Who

N'tael, Tlazotezath, T'ral

What

(A few days before graduation) N'tael and T'ral have a brass-tacks discussion about Tlazotezath. PLANS ARE MADE.

When

It is midmorning of the second day of the seventh month of the second turn of the 12th pass

Where

Southern Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Training Pens

A herd of elderly herdbeasts mill about in aged chaos, just beyond the neat line of fencing: this is a place for the young to overtake the old, make no mistake. A small spring bubbles up out of stone in the far corner, lending a bubbling noise as soothing background above the sounds of restless pacing.

It is Winter and 57 degrees. Still dark and overcast, the winter rain has picked up and become heavier, albeit still pleasant.


A growing sense of agitation swirls across the desert in the form of brown dustdevils rising from the rocks to reach skyward. The scape is cleared, an earlier fury having left the debris of what little plant life which ekes out an existance in this dry place scattered as far as the eye can see. Grumbles of boulders grate loudly, as Tlazotezath doesn't bother to keep his voice clear. He stands in the middle of the pen, tail lashing wildly as he stares down an elderly herdbeast intent on eating said creature. The churned up ground hints that perhaps the bronze has been at this longer than is typical. N'tael stands on the other side of the fence, watching this with an upraised eyebrow. "Ye could jus' be lettin' me go ask f'r help. I'm sure 'e weyrlin' mast…" A burst of seering hot wind breaks against N'tael's mind, causing the weyrling to wince. "FINE. Ye're jus' gonna be gettin' more hungry tho!"

Crump. Crump. Crump. The herdbeast belches. Crump. Crump. Crump. Tail swishes to shoo biting flies. Flat-toothed jaws working sideways to grind the fodder cropped from the pasture into slimy paste. The wind is working for Tlazotezath. The wind and the old creature's rheumy eyes. It's ears flick forward at the lash of the bronze dragon's tail on the torn up grasses. Anyone's guess as to just what the old beast thinks Tlazotezath IS, standing placidly as it is. Perhaps it's resigned to it's noble fate. Or, perhaps it's simply blind as a stump. As if summoned by N'tael's concerns, a shadow flows across the standoff tableau, Esanth's form banking as he lands out of sight. Steady footfalls announce T'ral's presence in advance of his words, "Afternoon. Tlazotezath practicing that steely glare of his?" Hungry work, that. T'ral breaks the meatroll he's got in half, handing the larger half to Nate. He leans against the fence, watching the standoff play out, "Quarter mark on the herdbeast."

"Ye'd win, 'cuz he's bein' stupid." Stupid is N'tael's favorite word lately when talking about Tlazotezath's particularities. N'tael straightens up and salutes to the assistant weyrlingmaster. "Sir. 'e's not able t' catch 'im. But he don't want t' ask f'r help." The insinuation lingers, BECAUSE HE IS STUPID, but N'tael doesn't say the insult again. Tlazotezath slowly swings his head towards N'tael, ripping angrily, though there's a hint of TIRED behind that. And more frustration. That herdbeast? Oh so casually is just going to follow the fence towards the rock wall, incidentally, a much harder place to be caught in.

T'ral returns the salute crisply, low-grade surprise registering. He's finally STOPPED harranguing weyrlings about saluting etiquette and now they were flawless. "Well, less weight to get aloft, then, eh?" Maybe it's all part of some brilliant mastermind plan to be the swiftest bronze? "Smallest rider, lean body." He tilts his head, looking closely at Tlazotezath's eyes and the set of his shoulders and wings. "How long's he been at this?" Joking has given way to some concern.

Nate has always been flawless at salute. It's one of the few rider things that came effortlessly for the teenager. "Sir?" Confusion in N'tael's voice as he flicks a glance over to the agitated bronze. "He wants t' be catchin' it so he can be eatin' 'e intestines first." There is MORE than a hint of distaste in the weyrling's voice at this as he turns his back altogether on Tlaz, a silent 'you are so in this by yourself' move. "'bout a half hour. 'e beast 's stayin' by 'e fence so he can't get at 'm without makin' him bleed first."

There's a lesson for T'ral there somewhere, not Nate. "Hmm? Oh, a joke just for me, I guess." A sidelong glance, "They're not all winners." Sometimes they're too subtle. Or, well, just weak. But he'll keep swinging! The rider polishes off the meatroll -gotta eat when you can- cleans his fingers on a handkerchief and turns back to inspecting Tlazotezath. "What's he tried so far?"

