patch of overheated flesh. "It would have just turned to steam," she glumly comments in regards to a cold-water dowsing skin. Her smile returns at the familiar plucking of such a base and gauche song, and the goldrider does indeed tap a foot along with the beat. She only sings on the choruses, though. But by the end of it, she lifts her low alto in an UNASHAMED iteration of sha-la-la(la-la-la-la-la-la-tee-dah), and has a whoop of laughter thereafter. "Thank you for that." Everyone could use more good music in their lives.

T'ral joins in the laughter, "Hah. You're welcome. You've a lovely voice." He'd stumbled through the song, enthusiastically at least. He flexes his hands and looks at them, flipped this way and that. Chagrin. "Traitors. Don't get to practice like I used to." Hands fall to the strings and begin idly picking out a tune, pleasant. His eyes drift out onto the Sands. "How many Candidates have we rounded up so far? Did the boys Prymelia collared get put in the mix?" Because Bailey knows the origin of all of them, right?

"Mmmm, thank you." Bailey doesn't seem to think much about her voice, skips past it with that thanks and a glance over to T'ral's hands. "Too much practice using catgut for stitching, instead of plucking strings of it, hmm?" The goldrider stretches her legs out and then resettles, tucking in one leg underneath her in a casual comfort sort of way. "I don't know," she admits in regards to candidates, "I haven't been out to see them yet. They aren't hard enough to be touched quite yet, so there has been no need for me to poke my nose into the ranks of them. I'm sure I'll," she grimaces, "Get plenty of first-hand experience with them in the next few days."

"Truth, goldrider. Truth," he agrees. "Calluses are all wrong too," added idly with another flex of traitorous hands and glance at the sweaty mess of upswept hair and skin and… right. Sands. Candidates. His eyes sweep out to the Sands, "I've got my eye on a few. Who keeps the cords?" The white ones that riders just seemed to mysteriously have all of a sudden. Dark eyes return from the Sands to Bailey draping herself with the cold skin, "It's not gonna," whoa, "Stay cold long that way," he looks away quickly. Oh, hey, that gitar needs tuning. He looks out at the eggs and their forbidding broodmother, eyes widening, "Egg touching. That was strange. I'd never have thought Esanth would have come from the one he did." He cocks his head, hands tripping across the strings again, "What was Khalyssrielth's egg like?"

Bailey leans back, taking another sip from her skin and training the focus of grey eyes upon T'ral's hands. "It's strange how different things can impact other parts of our lives so easily. They change the topography of everything, not just our calluses." The heat must be addling her brain. Philosophy? From pragmatic Bai? "Oh, Renalde has a whole basket. Just go get a handful. I'm sure Esanth would be excellent at picking them." Candidates, that is, not cords. She smirks at him and drops the cold container against the exposed skin at her throat, tilting her head back to enjoy the sensation. But she does reply to that last: "Mmm. She was fire and ice, in the shell."

"Why do you find that strange?" T'ral purses his lips, considering. In a flash, the very strangeness of this moment is starkly clear to him. Imagining his future, he'd have never painted this tableau. Well… maybe part of it. He dips his head, grinning to himself, ears reddening beyond the flush of holy-crap-it's-hot. He starts to say something, stops. Fiddles with the tuning pegs again, then laughs at himself and barrels through with another sidelong glance at Bailey, "I used to have such a crush on you."

"It's strange because life never turns out how you expect it to. How small decisions cumulate to defining elements of yourself you never know existed," Bailey unconsciously echoes the likely track of T'ral's thoughts. She does have a low, throaty laugh for his flush, and straightens to sit with a bit more propriety. "I know," she returns, lips pressed together in a slight smile. "It was a little hard to miss." Maybe. Who knows. "You and Prymelia seem to be a hot item, these days," she teases in turn, reaching out to lightly whap his nearest knee in that oh-you-old-dog kind of way.

"Mmm. Liminal moments." He nods, "Thresholds. This turn. That choice. Time, one door after another that you only step through once." Unless you're a dragonrider. "And here you are. Makes you wonder about the other paths. The other doors." He's stops playing, hands draped over the gitar. There's no rancor, no regret. Simply pondering, catching onto Bailey's line of thought. At her laugh, he grins again, eyes merry, "In fairness, we all did." Have a crush. His whole little crew. A dopey grin, entirely unabashed, is chased by worried flash and a tightening of the eyes at the mention of Prymelia, "Everything's hot in Southern, ma'am." Deflection.

"Yep," Bailey generally agrees with all of that specific discourse regarding choices and limiting factors. She shrugs a narrow shoulder. "I always wondered." It seems a complete statement, no lingering on the tail-end of it, regardless of how vague it may actually come out into conversation. Her gaze drifts off into the viewing ledges above, she smiles absently at the whole-crew comment, and then returns her focus to the bluerider at his evasion. Her eyebrows lift in silent but pointed question. Then it's not-so-silent: "Trouble in paradise?"

