Who

Dione, T'ral, Esanth, Niyati, Linden, Bailey, Dhioth, Dhiammarath, Khalyssrielth, Desmeth

What

Dione and T'ral get lured out of the baths by a mischievous dragon. Dione gets an eyeful and a knot!

When

It is late night of the thirteenth day of the twelfth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Southern Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Baths

The steamy fog of the baths could be an entirely different world, transitioning from the well-lit brilliance of the inner caverns: a different world entirely, one wrought in dreams and humid fog. Steam lifts from hot waters, obscuring those who bathe within, drenching any who dare enter. Well-maintained, well-stocked, the baths offer pre-netted portions of soapsand in various scents, fluffy towels in orderly rows, and five separate spring-fed pools, all of differing temperature: from scorching hot to soothing chill.

It is the thirteenth day of Summer and 99 degrees. The night is clear and humid.


Late at night, late enough that most people have long since gone to sleep. It's the time of insomniacs and early cooks, of day-off 'tenders and the long soak they've been promising themselves since forever. With the baths as empty as they are, Dione has chosen one of the pools and set up a bit of a station for herself, ranging from a scrubby sponge to a thick container of soapsand and plenty of towels. For the moment, she's soaking lazily, hair slicked down to blood-crimson in a skullcap, idly staring up at the hazy ceiling with half-lidded eyes. Nothing quite like a good soak to relax tense muscles.

Nope, nothing like a good soak after a long day of wrangling weyrlings and Candidates and cleaning suppurating wounds in the infirmary. No ma'am. NOTHING like it. T'ral schleps into the baths, scratching blearily at his beard. If one looks closely, there's a distinct crustiness about it. And about half of the left shoulder and chest of his lightweight infirmary garb. An indignant little gold flit fans the air at his shoulder, chittering at him and the beard scratching turns to chin scratching before he lifts her from his shoulder to disrobe and enter the water, a longhandled brush held loosely in his hands, bag of soapsand and towel chucked to edge of the pool. Bleary as he is, the rider's still keen-eyed, not that that crimson hair is hard to spot even in the dim light and steam of the baths, "Evening, Dione."

"Evening, T'ral," Dione greets lazily, and one eye peeps open at the noise invading her space. It regards the gold with a little splurge of interest, though it doesn't stir her to more than a mumble of protest at the chittering. Her firelizard, a bright little green, is over on her pile of towels, easily asleep in the hot, humid atmosphere. "You look as if a toddler with a stomach ailment ran you over." There's a delicate pause. "I hope it's vomit, and not something else. 'Cause if it is, you're so not getting into this pool."

"Dragon toddler," T'ral rumbles, voice rough with exhaustion. T'ral's brain's not firing quite swiftly enough to parse that Dione doesn't mind stewing in vomit. It's percolating in the back of his mind, just as the dragonet vomit will soon be through the baths. He hisses at the heat stinging in shallow cuts and abrasions, he's covered in them. The little gold flit launches from her perch and alights next to Dione's green, warbling instead of chittering now that she's not haranguing T'ral. "Shhh… Chica, you've a pretty voice, but shhhhhh," the bluerider murmurs at the young gold. "Leave…" he opens his eyes to blear at Dione, "Who's your friend?"

Dione does certainly mind, but there's minding and minding, and one is a scale of yuck worse than the other. She's handled drunks plenty of times, after all. Still, scooting to the other side of the pool (just in case), she manages to get her eyes to open all the way. "Botanica." Said green gets a loving look and a trail of fingertips down her spine before the hand vacates the space for Chicarinae's curl. "She can sit there, if she wants. Guess it's not all song and tale, hm, looking after the babies?"

The little gold warbles on, defiant, though notably quieter and nuzzles in amongst the towels and limbs and wings of Dione's green. T'ral chuffs out a chuckle before submerging to scrub off the topcoat of gunk. Surfacing, he rakes both hands back over his scalp and settles back, himself, to soak. "Not by a longshot." He leans his head back on the stone, "But you just can't stay mad at 'em. They're just adorable. Even the sinister, sneaky ones," he ruminates a moment, "Maybe especially the sinister, sneaky ones," he snorts a quick laugh to himself, eyes closed, head rolling lightly back and forth as he shakes it.

