Ibrahim, Amani


Wildling and goldling chat over dinner, getting better acquainted and making some very advance plans to see the places that have meant the most to one another.


It is evening of the twenty-fifth day of the second month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.


Living Caverns, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 08 Oct 2017 06:00


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"I still mean to take you up on being shown the jungle; it'd be the least I could do."


Living Caverns

Grand and spacious, the cavern curves high aloft in naturally-vaulted ceiling that soothes any sense of claustrophoba. Rich woods line the cavern floor, varnished and stained a rich mahogany, while round tables scatter about candlelit and intimate. The largest table lies southerly next the sideboard, long trestles that seem oriented to providing for the weyr's youngest. The rich blue of Azov can be seen from a distance in good weather, when the heavy stone doors covering the entrance are allowed to stand open.

There's always time for food, isn't there? Especially when you're a young man who has a bottomless pit for a belly and an appetite like a dragonet. Ibrahim has corralled himself a positively luxuriant meal of succulents and meat and is settled at a table to make inroads upon it.

Knowing exactly what the appetite of a dragonet is like (and the biggest dragonet, at that), Amani would likely be able to verify whether or not that's true. For the moment, however, the goldling herself feels as though she might have something close to a bottomless put for a belly. Stiff and sore from her day's exertions, she slips into the living cavern, pausing not far inside as she makes some mental reassurances to her shimmering lifemate sitting in wait just outside the entry. Then she makes for the food, piling her plate with wherry and vegetables and fruit before turning to find somewhere to come to roost…and quickly spotting a familiar face. "Spare the other half of your table?" the dark-eyed weyrling asks, her smile warmly glad to see him despite the obvious tiredness limning her features.

"For you? Anytime." Ibrahim is always thrilled to see Amani, whatever state she's in. He even makes more room for her to settle, half rising to formally welcome her in the way he'd been taught by his elders with a sweeping gesture toward the empty chair. "How are you and that pretty lady of yours?" He seems not to have seen them in Turns, though surely it hadn't been that long!

Months can certainly seem like Turns when the care of a growing gold dragon is the primary concern! Amani, predictably flushing slightly with Ibrahim's reception of her, settles into the chair and promptly pops a piece of redfruit into her mouth, sighing contentedly at the flow of tart juice over her tongue. "We're doing very well, but things are getting more intense now. As we knew they would," Amani answers, looking Ibrahim over a bit to see if there's anything new to notice about him after what seems like so long to her as well. "We're exercising harder, getting ready for tossing firestone." Something she seems a bit uncertain about. "Working on our first sets of riding straps. I'll be getting up on her neck soon." Her gaze loses focus briefly, a bit of mental commentary bringing out the flash of a grin. Then she sighs again, getting some meat into her mouth. "I can't believe how sore I am. It's worse than anything in Candidacy ever made me." She gives a small tilt of her head. "How have you been, Ibrahim? Zymuraith surprises me sometimes, asking about 'the man with the long hair.'"

New things? Perhaps his hair's gotten longer, perhaps he's slightly taller. Who knows? Ibrahim himself isn't aware of any changes. "Ah, yes, that phase where you gotta get them used to all the new things they will be festooned with for the rest of their adult lives? How's that going?" The idea of this small woman tossing around giant sacks of firestone has him wincing in sympathy. The things are heavy even for him. And then he grins at her. "I'd offer you a massage, but don't know if that's even slightly appropriate — " Wait, what? "She asks about me?" He's startled at the reference. "I didn't think she'd even remember me."

"Well, it's only just started. I think I'll have my first try finished by tomorrow, so…we'll see how she takes to it," Amani replies. She's not that small, being of a height with Ibrahim, though she is definitely more slight. The offer of a massage has her looking earnestly yearning for it for a moment…before the appropriateness of it occurs to her and brings her blush back. "Couldn't have the others feeling left out," she half-mutters in an attempt to sidestep the matter, though she smirks. Over the matter of Zymuraith asking about him, she nods. "She asks when she sees my memories. People who cross my mind a lot. There are some people from Igen she's going to be happy to meet, once she's able."

It's just that she's so feminine — in her own way — that makes her seem small to him. Ibrahim tilts his head for a moment, considering. "So, do they have special leather for you guys? Always wondered. Leather can be rough on runners." He knows so little about dragons and their requirements, yet here is the perfect person to pester with questions, right? Right! Her yearning look gives him the faintest sense of disappointment that he'd mentioned appropriateness at all. "Yeah, I suppose not…. but if we were out in the open, and it was just your shoulders?" He really wants to help the poor girl, she's obviously so sore! So, he crosses her mind a lot — the idea makes him flush, a little.

