Divale, Zavyr


Chance encounter between Hides In Plain Sight Divale and Only Around For Duty Zavyr. Both endeavor to repair broken bridges.

Waaay backscened because of RL…


It is before dawn of the thirteenth day of the second month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.


Glow Cavern to Divale and Lukoith's weyr

OOC Date 01 Nov 2017 07:00


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Glow Cavern

The ceiling bows low over those who venture down the easternmost passage from the Grand Cavern, low enough to warrant crouching from time to time. The deeper it wends, the darker the stone becomes, the rough edges of the passage smoothed and softened by the velvet crawl of moss nourished by the steadily broadening trickle of stream that hugs the left wall of the corridor. A pale, eerie illumination seems to emanate from the destination ahead…and suddenly, the cavern sprawls away from from the portal that meets it. Thick moss and moist stone stand spangled with the subterranean starscape of glows, shallow water and the sweet flow of fresh air from a source unseen lending life to constellations of ghostly green and blue upon nearly every surface. Far across this wondrous cavern, another dark mouth yawns tall and narrow - the source of the breath of life that keeps the glows sustained.

An unusual location, given how far out it is from the Weyr, but for those with the means to travel far, it isn’t so much a hindrance. For a rider? Not a problem. Dawn has barely begun to creep over the horizon, the sky still cloaked in nightfall and the stars just beginning to fade under the slow encroachment of wintry light. Lukoith lurks beyond, a shadowed sentinel hunkered against the cold. Divale has been here before, on her many aimless wanderings when time permitted her to be free long enough. Of late, there’s a little more of that; her punishment by R’xim’s hand led her to keep her position among Parhelion but at a far reduced capacity. No more patrols, no more work with the Guard’s canine units. Her fall could have had much worse consequences but she evaded it — for now. And with the long lulls between Threadfalls, there are fewer patients among the ‘Yard requiring frequent checkups. Thus, on this pre-dawn morning, Divale has wandered here among the quiet seclusion of a glow cavern. Moving on stealthy, cautious steps, she occasionally stops to crouch or lean to investigate some sort of vegetation or mossy growth. Harvesting? Perhaps. More recent events include the dissolving of her relationship with Xia and have led her to seek out distractions, anything, to keep the incessant press of her thoughts and memories at bay. She has not isolated herself and for many, they are none the wiser to the change as she does not falter from her regular routines. But she ‘hunts’ more now among her familiar haunts. Idleness for her is a dangerous thing…

Given that Zavyr has been inducted into Arroyo and with that, presumably engaged in wing trainings and now assigned regular patrols and sweeps and such, she has actually been seen around the Weyr a bit more. Not much - not out socially - but sometimes in the kitchen, eating or picking up food. Now that the weather is cold, she can be found in the baths sometimes, but rarely; the lake is too cold for her to bathe in, but there’s a good deal of water in this usually abandoned area, and though it is cold, the coldness is not the bone-numbing response of open bodies of water to winter’s frigid touch. So while Divale had gone into the glow caverns, and Lukoith was lurking somewhere, blue Nynnth lands lightly outside the nearest entrance to this cavern, and Zavyr slides off him, turning to caress the blue’s head with her typical devotion, before she shoulders the pack that was hung on his harness. Whatever passes between them is silent, but seconds later four lizards manifest in an explosion of triumph, that they again located Nynnth, and they whip in ahead of Zavyr as she turns to trek toward the inner caverns. Evidently THIS is where the rider performs her ablutions, prior to duty. So she is walking past the glow caverns when Valor shifts his direction as if Zavyr’s natural path was within that place. The lizard’s odd behavior gives Zavyr pause, and she stands to the edge of the cavern, looking in with slightly squinted gaze, as the other three lizards backtrack and join Valor in whatever he seeks. No doubt the bronze noted Divale’s presence, as she becomes the focus of his circles.

Valor will definitely be the tipping point to alerting Divale that she’s no longer alone. She can’t immediately place the bronze, but when her own brown reappears and Eidolon’s near-silent whistles and calls herald a familiar welcome, the brownrider relaxes. In no hurry to go intersecting paths, she will finish gathering the moss-like growth she’d been curiously examining; it’s tucked carefully into a small rucksack she’s brought along, the strap now slung across her shoulder to leave it snugly pressed to her hip. Again, on quiet footsteps, Divale moves forwards, not at all uncomfortable in the semi-gloom of the glow-lit cavern. “Fool?” Her voice is pitched just-so, that the sound should carry to Zavyr in a hushed echoed manner. Eerie, really, at first until she steps out just enough to be seen in partial light and shadow. “What are you doing here? It’s not even dawn, yet.”