N'tael's head inclines just slightly, as T'ral's joke goes right over his head. "A'right sir." He lets it go and turns to cast a slight look backwards at where Tlazotezath is in a rather larget attempt at DIGNITY turning away from the herdbeast that has spoiled his attempt to eat it's living heart. "Well, 'e tried t' get 'er from 'e sky. But missed. 'n so 'e's kinda jus' been chasin' 'im, round tryin' t' pin 'im t' 'e ground so 'e can be guttin' 'im."

T'ral nods, squinting out at the young bronze. The weyrlingmaster clears his throat and pitches his voice rather louder than it needs to be for Nate to hear him, "N'tael, did you know herdbeasts can see 270 degrees?" He folds his arms on the top rail of the fence, nodding. Sage. "It's true. They have a," a bit louder, "Blind spot just above and behind their ears." He taps the back of his head. "AND," he looks over at N'tael, "AND a strike there will stun one good." The things you learn as a weyrling.

"Why are ye…" Except even before the words escape his mouth comprehension dawns on N'tael's face and he shuts his lips. T'ral isn't telling him he's telling Tlazotezath. A faint pained look crosses his lips, hinted at by a tightening of his lips before N'tael wipes it clean. For all his DIGNITY Tlaz hears T'ral loud and clear and CONSIDERS the words. His tail lashes thoughtfully as he goes back to pacing. This time though, when he circles he lashes out that tail to smack RIGHT at the back of the herdbeast's head causing the old creature to fall abruptly, stunned. N'tael has to turn abruptly away from the sight as a TRIUMPHANT Tlazotezath dives onto his dinner. True to form the bronze splits the herdbeast from neck to rump, the live intestines falling outwards. He roots around with his nose till…. ahh, the heart, is found and gulped down with obvious pleasure. DINNER IS SERVED. For his part, N'tael is looking particularly green.

Caught between feeling satisfied that he'd helped the prickly-proud dragonet make his first kill and frustration that the bronze had stubbornly refused help. "Good strike, Tlazotezath!" Pride wins out. The spilled viscera are… well, you get used to it. "Did you know that herdbeasts have about 120 feet of intestines?" T'ral continues the educatio- "Nate, you okay?" The bluerider wrinkles his nose, "It's gruesome. But not too much worse the bein' elbows deep in a bucket, yourself, eh?" Right?

"I wish 'e didn't like killin' 'em so much." N'tael finally admits after a few seconds of T'ral's rather nonchalant telling of facts. "It ain't the blood or nothin' jus'. He likes it. Feelin' 'e heart beatin' as he bites." A small shiver down Nate's spine before he stiffens up again and turns resolutly to look up with at T'ral with a slightly forced smile. "I'll be gettin' use't it! AND," he at least doesn't sound forced here, "With him flyin' things're real nice!"

"They gotta hunt, N'tael. Would you prefer it if he hated it, suffering whenever he needed to eat? Waiting on the brink of starvation?" He looks out at the revelling beast, "Think of it like he does… a worthy creature," aside to N'tael, "Worthy because Tlazotezath chose it," continued at regular volume, "Giving its life for him. To him. A worthy sacrifice. Shouldn't he relish it?" That bright, brittle smile on N'tael is unconvincing. "Don't shine me, N'tael." T'ral's voice is serious. "I've been watching you two closely." And Nate's face now which was put together into 'acceptability' all too quickly.

"I know he needs t' be hun…" N'tael looks abashed at the slight dressing down. When T'ral actually does switch to fully seriously N'tael drops totally silent, his blue eyes hitting the ground as he shifts a bit uncomfortablly. "Sir?" His voice is a bit quiet.

T'ral's eyes soften a bit, but his voice is still pitched on the loud side. He can project. It's all in the diaphragm. "He's a remarkable dragon, your Tlazotezath. Never puts a foot wrong. Yeah?" He looks at N'tael, brows ticked up, looking for confirmation.

N'tael isn't totally sure where the assistant weyrlingmaster is going with this. But he has enough know-how to know that T'ral wouldn't be talking if he didn't have a point that he was going to cycle around to. "Aye, sir. He says, well, more 'r less, that there ain't no reason t' be steppin' if'n ye ain't got a reason t' be steppin' there…"

"Mmmhmm. And when he knocks you over?" T'ral's eyes are on the bronze dragon… the blood is -to T'ral's disturbing chagrin- beautiful on the dusty bronze hide. Fitting somehow. Right and righteous. He tears his eyes away from the grisly display to fix N'tael with a look.