Over the matter of leather, Amani tilts a hand side to side in a "sort of" manner. "Part of it is having to sort through to find the good leather to use; it's part of how they test to make sure we're learning what they teach us about it. It's not special, but we do have to use it in a way that you don't necessarily see on runners. Doubling, punching, stitching, hammering… I'm planning on adding padding at some point, myself. Fleece, preferably." The necessity of working with leather doesn't seem daunting for her in the least. In fact, one might assume she's at least somewhat used to it. Further mention of a massage has her shaking her head again, though she gives a grateful bit of a smile. "Best not to give any reason for questions, even if it is out in the open," she says, her gaze dropping to her plate as she momentarily becomes extremely interested in what she ought to eat next. "I'll see if the Zingari might be willing to send me more salves. Though I've heard there's a Healer-rider here who might have something, too…" The fact that Ibrahim crosses her mind fairly often isn't something she even thinks twice about mentioning. Beating around a matter isn't her style, though Faranth help her if she's asked to explain why he does. Which means that the question won't be too far in the future from her lifemate, most likely. She notices his flush in turn and blinks, perplexed. "Are you alright?" Perhaps it's just the continually ridiculous heat.

"Huh." Ibrahim considers the explanation, all the while shifting things around on his plate. He's perhaps trying to figure out a way to get in on those lessons. "I didn't think they were that much different…" There's a space where he takes the time to demolish the side order of tubers, then to take a bite of wherry. It's well seasoned today, and not as 'fishy' as usual. "Yeah, true, they're probably doubly edgy with you than with the others." Golds being so scarce, and all, the last thing they need is to think one's being tampered with, even in innocence. "Maybe you should ask that healer-rider." What? Oh. "I'm…I'm fine." Is he still red? Nah, perhaps a little pink, now, fading fast.

The point about people perhaps being a bit more…"edgy" with her and Zymuraith has Amani making a bit of a face, but there's a quietly resigned bit of a sigh to go along with it. "Being who we are while keeping in mind who the Weyr needs us to be is…a little tricky," the goldling confesses. "There's still so much we're learning about one another, but all that has to start factoring in more and more, even though we've got months to go." She nods over the matter of the Healer-rider. It'll certainly help solve the soreness faster than asking the Zingari…unless things go by firelizard. In which case, it'll just be a matter of preference. Ibrahim's reply has a dark brow lifting almost dubiously. "Well, you're looking a bit hot," she informs him, and offers the waterskin that's thus far been hanging at her side.

Ibrahim nods his understanding. "You're in a tough position — a precious resource, so valued, is always more guarded than any other. Add in the newness of it…" He waves a hand at her, as prime example of the confusion of that state. "You've got a lot on your plate." He rubs at his face as she mentions that flush of his, and gratefully takes a bit of the water. "Well. Um. I'm not hot, exactly. It's just surprising to know you think about me." He admits it softly, and grins at her sheepishly. "I mean, we're friends and all, but…"

Amani still isn't sure how she feels about being considered a "precious resource," though she understands that there's really no other way to think about it sometimes. It's just a sort of verbiage that she needs to get used to. She surrenders the waterskin easily, though blinks at Ibrahim for his explanation. "Um… Well, if we're friends, wouldn't it stand to reason that I do sometimes?" she asks, though somewhat distractedly, dark eyes fading in and out of focus as she tunes into an internal dialogue at the same time. Presently, she ends up giving her head a short, brisk shake, some of the shortened hair she's able to keep in a runnertail escaping its bonds. "Later," she mutters in answer to something unheard, rubbing her temple a bit as she looks back to Ibrahim. "Sorry. She's…full of questions and doesn't always wait for the best time to ask them."

Funny to think of yourself as something that must be guarded against all comers, isn't it? Ibrahim laughs at her expression, leaning back in his chair. "Yeah, I know." He pauses, then, studying her face carefully. "Well, no, but what with all you have to learn and do now…" He shrugs, slow and uncertain. "And it's not like you've known me all your life." Not that he minds that she thinks of him in whatever fashion, he just hadn't expected it at all. His grin, though, is wryly affectionate for the dragon's sudden interruption. "Just like a baby. What's she want to know?" He's definitely curious as to what a baby dragon might ask.