“Bathing. I…It’s not very crowded here at this hour. But,” Zavyr’s teeth flash, a glitter of white caught in the odd glow-light, “If I wait another hour or two, I just can’t even find a berth and there’s kids running around everywhere, screaming. Just a menagerie. So, you know… I head in here early.” Possibly she was not even at her own weyr. Either Nynnth sleeps within the cavern of their cave, out of sight, or the two yet camp elsewhere on Pern before returning early in the dawn to ready themselves for duty. Hard to tell; if anything, having a dragon has made the Fool even more secretive and isolated. “And yourself? Up for a snack before breakfast?” Zavyr’s pale blue eyes flick to the bag that Divale wears. “Getting lights for a party at your weyr?” Hope settles on Zavyr’s shoulder and Grit claims the other one. Valor and Joy both circle around Eidolon with the chirping pleasure of discovery.

“It’s winter. How do you stand the water’s temperature?” Divale scoffs, disbelieving that this cave or the ones surrounding it are a hot spot for wayward bathers. It’s bordering on remote! Yet she finds truth in Zavyr’s claim of using it; it’d suit the bluerider just fine, wouldn’t it? Question remains — what is she doing here? There’s a light chuckle for the use of ‘snack’ and she shakes her head. “Nothing like that. Came out here on a whim… I don’t have drills for another few candlemark or so.” It’s probably only the tiniest of truths. Eidolon doesn’t linger, as much of Divale’s fair is wont to do; another brown, a blue and a bronze swoop to join the eldest pale brown and they all go winging away further down the cavern. Maybe their absence does have some connection because Zavyr’s innocent prompt. “No,” Clipped answer and Divale’s dark gaze lowers, brows furrowed against the flickering of passing memories. Of her weyr decorated, of a Southern gathering… She shakes her head, taking a low, steadying breath and refocuses on Zavyr with her usual wry smirk in place. “Nothing like that.” Did she just repeat herself? “Moss. There’s a variety that, so far, I find only flourishes here… Without me having to travel halfway across the world. Not sure if it’s natural or was accidentally brought here.” How… fascinating?

“I lived in the Underground for… Many turns, remember?” Zavyr murmurs. “I don’t like the cold. But I don’t have of those weyrs with water that comes out of the pipes. I should probably look around and see if there’s another weyr available with a bath. But…I get the impression those are mostly the bigger weyrs.” She glances past Divale into the cavern, but only sees the glowlight, not the detail of moss growing between the lights. Shouldering her towel, after disrupting Hope’s perch, Zavyr flicks her attention back to Divale. “I don’t know how you would have noticed the moss in there. -With the light as bright as it is.” Grit crows over at Hope, who now flicks around waiting for Zavyr to drop her arm, so she can sit on the towel on Zavyr’s shoulder. The pale-haired woman is rubbing her chin lightly in a gesture reminiscent of the Fool - of an adolescent lad trying to imitate a bearded man. “But traveling around half the world…That’s rather a mental convention of there being some… Inconvenience, since Between is Between is Between. We just stay nearby more now, so Nynnth can hear the other dragons. How are you?” The last question is pinned abruptly onto the patter of words that is normal for Zavyr.

Divale smirks, “Underground was still a touch warmer than… this place. And you’d want one of the ground level weyrs if you’ve hope of any form of a ‘bath’ — not likely to find any vacant.” Can anyone be blamed for not wanting to give up that precious, limited, luxury? If it can even be considered that. “Some of us don’t have time to go gallivanting across the world. Between or no.” she points out in her dryest of tones. Stepping out from the shadows, she places her feet carefully so not to end up slipping and winding up with a soaked boot for her efforts. Accustomed as she is to Zavyr’s rambling, she answers what she feels is important. The question on her well being though? Brings a lingering (if suspicious) pause before a quiet murmured: “I am well enough.” Another pause, just long enough to border on being awkward before she speaks up again. “And you?”