N'tael is almost always moving, a twitch there, a fidget here but when T'ral brings up Tlaz's tendency to knock him onto his rump he freezes. He didn't think anyone else had noticed. For a moment he bites his lip before he shakes his head. "'e jus' tryin' t' get m' attention sir. When I ain't payin' attention. Don't mean nothin' by it."

"So it is on purpose." The assistant weyrlingmaster had had his suspicions, but he'd really hoped they were just that. "Have you," T'ral scuffs a boot on the fence, tossing a beared chin at the feeding bronze, "Or has he considered what'd happen if you hit your head some time when he's 'getting your attention?'" T'ral had seen some pretty close calls and, early on, chalked it up to accident. But after months of observing the two and their tense relationship… it was a discussion worth having. "It needs to stop. How you manage that is up to you. Pay the kind of attention that doesn't give Tlazotezath opportunities or, better, tell him to cut it out."

"I di…" Except that N'tael sucks really badly at the whole lying thing so he cuts himself off before he can actually deny anything. He gently kicks at a stone, sending it scooting a few feet. "He ain't ne'er hurt me. I mean, he ne'er would.." there's a hint of doubt in N'tael's voice as he glances over at T'ral. "He knows he ain't able t' get 'e firestone t' fight Thread if'n he ain't got me." N'tael brings his gaze up to T'ral, as if begging him to understand.

"Maybe not on purpose," T'ral qualifies. "But that's not good enough for me. Is it for you?" T'ral sniffs, turning his eyes to N'tael. "Hey." The bluerider ruffles N'tael's hair, a quick avuncular tousle, and puts an arm around the kid's shoulder, "I realize this isn't easy to talk about. I worry about you. Both of you." The dragon too.

"Well, no… but…" But T'ral keeps going so N'tael shuts his lips again to listen to the weyrlingmaster go on. It's a testament to how much Tlazotezath has grown up… or how hungry he is, that he doesn't do more than glance up when T'ral reaches out ruffle his person's hair. If he says something to N'tael the weyrling does NOT share it. It catches N'tael off guard though, and he almost twitches away as he flashes Tlazotezath a glance to make sure it's okay. Not far enough that he slides away from T'ral's arm, he's too starved for physical affection and if Tlaz is going to allow this… "We're okay, sir. Really."

Maybe T'ral earned Tlazotezath's indulgence with timely hunting tips. Who knows. "Good," he accepts N'tael's words. He's not done though. Putting hands on N'tael's shoulders, and turning the bronzerider to face him, T'ral tucks his chin and looks intently out from under his brows, "You're more than a firestone vendor, Nate. Do NOT accept that for yourself. Or from him." A brow raises in query to see if that's sinking in before he continues, "What we do is hard." A beat, "We remember. And we do it again and again." It's a hard truth that N'tael will learn soon enough. "For that alone, though he may not understand it," Nate may not really understand it, "You deserve his respect. You have heart enough for three riders, N'tael, bronze Tlazotezath's. And don't let anyone, especially him," T'ral drops his hands and tosses a chin at the feasting bronze, "Tell you different." He takes a deep breath. That was an awful lot of talking. UGH. Did anything get through?

N'tael meets T'ral's eyes, his blue ones doing little to hide the depth of the conflict within the young rider's heart. A few beats are going to follow as he beats back the frustration that his contentious bond has caused him. Once, twice he swallows and finally his gaze drops back to the ground. "I know ye're right sir. I… try t' stand up t' him. I promise sir."

A wiser teacher than T'ral said… 'There is no try.' But T'ral simply asks, "Yeah? How?" It's not a challenge to N'tael's statement. He's asking, really curious.

"Jus'…" How IS N'tael standing up to Tlazotezath? The teen falls silent as he grinds a foot into the dirt. "Well, jus' like, tryin' t' be stayin' positive. Ye know, like m' Pa use t' be sayin. Not arguin' with him when 'e's grumpy. Jus' waitin' t' talk when 'e's feelin' more reasonable. Ma'am Yules said that sometimes they're sure, but ain't really knowin', so some times 'm jus' waitin' till he forgets 'n then try t' convince him 'e said somethin' different."

T'ral laughs, "Really? Does he buy it?" The bluerider's brow furrows, "I think Esanth would sniff me out." Esanth, listening in, grazes T'ral's mind with a jetwash of concurrence. "Is that working? If it's not, you may need to reconsider your approach," T'ral leans on the fence looking at the blood-soaked dragon. "Or even how you see him… I mean, look at 'im. He's impressive. I wasn't just gassing. He's a remarkable dragon. You two will be formidable." T'ral's faith that they'll work things out between them is solid. Mostly because he believes it, but also because if they don't he's going to Take A Hand.