The idea of sinister and sneaky makes Dione snort, mind conjuring up the imagine of slinking, kitten-sized shadows. "As long as they are throwing up on you and not me…" Cheerful about throwing him under the baby bus, she watches the green and gold hides snuggle together for a moment, then sits up slightly, slumber a thing of the past. "Seems as if they've gotten you good as well. You seem a bit, er. Rough-worn. How's Esanth getting through it all? Teaching them how to spread their wings, so on? Or is it too early for that yet?"

"Aww. Come on. You don't know love until you've been puked on." Dark eyes open and the bluerider peers at Dione, "You've probably known love a time or two in your line of work, eh?" He smiles, lopsided, and leans his head carefully back. A deep breath, sighing, weight of the day leaving him in slow strokes of the long-handled brush, with some winces where the bristles rake a scrape. "Some days are harder than others," he shakes his head at the flying, "K'ane's doing that. Too dicey for a rookie." Flying is serious business. "He's a good teacher." T'ral rubs the side of his head, wincing. Pain was a good teacher, too.

"Ehhh, the rider from Igen? Met him some time ago. He seemed… solid enough, I guess?" Dione's nose wrinkles. "When it comes to that kind of love, I'm more seasoned than a doxie at a scummy port. But stay over that side, ok?" She'll slip out and scoot into one of the other pools, a little cooler but still pleasant. When one can see bits drifting in bathwater, it's definitely not okay. "You're wincing all over the show," she opines, slipping down-and-down until she's chin-deep in the water. There's been some buffing of moralistic Holder edges, but still some twinges. "Did they use you for a chewtoy?"

T'ral nods, "Him. He is." Solid. He laughs, good natured at Dione's comparison to her self and a doxie vis a vis quantities of puke and nods, mute agreement to stay on his side of the pool. For a moment, any way. T'ral's own mores were once a strange cocktail of his Weyr birth, nigh a decade at Harper Hall and being Renalde's son. A heady mix. But, most recently, they become very WEYR. Much Weyr. So it may surprise Dione when the bluerider sits bolt upright, eyes wide and fixed unfocused in the middle distance, scrub brush held like a scepter. An oath, uttered low and fervent, the bluerider foregoes the stairs out of the pool and snags his towel, running pell mell for the hall and out, skidding, pinwheeling and losing, poor T'ral, his towel as he makes the corner, calling an urgent shout over his shoulder, "Dione, quick! Your-" the rest is lost to distance and the hullabaloo raised by a bare-arsed bluerider running through the caverns. Really. No one should be surprised. Lendai DID lead by example. In your honor, Lendai. T'ral won't be hard to find, just follow the looks, glares and wagging tongues. And the trail of water. He might want that towel, snagged on the door.

Eyeing her nails intensely, cleaning them thoroughly, Dione doesn't see that abstracted look on T'ral's face at first, but the splash and play of water alerts her, and her eyes bug out as, well, NAKED. Forgive her for gaping a second. "…what." Said flatly, pressed by sheer surprise. A second ticks by, then another one. "Hey… hey! HEY! WAIT!" Surging from the pool like Aphrodite about to ascend a clamshell, she snatches her towel, spilling poor Botanica and Chicarinae, wrapping it hastily around a sopping wet form. "T'ral! Your…" Towel. Snatching it, clad precariously herself, she storms through the caverns after the bluerider's nekkid form, tossing out apologies as he goes. "…yes, suddenly remembered an errand! Sorry!" "No, two-day butt itch, very bad case!" "A little too much hot sauce!" They flap and doppler behind her, until finally she screeches out into the bowl, looking around wildly, trying to keep herself, well, even slightly modest.

Niyati blinks. Then blinks. And then blinks again. The fact that there's nakedness doesn't really bother her. The fact that there's nakedness, towel, and chasing is so very out of place that she's unable to process it all as a whole. She's left a bit slack jawed and her face skewed in the general 'what have I walked in on' expression. "I… What… You're naked, you know." She's helpful.