“Oh, we enjoy fine health and the Weyr sees fit to keep us busy. Wingleader changes, politics I am uninterested in, and crowded baths.” Zavyr half-smiles. “Regular meals are lovely. The travel opportunities are grand.” Zavyr has figured out how to break into the deal of transporting for coin. A regular influx of more interesting items have begun to infiltrate the Bazaar and Weyr, too, as she turns coin into goods that - due to their scarcity - bring in a decent sum. As well, the entire situation has her often away from the Weyr when she is not on duty, which is not too much unlike before. “There is a certain understated allure to being companioned by a dragon, besides the constant companionship.” Zavyr’s lips quirk at that, but smooth into a genuine smile, “Fortunately, Nynnth is the finest companion I could ever ask for, so.” She lifts and drops the towel-bearing shoulder. “I guess if you’re looking for more time, you could transfer to a non-Parhelion wing. Or is it your herbery that keeps you busy?”

“In other words, you are settling in well? You’re in Arroyo now, aren’t you?” Divale’s heard some gossip, even if she hasn’t recently extended her hand in friendship to Zavyr. Not since their last heated discussion that saw her all but chase the bluerider from her weyr and ledge. “Understated. There is a lot that is understated when it comes to being a rider,” she chuckles dryly under her breath. Shaking her head, she’ll glance back the way she came. “No. I enjoy being Parhelion, even if it’s not a perfect fit. I need to be busy. I do not idle very well.” Simple, logical explanation!

“Ah, then, you should rephrase your former statement into, ‘Some of us don’t have the desire to make the time to go galavanting around the world.’; because I am certainly not idle, but it is a matter of who is holding my reins, so to speak. I prefer to do what I want to do, and I do keep quite busy. Arroyo, yes. Hopefully T’ral hasn’t connected me with the thief in the Archive. He’s not said anything of that nature, anyway, if he has. I think he’s just busy trying to take over. New riders, some of the older ones gone…I think he’d been in that wing before. But I just lay low as much as possible.” Her lips twitch; the female Zavyr without the loud male mask is, perhaps, simply a reclusive, quiet creature. Zavyr reaches up to draw her hand down Grit’s honeyed hide, absently. “Lukoith still chasing like crazy?”

Divale rolls her eyes and merely smirks. No rephrasing this time, but she’ll relent and give Zavyr this one, this one time. “You do know people forgive some trespasses?” she mutters concerning the worry over T’ral figuring out Zavyr’s past with the Archive. She does level the bluerider with a look when ‘laying low’ is mentioned, a lone brow quirking upwards. Really? It’s not argued, however. Her shoulders lift in a passive shrug. “Of course. He hasn’t changed much. Courts and chases, most often losing. Caught Kataskiath again.” From the way her lips twitch into a near grimace, it was not Divale’s choice. Yet when is it ever? “We missed Kuramaeth’s rising however. Again.” True disappointment there.

Happily, Nynnth missed both of those green’s flights. Zavyr can’t keep the blue away forever, but Nynnth is particular and so far hasn’t chosen to chase. This suits Zavyr, “Really.” A quirk of her expression slanting the whole toward something approaching nostalgia. “I’ve been laying low since …Shortly after Impression. And the Fool is gone now.” Quietly spoken, this. Many, anymore, may not believe that the taciturn bluerider is the same person who once was the flamboyant performer. “I guess it’s like some women, who have children. And they had been Master-bound in their Craft and now are forever Journeywomen. Having a dragon is like having a very large, destructive, intelligent but devoted child, I think.” She thinks about this a while longer, “Except the child is…Never going to grow up and leave, either. Labor of love, the dragonchild. But absolutely life-altering. Identity-changing.” She leaves it at that, punctuating with a nod. Indeed. “Well. I was going to..Go take a bath.” A glance toward the darker inner cavern that is pointed enough to inspire Hope to take wing once more and head that way, glowing eyes leading. “IF you want to keep me company, I’d welcome it, but I know,” Zavyr manufactures Divale’s excuse for her, “Parhelion usually musters earlier than anyone else. Because Lord Smiley is such a thoughtful, cheery guy.”

“Are you so certain that the Fool is completely gone? Or have you merely progressed to something more?” Divale muses dryly but does not argue or challenge beyond that simple statement. The invitation is met with a lingering look from the young brownrider and a brief glance away, towards the opposite end of the cavern. “I’ve a little time left,” she quietly admits. “I can at least make sure you don’t wind up hypothermic or have some other misfortune happen during your bathing.” Lifting her hand, she makes a vague ‘lead on’ wave with it.