The ground gets more scuffed by N'tael's boots. When T'ral turns to look at Tlazotezath N'tael does not follow suit, refusing to look at his dragon satisfying his bloodlust and hunger. "Sometimes…." T'ral's suggestion that he change his opinion of the bronze is met with silence. N'tael is too good mannered to argue with the weyrlingmaster, though perhaps the way Nate allows his hair to fall over his blue eyes and he seems to shrink a bit might hint at his smothered thoughts.

Silence and stillness and not looking are pretty easy to interpret. "Don't agree?" N'tael can start standing up to folks, "It's okay. Talk to me, N'tael." T'ral really believes that they'll be a strong pair. If they can work out their differences. "What's goin' on in that head of yours? Or his."

"Tlazotezath's good at what 'e's doin'. 'n I'm good at what I'm doin'." Both true statements and Nate spares a moment to be proud of still staying totally truthful while not saying what is actually going on in his head- even if T'ral is asking it of him. "It's nothin' sir. Jus' thoughts m' Pa'd say don't deserve t' be seein' 'e light of day. If'n… ye don't mind, I'd rather not be airin' 'em." N'tael keeps his eyes down on the ground.

T'ral looks disappointed. Or… sad? Not getting through. He nods. "You can always come to me if you need help. Or you want someone else to talk to him. Me or Esanth." The bluerider takes a deep breath and thanks the stars Esanth is not the trial Tlazotezath is. « You're not half bad yerself. » He looks fondly -sadly- at the solemn face of the boy who used to be such a ray of sunshine, bringing smiles to everyone around him with exuberance and good cheer. Would they see him again? T'ral leans against the fence, watching Tlazotezath feed a little longer, lost in thought.

"'m real sorry sir, if'n we're disappointin'. I'l be tryin' harder t'…" Except, N'tael honestly doesn't know what he is supposed to try harder to be doing. The gulf between himself and Tlazotezath seems an ocean wide, and even for a seacrafter, it takes a boat and several sevens to get over it. "I ain't ne'er no' done well afore, 'cept in writtin', 'n that's jus' 'cuz I was wantin' t' be outside 'n not in scribblin'." Resolutely though, he turns to the weyrling master, determination written in every inch of his small frame. "I'll jus' keep tryin' sir."

"What will you try?" What does N'tael think T'ral is asking. Promises like the one N'tael is asking are empty, however well-meaning. He's also curious to see what N'tael's response to this is. The bluerider's head cocks, considering the littlest bronzerider intently.

And this is where N'tael is just going to slump. If he looked small before, he looks even more so now. His shoulders fall as his hair covers his eyes. "I ain't sure sir. Ye said I should be changin' how I'm seein' him but… sir…" something snaps in N'tael and though he isn't quite sobbing nor yelling, his words fall in a tumble of held back emotion. "'e's a bully sir! There ain't nothin' I'm doin' what 'e thinks be good enough e'en tho' I know I'm doin' it right. 'e wants me t' be likin 'e think 'e's likin, blood 'n victory. Sir it AIN'T okay if'n people're dyin' flightin' thread e'en if'n it BE our duty. I AIN'T okay with that. 'e don' think any'un's as good as him, 'n that just AIN'T TRUE. If'n anythin' 'e's slower 'n 'em all 'cuz 'e's always waitin' f'r others t' be goin' first rather'n takin' 'e initative t' be tryin' somethin' hiself FIRST. He ain't made no friends 'n a lot've 'e other weyrlin's what I wasn't knowin' afore are stayin' well away f'rm me 'cuz 'e's such a jerk. How's it fair I'm losin' m' friends 'cuz 'e's mean? I ain't ne'er done NOTHIN' t' be makin' no 'un mad at me but there ain't nothin' I can be doin' t' be convincin' any'un've that. I mean, Ma'am Prymelia, 'n L'denn 'n such, they ain't got no problem. THEY know he ain't me. So sir, I ain't sure what t' be doin' other 'n what I be doin'. Jus' tryin' t' be keepin' positive, noticin' when 'e ain't a jerk 'n tellin' 'im 'm proud'e him. 'n when he AIN'T bein' nice blockin' 'im so he knows I ain't happy. No' that 'e's carin' if'n I'm happy. 's a jerk, 'n a bully, 'n I ain't sure why 'e picked me, less 'e though I'd be easy t' be mean 'round. 'Cept, ye all say there ain't no dragon what chooses wrong so there go t' be SOMETHIN'…" Abruptly N'tael grinds to a halt and reaches up to brush away tears which have sprung up in his eyes as he lets loose in one long string his pent up feelings. Off to one side Tlazotezath has actually paused in his eating as N'tael's own and anger translates itself through his bond. Strangely enough, there isn't any disapproval in his mind voice. He seems pleased to see N'tael worked up about something and he watches without butting in with his own two cents.