"You Impressed young." Maths. T'ral can do them. "Young-ish. What did young Bailey dream of doing?" He recalls belatedly mentions of poor familial relationships and winces lightly, eyes going back out to the Sands. This might not be the best turf for the friendly chat they're having. She saw him flinch. T'ral shrugs, fingers dropping back to the strings, but not playing. "See. This is why I don't play cards." He gestures at his face, mopping it with a forearm, "No poker face." Dodging the answer now. A glance at those expectant brows. He takes a deep breath and sighs, "Short version. Her father's coming to take her home and marry her off." His head cocks back, considering Bailey with hard eyes, "And I'll be fucked-" ah, he breaks off and blinks and drops his chin, looking up from under his brows, chastened but no less intent, "I don't know what to do about it."

"Young Bailey dreamed about her brother not starving, and her mother not geting beaten every night," Bai returns as answer to the question, her voice flat. "Dreams do come true," she follows it up with the faintest ghost of a curling smile: it's far from a pleasant expression. There are secrets to that smile, and perhaps an astute observation for why Khalyssrielth chose this one to be hers. "Oh, T'ral," she somewhat-sighs in exasperation about cards, but quiets up at he explains. "Well," she states, logically, "Tell her father no. That seems pretty sensible. She's a grown woman, she can do what she wants to do." In Southern.

T'ral looks at Bailey closely, dark eyes cataloguing, gauging. The cold import of that simple statement sends a chill down his neck, despite the sweltering heat. "E'lai is here." And eating well. Softly, "Where is your mother?" The father, unmentioned, remains so. Prymelia? "She's free to do so," he nods. "But she'd be disowned. Her clan is important to her." T'ral looks at Bailey, "Prymelia's convinced she can talk her way out of it." At the risk of sounding unsupportive, he adds, "I don't think she's prepared to face what will happen if she can't." He swallows, looking bleak, "I'm not." His brow furrows, "Or. I am," chin lifts, "And it scares me. A lot." Jaw muscles bunch. Dreams do come true. How the hell did they get here from Brown-eyed Girl?

"She's back at Benden," Bailey states, unperturbed. "She's a seamstress. She likes her work, and the snow, and her friends. I offered to get her a job down here, but she didn't want to come." That fact makes her smile — a real smile. It fades as T'ral talks about the future difficulties that he and Prymelia face, and her eyebrows go skeptical by the end. "Well, T'ral," she states, slowly, "All I can say is that if you love her," and she's serious, here, "You will let her do what she wants…" beat, "And fight your ass off to keep her, all at the same time." See? Not difficult at ALL. She pats T'ral's knee again and moves to rise. "I need to get back down there," half-apologetic, "But good luck. And do let me know if you need any help in," fingers flicker, "Any of that."

T'ral smiles at Bailey's report. "I'm with her on the snow. It's an adjustment, living here." The bluerider notes the raised brows, a flicker of query about the source of the skepticism. He laughs, a quick bark as he bends to case the gitar, "Let." He grins, tasting the word, "You don't let the wind blow, Ma'am." Lips twist in wry bemusement as the case shuts and latches latch with snicks, "It just does." He ponders that a moment and nods, sometimes metaphors were sufficient. "You can rest assured that I will." The gitar case grates against the stone as T'ral lifts it, standing. He's about to follow her down at the last and stops cold. A hand stretches out, fingertips to Bailey's elbow. "Bailey?" his eyes widen, at the lapse in propriety, he clears his throat, "Ma'am. Do you mean that?" Did she just throw the support of the Weyr behind him? Or… was it just a courtesy?

Bailey turns at the touch, having already had her little laugh about his words in regards to wind, and tilts a quizzical look upwards at T'ral, as she's a step or two downward from him now. "Hmm? What are friends for, T'ral?" Her voice is gentle, and then with asperity: "Even if your father wouldn't help, I'd do what I could." It's obvious in her tone, and from her words, that she speaks on a personal level. And then, more wry: "El'ai's a sucker about that kind of thing. I'm sure you could rope him in easy enough if you needed a show of strength." Sekhaenkath, presumably, though El'ai's cute enough to bias most female negotiating parties…

Friends. T'ral blinks. They'd met on a half-dozen occasions in two turns. But it seemed genuine enough. He smiles, no sunny flash of teeth, mostly a lightening of the eyes. He grins at Bailey tossing her brother under the wagon as a potential comrade. "My father will help," in his way, "I'm sure. I'll talk to E'lai." The bluerider shifts from one foot to the other, "Thanks." He blinks, giving his head a shake and hops down a few steps to fall in beside Bailey on the steep trek down towards the Sands, "Is there something you'd like better than juice?" The two amiably discuss cold refreshments and go about their various duties.

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