“Much less, of me, anymore. It’s all about dragon and thread and dragon fighting thread. I am a facilitator.” Zavyr returns, without rancor or ill-will; she simply states what is. But she grins at the last, “I bathe like this, unattended, nearly every day. If not here, then other places of equivalent quality. Though, I do sometimes go to warm beaches on the other side of Pern. Problem is that when I go, I never want to return to the cold or the extreme hot. So. Since I have to be here early tomorrow morning, best that I bathe here.” She leads the way in, absolutely familiar, for she seems to need no glows. There’s enough ambient light from the occasional glow cluster here and there, and firelizard eyes, that Zavyr reaches the interior stream in short order. “Kataskiath again? S’ayde seems exhausted, what with those kids they had. Seems that weyrs have a much higher proportion of twins than holds. Something in the proximity of dragons? What do you think, healer?”

Divale’s brows furrow but she holds her tongue, not wishing to engage in another roundabout argument that saw a rather unfortunate end to their last visit. “Figures that your bathing habits would be as strange as you are,” she mutters instead as she quietly (and carefully) follows Zavyr. There must be enough familiarity or form of trust to keep the brownrider from losing her footing in the dimmer light here. Shaking her head, she grimaces. “It has nothing to do with that. They’re lucky, is all — in that both babes survived and their mother with them. Credit more the fact that a Weyr has available a wide gamut of experienced Healers and midwives at their disposal. That is the difference.” Of course her analysis would be harsher, grim and blunt. Followed on the heels of that, a bitter exhale of: “Yes.” Kataskiath again. “Lukoith is fond of her.”

“Nynnth has noticed some greens, but not… Too interested. Which… I am fine with.” In the near darkness, a pause has Zavyr disrobing, setting her items out in a familiar pattern along the surface of a nearby rock. “My stuff is here. Please do not knock it into the water. But there are a few rocks here if you want to take a seat, Puzzle.” The sound of water splashing is then heard, and Zavyr’s instinctive inhalation of breath that is caught, as if that distraction might make the rolling stream warmer. It doesn’t. Shrill firelizard voices protest the shared mental ache that is reaction to the bone-chilling cold Only slowly does Zavyr release her breath with another hard shudder, and begin soaping herself speedily. Now when she speaks, her voice has the vibrational quality of someone whose jaws want to clatter teeth together. “I’m glad he doesn’t also chase golds. I hear tell that’s even more intense. If we always gets new batches of babies all over, after those flights…I would suspect the truth of this.” Hope lands nearby, on Zavyr’s towel, her attention directly on the near-invisible Zavyr. “He’s enjoying being in a wing of mostly blues and greens though. Nynnth can sustain his flame much longer than the rest of them. It’s a point of pride now with him. I suspect we’ve just had a run of luck getting good rock, but he is not to be argued with.”

“You are fortunate then, that he is selective.” Divale’s going to try to sound not too envious on that. Granted in her scant few Turns as a rider, she’s become a little more adapted to flights. There’s a scoff for Zavyr’s warning and she’ll be careful to perch herself well enough away. “I think you mistake me for one of those small domesticated felines some folk keep. Your things are safe from me, Zavyr…” Unless she has something small and insignificant that won’t be missed if Divale does get the urge to ‘collect’. The rest of the talk of flights is dismissed as she focuses instead of talk of Wings and Nynnth’s abilities. “It sounds then that you are both well suited to Arroyo. Even if it is merely ‘luck’.”

“I guess so. He’s a fine dragon.” Zavyr spends more of her mental energy in speed-bathing, before she becomes subject to hypothermia. The weather outside is also unforgiving and she is in no mood to court frostbite. Splashing is quick, intermittant and then she dips underwater with a muffled oath as she comes back up again and nearly erupts from the water. “I don’t understand,” Zavyr shakes most of the water from her hair like a canine, “How dragons can sit in the bottom of the lake in this sort of temperature for… Ever. And they think it lovely. They are warm to the touch.” Perhaps Zavyr sounds a bit petulant. But she reaches for her towel and rakes it across her body with a vigor that might also set the blood pumping. Her shivering is audible. Zavyr makes quick work of drying, too, though, and begins to dress in the near dark. “I guess the only perk to Impressing gold is that fancy weyr the Weyrwomen are rumored to have. With running hot baths. But who would want to be Weyrwoman?”