Linden walks out of the hatching grounds to see…that? What? What is that? Brown eyes follow the path of the running, as he jogs over to something familiar. "Hey." Niyati. "What's going on? Should we be running too?" Not naked, obviously, but what if they're running away from something?

Towards something. Towards. T'ral, heedless of his nakedness (or, well, not totally heedless, his ears are scarlet and his eyes fixed VERY deliberately ahead and not making eye contact with anyone). He scrambles past weyrfolk with muttered apologies of rank and no rank skidding out into the lower bowl and scrambling, half-falling, half-running to Esanth. The blue dragon is lying on his side in the Upper Bowl, eyes shut, groaning quietly. T'ral skids to a halt, hands running over the dragon, frantically looking here and there, head on a swivel, hands skipping across the smooth and healthy looking hide. The bluerider is ashen with worry, coming finally to Esanth's listing head. He palms the dragon's eyelids open and finds them blue-green and sparked with fizzing amusement. T'ral wilts in relief. Then straightens, furious, "You son of a…" jaws clamp shut on notions so dire as to seem inadequate to express his ire. "You're…" he bows up, "I'm gonna…" He turns to storm off and freezes. He's… drawn quite a crowd. "Uh." Blink. Blink. Flush, "Hi, folks." Behind him Esanth rolls onto his belly, coming upright and making a strange sound that, in this context, can only be laughter. T'ral cocks his head, listening and rounds on the dragon, "Dione?"

<Southern Weyr> Thrumming engines stutter, distinct laughter and the smell of smoke and burning engine oil dissapate. « Dhioth, Sir. Told ya I could. » Screens flicker, displaying the medical record -FORGED! HACKED!- of a dragon in great distress. « Pay up. » (Esanth)

<Southern Weyr> Esanth senses that: Dhioth refuses to acknowledge having anything to do with these shenanigans. He's enough trouble as it is.

Dione's face matches the blush; it rolls in underneath the towel even, and as all the stares start sinking in she looks hot enough for her ears to start whistling. "T'RAL!" she yells, waving his towel like a flag. "T'ral, at least cover your ass!" It wasn't cold water, but still! "And stop flashing your ding-dong, not everyone wants to see that!" Still. Then. People. People around, and a dragon faking it and… hello, embarrassment. "You. You are going to die," she hisses between her teeth; uncaring that she's side-flashing Niyati and poor Linden, she tosses the extra towel at T'ral's midsection. "I'm going back to the bath… what?" Eyes flick to the side, taking in the two closest onlookers. "Ovine madness," she says flatly, trying to inch her towel up and down at the same time.

<Southern Weyr> Esanth senses that: The slow roll outward of zen-like calm flicks a quicksilver lanturnlight at Dhioth's denial of service. Is it the quirk of languid curiosity held in the essence of jade woven with sweetgrass? (Dhiammarath)

Niyati is still looking rather like she's listening to a language she's never heard, but there's no flush to her cheeks at all. "Why are you naked? It's sharding hot, but that's hardly healthy." Then the pieces begin to fall into place and she chuckles. "Oh that was very well played. Very well." She reaches up to cover Linden's eyes, though she doesn't really look back to see if he's stayed where he was before. "I don't think they were running FROM anything. Rather that the dragon just pulled a very good prank on his rider." She's managed through all of this without falling into a fit of giggles but she finally loses her hold. At least she has the good grace to cover her mouth with her other hand so that the sound is muffled.

Linden eyes both of them… he's a teenage boy, why wouldn't he? He looks until Niyati covers his eyes. "Hey," he protests with a frown, stepping aside. But he looks away quickly with a blush when Dione looks at him. "Ah. O…kay?" Clearly not ovine madness. But he'll agree to it if it'll make her feel better? "Yeah, don't get sunburned," he tack on to Niyati's words. "What was the dragon doing? Pretending to be dead?" He frowns. "That's kind of mean." But… kind of awesome too. He begins to laugh too.

<Southern Weyr> Esanth senses that: Khalyssrielth is ice and iron and disdain incarnate. Forgery. Faranth knows that is a DHIAMMARATH child and not one of her glorious, devious, intelligent minions.