"No…but whenever I get to be still for a moment, even if my mind is full of Zymuraith, my thoughts…wander on in as they will." And this fact is what ultimately causes Amani to blush again. After all, of all the thoughts that could come to the front of her mind, the fact that it's a person (or people) bears some examination. She can't help but answer his grin with a guick, shy one of her own and gives a little shake of her head. "It's hard to put into words at the moment. Things just are that way with her, sometimes." Amani takes the opportunity to put some food in her mouth, her expression pensive as her blush slowly fades. "I'm going to show her the beach soon," she notes after a long moment, lips curving into a somewhat wondering smile. "Funny, she'll be the second one I'll get to introduce to the beach when I only saw it for the first time a few months ago myself."

"Huh, I suppose so." Ibrahim will accept her explanations, as he has practically zero experience with having to keep up with so many things at once while a toddler asks a dozen varieties of 'why' in the back of one's head, persistently. To have to explain all the world to a dragonchild… it's more than he could want. And yet, so tempting. There's a curve of his lips for being able to cause her to blush so much, though — he's just that mischevious to want to see this cool and competent girl even briefly thrown off balance. "Oh, who was the first? Other than yourself?"

One thing that Amani has had to learn to get used to quickly is speaking in abstracts or vagaries when it comes to explaining how Zymuraith's mind works, or her own in context with that of her lifemate. She's also has to just learn to not mind the fact that sometimes, especially to non-dragonfolk, this might come across as a bit insane. Having gone a long time without really caring what anyone else thinks, however, has helped that part of things not faze her so much. Ibrahim, however, doesn't look at her as half-mad, instead simply accepting what she says even if he doesn't fully grasp it, and she appreciates that to no end. She draws a quiet breath, eating a bit more before she replies. "My friend Reveka, from the Zingari. She came to visit a sevenday or so before the Hatching, and I showed her the boardwalk and the beach."

What else can he do? It's obvious she's supposed to hear a voice in her head — her dragon speaks to her. Non-dragonfolk though he is, he's come to understand, at least superficially, how things work with riders. He would hardly be able to survive in this place if he did not accept that the 'beasts' are intelligent creatures. Perhaps it's the fact that he has firelizards that gives him the smallest sliver of a window to begin understanding, though they're by no means as intelligent as her Zymuraith. He eats in silence for a moment, then looks up. "Oh yeah, her. I remember she smacked a few people in the Stands when you Impressed. Happy smacking, but it was funny, watching everyone ducking and her yelling like a fool."

Word about Reveka's exuberance in the galleries elicits a laugh from Amani, a soft but rich roll of mirthful sound in the wake of swallowing her food. "Somehow I'm not surprised! Another friend from Igen mentioned the Zingari yelling their heads off, but knowing she was one of the biggest responsible just…suits," she says, her grin lingering as she shakes her head. More eating gets accomplished, an unconscious roll of sore shoulders accompanying as she sits back in her chair.

Ibrahim nods emphatically. "They were so loud." And then he laughs with her, leaning back in his own chair. "They were proud of you, I could tell. They're your family." He pushes his long hair over one shoulder and blinks in surprise to find it nearly reaches his lap. Somebody hasn't had a trim in a very long time, yo. "She usually pretty loud?" he asks, curious. "What's it like, living with the Traders?" He's just full of questions tonight; questions designed to get to know his new friend Amani.

Amani laughs again, this time a bit more softly. Of course the Zingari were loud. "I wouldn't say she's always loud," the goldling says of Reveka, "but she's…bold. Unafraid to show what she's really thinking or feeling. I suppose that can be the definition of loud to some people." It was to Amani for a while, in fact. As for living with the colorful traders, Amani gives a little hum of thought, her lips curving higher to one side. "Well…the Zingari aren't typical traders. Many of them make wares and barter with them, but they barter more with the entertainment they offer. And that's all different sorts. They're colorful, full of life and unafraid to live it. They've been through a lot of hardship and I think that's part of the reason why. They're generous, kind, but cautious and strong… Everyone contributes to the day to day life of the caravan, and everyone celebrates when celebrations are due. No one does it like them. The food, the fire, the clothes, dancing, displays of flirtation and danger and daring…" Her eyes mist a little as she reminisces, and she smiles at Ibrahim, blinking a bit. "They'll always be family. But my clutchmates…they're my family, too. Closer in some ways, more serious, but mine also." She has the Zingari at Igen and her clutchsiblings here…and really, she couldn't ask for more. Here or there, she has a bit of home.

There's so much there; so much, that he can't begin to comprehend it all. His life has never had that much color and adventure in it, full of the demands of feeding their little clan the best they could scrounge for so long, and then to lose it in a gamble gone wrong, so long ago. His admiration is frank on his face as he absorbs the loving way she describes her life. "You're very lucky, sweet Amani." His smile is gentle and affectionate. "Your life has been rich. And I believe it shall continue to be."