“They’re different from us. Don’t feel cold in the same way we do,” Divale patiently explains, while keeping a sharp eye on Zavyr; probably more for signs of hypothermia than anything more. That she can hear the other woman shivering brings a grimace to her features. “You’re going to catch your death, someday. Would it be too much to ask of you to come back to my weyr for some tea, at least?” No doubt laced with beneficial herbs. Divale just doesn’t dabble in poisons alone. “Mhm, having a running hot bath is not worth the weight and responsibility of being a weyrwoman. I can live by using the public baths… It’s not so bad.” When timed correctly.

“Half the Bazaar still thinks I’m male. The ones that think I’m female either hate me or want to screw me - in bed or over, I’m not sure and don’t want to find out. And no matter what time I try the place… I seem to run into someone. There’s beaches on the other side of Pern that have my name on it. Pity I don’t read so well.” All this delivered with the arid humor that often marks the Fool, though Zavyr is as swift at dressing as she was at drying. “Back to your Weyr? Will…Xia mind?” The bluerider is not one to … Come where unwelcome. And weyrmates are big question marks.

Divale simply smirks on Zavyr’s retort on the Bazaar still falling for her ruse. It’s the last bit that has her tensing, shadow falling over her gaze and a strange expression flickering over her feature. There and gone too fast to pinpoint, as she inhales slow and regains that oh-so familiar neutral stance. Her voice is just as low pitched and steady too. “Xia and I are no longer a couple. We split amicably and she is free, now, to find herself. I wish her only happiness,” she explains cooly. “You’re company is always appreciated, regardless.” Even if their last talk in her weyr ended so sour.

“Oh.” Zavyr can’t see much but can imagine Divale’s expression because she’s probably seen something of that nature before. She straightens and starts out, touching Divale lightly on the shoulder, or the other, should the other be veering toward any of the inherant dangers in the cavern. But soon the pair is escorted by lizards and the flapping wings and glowing eyes have them safely outside. Only when Zavyr is outside, does Nynnth arrive, backwinging out of the dark night sky like some star having manifested form and garnered a dusting of blue sky on its way down. The blue greets Divale with a warble, bright, and a faint touch of cool vastness, open sky constellated with pinpoints of distant light. “I am sorry. I think. I’m sorry if it made you sad,” Zavyr finally decides. “Otherwise..If it was something you wanted, then congratulations.”

Zavyr may feel the way Divale tenses under that touch; a near twitch as though she’s warring with herself in that very second whether to stay or to flinch back. That she follows the pale haired woman out of the cavern isn’t even questioned — of course she will go with her. Nynnth’s arrival is met with an observant gaze from her, a quiet marvelling for the blue and equally as silent greeting. Divale shakes her head, turning her dark gaze to Zavyr, where her eyes narrow and her mouth draws up into a hint of a smirk. “There is nothing you need to apologize for. It was bound to happen — I could sense it. When she no longer seemed happy…” She shrugs there, but if sadness is expected, it’s eerily not present. Her brows furrow together and she seems to consider those final words, as she gazes out towards the lightening skies. “What I want, I cannot have.” she remarks cryptically, still devoid of much emotion save for a sliver of bitterness that comes with a deep, personal understanding.

“Love is a four letter word.” Zavyr responds, humorlessly. She glances around, “Sir Sexy here? Or you want to ride with us?” Hastily, Zavyr straps her bags and damp towel to the blue’s straps, her hand straying twice simply to touch him, to draw lean fingers along Nynnth’s hide. She mounts with that same effortless grace that allowed her to walk ropes across gorges and between buildings with the ease that others stroll down a street. Above, Zavyr has a jacket, and she does shoulder into that, awaiting either Divale’s ascent or Lukoith’s descent.