<Southern Weyr> Esanth senses that: Silent but for the gentle amusement of champagne, Desmeth picks not this battle… though a glass of salutational wine is raised to his brother-in-shell and a wry, almost ungentlemanly feel… bros before hos? (Desmeth)

T'ral catches the towel deftly. Where 'deftly' is 'with his face.' "Fankfff," muffled. Ears scarlet and not entirely with embarrassment, T'ral wraps the towel around his waist with quick efficiency. Niyati is EYED. Linden is EYED. Drawing up, eyes flashing, "Candidates," T'ral intones, "It's late, you'd better be out here on some sort of duty and not breaking curfew." Renalde's genes must be good for something, right? Command voice. T'ral is cultivating it. "And you, Dione. Come here." T'ral elbows Esanth, spoiling the effect of his command somewhat. The blue spreads his star-dusted wings, luminous in the moonlight, still rumbling with his amusement. A poor screen against look-i-loos, but, something at least.

Dione gets in a last glare promising retribution to the poor not-laughing-but-secretly-laughing weaver, and a slightly more lenient look for poor Linden. Scooting to the side as T'ral uses his voice of AUTHORITAY, she mumbes a hello to Esanth and shelters behind one of the star-dusted wings, trying for a spot with maximum coverage. "You," she mutters to the blue, patting his side. "Bad dragon." It's weak, that retort, most of the ire spared for T'ral. "Clothes," she orders haughtily from behind the screen of wings. "Someone get me some clothes. And another towel."

"Well, I have a duty now I suppose. I can run fetch something from my workroom." Niyati's offer is given before she glances over at Linden. "Probably not dead, but rather dying. Still very well done." Dione earns an apologetic look, but she's still quite amused. "I have some of those nice towel robes. They were going to be a premake for sale but I suppose this is a special circumstance." Plus, she's now a candidate and presales don't do her any good whatsoever. With that, she makes for her workroom to retrieve said robes. It's probably a very good thing she's a fast runner.

Linden looks up at the sky. Oh yeah, it is late. "I had stable duties, sir," Linden says, snapping off a smart salute. The teen perks up a bit too fast with, "I can get you something!" He's two steps away before he stops and looks back. "Uh. Where?" Then Niyati bolts past him and the teen shifts his weight, rocking back and forth. Awwwwwkward. "Is…there….anything else you need? Like…uh. W-water?"

Candidates first. T'ral looks at Niyati. He didn't miss the 'now' she'd added to explaining her presence. But since she's so readily (and handily) offered up a useful service, she's off the hook. He nods, once, sharp, "Thank you. Go." He looks at Linden and shakes his head, holding up a single finger (Thanks, Q'fex). 'Stay put,' says the finger. He steps into the shelter of Esanth's wings. To Dione, "You don't know the half of it," T'ral mutters, leaning back against the blue's chest, a hand tucked into the fold of the towel to keep it well and truly affixed in place. The great head dips down over T'ral to whuffle at Dione, and the dragon utters a single grinding blat. "He wants you to Stand."

Fighting the urge to take T'ral's towel back and try for a little more modesty, Dione heaves a great sigh of relief as Niyati speeds off. "Lovely woman that," she mutters, and peeks over the rim of Esanth's wingsail at Linden. "Ah, a towel for…" T'ral the Merciless speaks, and her expression smoothes into a nose-scrunch. "Sorry," she mutters to Linden. You'll just have to suffer with, Candidate-boy. In the process of finger-tussling her hair into something other than 'hayrick', the gravitas of the moment is missed, especially as she ducks away from the blue. Just in case today was firestone-lessons or something. "I am standing," she points out sourly. "And I'm going to have to wash my feet again."

Niyati doesn't take very long to return, though she's completely out of breath when she does. The robes are handed over and it's probably a good thing she didn't get too far with the embroidery. The larger of the two has big pink flowers on the pockets but is otherwise white while the smaller has escaped embroidering altogether. "Well, they're not fitted but they'll do," she manages once her breath evens out. "Perhaps Linden and I can take the towels to drop off before we head to our cots? Curfew and all of that." Because she's concerned about it now.