There's something in the way Ibrahim is smiling at her that makes Amani do the same out of sheer reflex, and she feels her heart trip over itself for just a beat. She flushes again as that little stutter in her heartbeat causes actual heat to flare in her cheeks, the feeling rather disconcerting. If not for Zymuraith's mental chuckle, she might have though something could be wrong with her, even just for a moment. "Maybe I have," she concedes quietly, and lifts her gaze to meet Ibrahim's keenly. "When I'm able to take Zymuraith to Igen, I could bring you, too," she offers. "I still mean to take you up on being shown the jungle; it'd be the least I could do. On a celebration night, so you can see just what I mean. There's nothing like it." Except, perhaps, for Zymuraith's mindscape, but she's not about to try explaining that to him.

Aw, the pair of them, tripping over themselves to adhere to the strict rules that must be observed; Ibrahim looks away, suddenly finding his plate in need of serious attention — those vegetables need some rearranging on his plate and he attends to it while his own blushes cool. Weyrlinghood can put such a damper on things, but he's willing to wait. All good things are worth waiting for. And then, he looks up at her, somehow both thrilled and reluctant to discover he might ride a dragon, and a queen at that. "Y-yes. I think I'd like that." In the end, the temptation to get to know Amani better overrules his trepidation at flying. "It'll give me some insights." Into what, he doesn't elaborate on. Instead, he smiles at her willingness to go into the jungle to see what that is like. "I think you'll like it — especially the part where the women rule the roost." He may be at odds with his own little group, but he hasn't lost all his connections.

It'll be some months yet before Amani and Zymuraith will be flying, much less going between and taking unsupervised trips…but that doesn't mean planning for later can't happen. Zymuraith has already been doing it herself, after all, and Amani's intent to visit Igen once more when she's able has never been in question. She's clearly pleased that Ibrahim seems keen on the prospect of going with her, though the idea of venturing deeper into the jungle is still something she dubiously anticipates, especially since Zymuraith can't come down among the trees with her. "I remember hearing that something like that goes on out there," she says, amusement lighting dark eyes. "I think the notion would give most of the men from my original home fits, probably enough to die from." Which wouldn't be any huge loss for many, she thinks.

"Pff. Some men could do with being ruled by women for a change." He can think of a few, F'kan being at the very top of that list. Likely, no few of the weyrlings feel the same. Her trepidation regarding the jungle has Ibrahim grinning just a little, though she hasn't vocalized it. "We don't even have to go deep into the jungle. Many of the clans spend time on the savannah. At least, the ones I stay in contact with do. That way, Zymuraith can be a part of it, especially if we go to the trade meeting." He seems to be taking it for granted that the gold would want to see.

Ibrahim's first assertion makes Amani blush again, this time with a slight clearing of her throat. She isn't completely without knowledge of innuendo, apparently, the fact that her mind decided to add another edge to the statement coming as a bit of a surprise. Still, she smirks, the expression lingering as the wildling man reads her well enough. "I'm sure she'd be interested," the goldling says of her lifemate, knowing Zymuraith's curiosity full well. "What's the trade meeting? A get-together for the clans to do just that?"

Ibrahim is all innocence on that score. Nope, he was implying nothing (yeah, right) of the sort. His grin widens a little bit, though. "And ys, it is: we come together to make alliances, marry, trade goods…" It's like a Gather, only likelier much quieter than the usual kind. He finishes up his meal, and laughs. "Look at us, making future plans. I think I like this." Of course he likes it — a hint of pink brushes his cheeks, fades quickly. "Listen, I gotta go help with the fishing for tomorrow's food. But you know where to find me when…it's time."

Amani nods along as Ibrahim explains, the notion of the wildlings' trade meeting making a lot of sense…and quickly becoming something she files away as a topic of intense interest. If she could go to that, it would grant her plenty of insight of her own. It's certainly enough to push past her trepidation about the jungle, as is her desire to know Ibrahim better in turn. "Planning has only ever been a good thing in my book," she notes with a smile, "though…doing things in the spur of the moment haven't turned out too badly from time to time." There's certainly something to be said for both, depending on the circumstances. She nods to his last, finishing up her most recent bite of food. "The timing's good, since I think Zymuraith might burst, waiting for me to be quiet so I can tend to her questions," she says, her tone rueful and fond all at once. "I'm sure I'll see you around in the meantime," she assures Ibrahim with a quick grin, and dips her head his way. "Good luck with the fishing."

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