"THAT." Thank the stars. "THAT is what I've been waiting to hear." T'ral takes a long shuddering breath and fairly wilts against the fence rail. "Stars, Nate, there's nothing wrong with feeling how you feel. ALL the ways you're feeling. That's what make you you." He shakes his head, a faint smile tracing his lips, "No one knows why they choose as they do." Those wily dragons. "But Tlazotezath chose you Nathanael," the boy's old name used deliberately. "Sure, he gave you a new name, but he chose you. He needs you." T'ral's jaws bunch as he clenches his teeth, "Trust that. You are doing things right." The bluerider's voice rises in pitch slightly, "Tell him to stuff it if he thinks different." Sorry Tlazotezath. T'ral straightens, drawing up, "You're a team, the two of you, but Nate… N'tael… you're the heart," T'ral taps N'tael's chest, "The love that will keep you both strong. I believe it." Dark blue eyes shift to where Tlazotezath is watching them with some interest. He tosses a chin at the bronze, "He might too, however much he blusters otherwise." And, yes, everyone was acquainted with Tlazotezath's mighty bluster. The poetry was getting better.

Deep breath, and a second, and a third as N’tael gathers himself from his outburst. “We ‘re a team. I trust him t’ be doin’ his duty, ‘n I’m gonna be doin’ mine.” His eyes fix on that finger poking him in the chest, his heart hurting a bit despite the reassurances of the weyrlingmaster. Reaching upwards he brushes blond hair from his eyes as he licks his lips again. “Is… it alright if’n I ain’t… lovin’ it tho’? Like I was lovin’ bein’ a seacrafter? Mayhap… when we’re flyin’ more ‘n doin’ ‘e rider stuff ‘n no’ jus’… practicin’ ‘n stuff…” His voice tails off as he looks up at T’ral, looking for hope.

"Nate." T'ral's mouth thins, eyes growing serious, "I'm not sure what you mean by 'it,' but riders come to grips with their bonds and their duties in different times and fashions. And every pair finds their own balance." The edge of his mouth quirks up on one side, "I wish I could tell you how being a rider is different from being a weyrling, but I just don't remember. I'll tell you this though," he takes a deep breath, "I wrote a lot. And," he blows that deep breath out, cheeks puffing, "I didn't love it at first either. I was angry a lot of the time. Tired. Lost. You want a glimpse inside my weyrling head, I'll let you read some of it some time." Brows go up, a companionable smile on the bluerider's face.

Nate needs to get use to chastisement, as this whole weyrling thing has lead to a lot more of it. It wasn’t that life on the sea wasn’t ORGANIZED it just… wasn’t like this. And there was no Tlazotezath to make things that much more difficult. His eyes hit the ground again. “Yes sir. “ His tone has drooped again. “We’ll be fine.” It’s like he’s promising it to himself.

Just exactly what kind Good Ship Lollipop did Nate sail on that this is registering as chastisement? It's meant as encouragement for the lad to trust himself. T'ral must suck at this more than he already thinks he does. His encouragement and support is not coming across. That much is clear to the young bluerider from the slump in Nate's shoulders. It tightens his chest painfully. "'Yes, Sir,' what? I'm not sure what you're agreeing with. Or still what 'it' is." One reason T'ral was a good archivist is because he's curious and dogged. But it doesn't make him particularly easy to get along with. "Care to illuminate me?" He stops, putting a hand out, an insight striking, "Before you answer that." He clears his throat, marshalling his thoughts. "Nate. You're grown enough that I'm not going to smile and tell you to buck up and everything will be okay and it'll be all rainbows and bubblies. Because it won't be bubblies and rainbows." He swallows, chest tighter, "It's gonna be hard. And it'll get harder. People you know and love will get hurt. Some may die. Thread you miss may fall and destroy someone's life. There are forty turns of this ahead. FORTY." The young man's rough voice smooth, his chin dips again, "You won't be alone. You won't EVER be alone. But… how do you want to face it? Specifics, man. Not just blandishments to yourself that it'll be fine." He shakes his head, "No amount of me telling you it'll be okay will make it okay," notably T'ral has only stated his belief in N'tael being up to the challenges ahead, "Unless you believe it. How will you," T'ral cranes his head slightly to emphasize the point, "Make it okay?" He straightens again, "Because you can." His tone says, 'And you will.' T'ral believes it. His part in this - he hopes - is giving N'tael the nudge he needs. The support.