Linden just stands there when he's told to stand there, shifting his weight slightly, looking around. He looks relieved when Niyati returns. "Yeah, we can do that."

The lofted arc of T'ral's brow is eloquent. He makes no other response to Dione's rejoinder and follow on comments. She'll get it. It'll be more impactful if she works it out herself. He takes the offered robe with a murmur of thanks and wraps himself in it with minmal (further) flashing of his bits. The towel is slung around his neck. "We'll be headed back that way. But thank you all the same," level, his voice, eyes fixed on Dione. He spares a flicker of a glance at the two Candidates. "Best you both get back." And back to Dione, blinking. Watching her steadily. Esanth rumbles, lifting his head, wings fluttering as he shifts.

Borrowing a portion of Esanth's wing like a screen, Dione's halfway into the robe when realisation hits her, and she pauses. For a moment there's silence; then, carefully, she wraps herself in the robe and sashes it tight, plucking and rearranging. "I think Esanth's tastebuds are still plugged up," she says with a grin. "But yes. Of course I'll Stand, as long as I don't have to do it in a towel." She ruffles her hair dry, then slings the towel over one arm, gaze curious as it settles on Niyati and Linden. "Did you guys have to chase him all over the place too? Man, I knew T'ral was saucy, but this is something else…"

Niyati chuckles but shakes her head. "No, Desmeth asked Yules to ask me after asking for a hat. Everyone was disappointingly clothed, I'm afraid." Instead of leaving right away, she hangs back with Linden. Maybe she's a bit sorry for having thrown him under the watch-wher earlier by offering the robes or maybe it's just candidate solidarity. It's probably nosiness. "I've found there's no real way to say no to a dragon when they're being _that_ endearing."

Bailey was just OUT FOR A WALK, enjoying being out of the Sands and Galleries. That's it. And then she spied a naked T'ral getting dressed around a bunch of impressionable minors. That's when the goldrider moseys her way over, no speediness to her stride, a smirk on her face for this whole little … cluster of activity.

Linden nods. "Yes, sir," he says, taking a step back and glancing at Niyati. Scoot, scoot… scooting away!

Aaaaaaand, she's got it. "No, you'll Stand in a robe. More coverage, less wicking of moisture." T'ral eyebrows hike at Dione describing him as 'saucy.' That was a new one. The bluerider's lips twitch at Esanth's clutchmate's request. Desmeth and his dragon millinery. Poor Niyati. Poor Yules. "On second thought. Wait a tick, you," he gestures the Candidates forward but isn't specific about who, "Let me borrow a kn—" He draws up and, out of uniform, does not salute the Possibly-future Weyrwoman, but rather gives a quick formal bow, "Evening Weyrwoman. Would you happen to have a Candidate's knot on you? Mine is… elsewhere." He elbows Esanth. Esanth snorts.

"Mhm, I remember that place from the party announcing the new hold, I think? Or was that the new wingleaders? The one where…" Ah, Bailey. There's a dip of Dione's head, as much respect as can be wrung out standing in a borrowed robe with straggling wet hair. There's definitely a twitch of eyebrow at the demand to give up one of the other candidates' knots; a sigh of relief sounds as another option is explored, and she sinks back a little against the blue. Nippy little midnight breeze, that. "Can I go and get my things from my room at least?"

Niyati steps forward and unpins her own knot to hold forward before the question is asked of Bailey. Said Weyrwoman is given a bow (she only does the curtsy thing while in a skirt) and she looks between the three before glancing back at Linden. A nod goes to her fellow curfew breaker to indicate that he can run if he likes. "Well then, I suppose congratulations are in order. You can use mine if you need. I'm sure there's plenty of white around for another."

Linden spins, and RUNS. He's not going to break curfewwwwwww.

"T'ral, what are you doing out here in all hours of the night with a bunch of Candidates?" Bailey's voice doesn't need to rise. Instead: "Naked?" By the look on her face she has only one plausible explanation for this whole situation. She stares at Dione and then at T'ral, doesn't tie all the ends together. "T'ral," she sounds aghast, "T'ral you can't just KIDNAP NAKED BARTENDERS!" She has a faint nod for Niyati — she recognizes that face — and Linden gets away SCOT FREE, lucky duck.

T'ral stands on the firmament of righteousness. Truth and … well. It's the dragon's fault. The bluerider suffers Bailey's indignation with a look she might recognize as his gameface (but that he doesn't recall giving her before). "Short version: Esanth called me out of the baths feigning a grave illness," he squints up at the dragon, who sits in regal repose, tip of his tail twitching. "Because he wanted to Search Dione." Hopefully the succint version will suffice. Linden's hasty departure is noted and Niyati's offer of a knot is taken, since Bailey is determined to ubraid T'ral instead of helping get Candidates for HER LIFEMATE'S CLUTCH. "Thank you, Niyati, your timely help was appreciated." He gives the weaver a quick smile and tosses his chin off after Linden, 'Back to the Barracks with you,' says the look, intent, with eyebrows raised and eyes covertly cut at the Weyrwoman. He turns back to Dione, knot extended, "You can. And then we'll get you settled in the Barracks."

Niyati does not have to be told twice. In fact, once she's given a departing nod she's off to the barracks but not before relaying "He did a really good job of it," to those gathered. She'll just dash off now. Being about and getting out of trouble by being helpful is one thing, sticking round to push your luck is another.

For a second Dione's serene, before a heartfelt, piteous pout twists her lips. "First time a man ever ran away from me," she mutters to Bailey, sotto voce, as she squeezes the last bits of hair out. "And he made me chase his naked ass and carry his towel too." Verily, she saw sights she'll never forget. "I don't think any of those Aunties in the caverns will ever be the same again. The lengths a man will go to for cheaper booze!" With a slight pause, she grins. "Although he does look fetching now." There's another dip of her head. "If you two would excuse me? I'll go get my things."

"Don't give me that look," Bailey mutters. Then she's looking between T'ral and Dione and then over to Niyati and finally the goldrider just throws her hands in the air and walks back towards the hatching sands muttering about 'those damn blueriders'. She pauses only to call over her shoulder, "Good luck, Dione!" Maybe she's laughing about Dione's sotto-voiced comment as she goes. Maybe. But she's busy retreating, all shaking-head and grumbling, to the Sands.

T'ral's lips twitch in the dark frame of his beard allowing Dione to quip away the indignities inflicted upon them by his dragon. Totally elbowed again, said dragon. He looks fondly after the exaperated Weyrwoman, brow stitched with sympathy, as he recalled Bailey HATED being cooped up. Being stuck on the Sands with the Eggs would be a special kind of hell. He nods Dione away and heads to the baths to retrieve his clothes.

—-

Some time later, T'ral -fully de-crusted and dressed- awaits Dione's arrival at the training grounds. He ushers the former-bartender into the barracks and through the snoring, sleeping, crashed out weyrlings and dragonets to the Candidates' area, walking her to a set of unclaimed bunks. Candidate noses are counted. Particularly he's looking for Linden and Niyati. Especially Niyati. That 'now' she'd tacked onto her excuse has not been forgotten. "Welcome to it," he extends a hand to Dione and flinches into a massive yawn, hand snatched away to cover his mouth. He blinks at her, blearily, "Good luck. I'll get you your own knot," another yawn follows the last, like breakers on the shore of sleep, "tomorrow. Get some rest."

Dione took her time in gathering her things, and eventually shows up with a satchel bulging with stuff. It's contents? Secret for now, but nothing's tinkling so there's probably not booze in there. "Ehhh," she says as she steps inside, eyes rounding. "This is actually not bad, eh? I thought it would be a bit more sparse than this…" Shy? Not particularly; she strides in and peeks around — at least T'ral picked out a good cot, tucked in a little corner and not too close to the glow-baskets. "Right, tomorrow… thanks, T'ral." She grins idly as the satchel falls on the bed, and she begins to unpack. As he leaves: "Nice legs!"

"Nice legs, SIR," the bluerider quips at Dione on his way out.

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