It was a really good lollipop though. Cherry and everything. Nate isn’t totally sure exactly what T’ral is going for. He feels lost and more than a little bit alone in everything. But T’ral says he isn’t alone, and the small blond weyrling is just going to have to think about that for a moment. So silence stretches between them as N’tael pushes to find an answer to how he’s going to deal with death and destruction touching his life again and again while his back-up is a creature who believes that death is the greatest and most noble sacrifice which can be given. (N’tael personally believes that LIVING is the greatest sacrifice, that’s a whole lot harder to do. Dead people get it EASY. They just get to be dead.) “I’m… gonna no’ let Tlaz be isolatin’ me jus’ ‘cuz he’s a jerk, ‘cuz he ain’t got no problem with me bein’ social, jus’ people tryin t’ be social to HIM. Reach out t’ my friends ‘n… mayhap see if’n there be some’ve ‘e others what Tlaz could be reatchin’ out to also.” More silences as N’tael gnaws on his lip, thinking hard. “Mayhap… Can I be requestin’ work later ‘n ‘e day, ‘r early mornin’ when Tlaz ain’t so bad tempered? I mean, no’ falls ‘n drills ‘n stuff… but ‘e others?” He’s not sure so he is just going to keep going. “‘n make it int’ Ocelot.” THERE is some conviction, “‘cuz Tlaz’d do good there bein’ able t’ be ‘n ‘e highest wing ‘n stuff.” Each word builds Nate up a little. There is nothing like having a PLAN.

T'ral waits, watching the wheels turning behind N'tael's eyes. Dark eyes flicker out to the bronze dragon and back to the rider. Not letting himself be isolated. A nod. Good. Reconnect with friends. Good! Another nod. Brows raise at finding 'playmates' for Tlazotezath. Caelth springs to mind. Khalyssrielth. But another nod, Tlazotezath could use socialization, not that Caelth and Khalyssrielth were exactly the finishing school that would smoothe the young bronze's rough edges, but maybe… commiseration? He squints, "Arianne and Caelth might have some insights for you two." Caelth is a piece of work. Better hurry, Caelth actually sorta likes babies. "Sure, those shifts shouldn't be a problem." T'ral makes a mental note to adjust the duty rosters. Serval's best, the thought automatic. Not the place for rivalries, T'ral! "Ocelot's a fine Wing," another firm nod. "Good. This is good." The tension in T'ral's chest eases.

Sometime in the conversation Tlazotezath has returned to his voracious eating, though with less blood flecking up as the creature has bled out by now. The herdbeast has been consumed and now sits in the pit of his stomach and attention has turned back to the weyrlingmaster and to N’tael. His eyes whirl a moderate blue-green, with just hints of the ever present orange that hints at his chaotic core. In one leap Tlazotezath clears the fence and settles himself behind N’tael, his copper-tipped tail stretching out to curl around N’tael without actually touching the boy. His gaze however settles upon T’ral, his thoughts calm but faintly chaotic as the winds over his parched desert swirl up the smallest of devils to dance around the hardy plants which peek up from cracked dirt. He has nothing to ADD to this conversation between his lifemate and the AWLM, but he is making his presence known. As if the conversation so far hadn’t been all about him anyway. Nate looks up at the bronze who know towers over him at twice his shoulder height. “I’ll be seein’ if ma’am Arianne ‘n I can be talkin’ then sir, and thanke’e f’r ‘e shifts. I always was likin’ ‘e early mornin’ better ‘n ‘e others.”

T'ral watches Tlazotezath flow solidly into position behind and around N'tael, moving like impossible liquid stone as he forms up behind the young rider, massive jaws and chest ghastly with blood. Brows tick up at the possessive display. "That's right." Dark eyes pin the bronze's orange-flecked blue-green kaelidoscopic gaze, "You take good care of him. And you," dark regard moves down to N'tael, "Enjoy your morning shifts." It's a dismissal of sorts, though it's T'ral that, with a nod and a smile for the young bronzerider and his bonded, moves off to his other duties leaving the two to their … well, let’s hope it’s a bath. Tlazotezath NEEDS one.

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