“Love,” Divale almost growls the world, clipped as it is spoken through teeth. “I don’t need it.” Her head tilts, as the air around them stirs and Lukoith makes his descent just then; shadow-dark and cloaked as ever in hues of midnight brown and mahogany. A strange half-smile faintly curves upon Divale’s lips, a gruff whispering of: “Not when I have him.” Perhaps overheard, perhaps not. It’s of no consequence to her and she will wordlessly mount up and buckle in. Lukoith will rumble low and deep, not at all bright or cheery in his greeting but the message is obvious enough — Nynnth may follow. The offer extended by his rider to join them in the privacy of ledge and weyr is still valid and the brown will not chase the blue off. However, if Zavyr has changed her mind? They will not hold it against them. With a powerful leap, Lukoith surges skywards, wings sweeping in powerful strokes as he veers off and back towards the Weyr.

Zavyr and Nynnth are soon trailing Lukoith, like nascent dust swirling in the furrows of air he digs out with his wings. The blue doesn’t seem particularly capable of flying straight, and some sort of odd game is going on with him and his firelizards, but Zavyr remains implacable as if this is the norm, and if Nynnth did fly serious and straight outside of the formation of wing and flight, then she’d consider something the matter. The blue dips by Zavyr and his own ledge, so that she tosses the bag in the fly-by, while Lukoith lands. When the ledge is clear, Zavyr’s blue also drops down, into a crouch while she slips off, and then he’s dropped off again. That maneuver seems to have been practiced; the blue’s wings did not even draw closer to his ribs than strictly necessary to avoid the sheer wall behind the yawning opening into the weyr. Then Zavyr is striding in, stopping to bow to Lukoith, “Sir Sexy.” A glance about is, no doubt, to compare Xia-less weyr to Xia-occupied weyr. But this quick survey ends with Zavyr’s heading toward Divale’s hearth, or wherever might be warm. “I wasn’t actually apologizing. It was more expressing a sort of sorrow for the situation.” She settles into the offered heat and adds, “I have to agree, too. Having Nynnth is more than enough. He is my all.” She half-smiles, “And he doesn’t lie.”

By the time Nynnth lands on that ledge, Lukoith has settled himself in his wallow but his straps remain on his hide — they’ll only be here for a short spell. Zavyr’s bowing to him earns a deep, rolling sigh that tapers into a growled-cough; close enough to a ‘scoff’ of amusement. The inner weyr hasn’t changed much. Even with Xia having occupied it, it is still very much ‘Divale’s’ in every aspect. If there is anything of the bluerider’s remaining, it’s very subtle or not noticeable. Divale is coaxing some life back into the fire within the small hearth and setting the kettle over the new formed flames. “Mhm.” Soft acknowledgement to Zavyr’s statement and while she mulls over it, she moves off to find one of her woven blankets and drapes it over the pale woman’s shoulders — it’ll be awhile before the fire does any sort of warming. “I am not sure if ‘sorrow’ is the right word for me. Disappointment, to be sure.” But far more than that. A slight shake of her head and she settles herself down beside Zavyr. “I enjoyed what time we did have, but a part of me always knew it wouldn’t last. She… needs someone other than I.”

“I think I had my great love, and in retrospect, I’m not sure it was that great. I won’t fault Lane for devotion and honesty and integrity. Not ever. But he never laughed and I couldn’t get a sense of if he really wanted to be with me. I mean. He did but…I’m not sure it was me or if he’d wake up one day and think, ‘What the hell did I do?’. But then, it could have grown into something really lovely. Really gorgeous.” Zavyr shakes her head, glances over to Divale. “Jinorav and A’lira - they laughed, smiled and all that but there’s something missing. Not the same thing. Jinorav never lied. He just…” Zavyr considers, “He drifts through life from one hedonistic little moment to another. Or he did. I think he’s grown up a lot. But he’s a friend and a good guy, just…. Well. Ji’or.” Zavyr tugs the blanket around her shoulders a bit more, with a murmured ‘thank you’. “But really. You can’t trust people, but you can always trust your dragon. He’s always there for you. Life’s gotten much, much easier. Much more pleasant. I intend to keep it that way.” She glances to the desk, “Are you finding your herbaling skills useful as a dragonhealer?”

“But you are always leaving the Weyr?” Divale muses dryly, in subtle teasing to Zavyr given past conversations (and arguments) between them. She listens to the recount of those Zavyr loved but she adds nothing to it, save to give the younger woman a lingering look. “I know more than just herbs,” Comes the gentle correction, followed by a low, quiet chuckle. “And they do not come into play much with dragonhealing. Dragons and humans are vastly different in many ways. At least numbweed works equally.” Some small mercy there! Silence falls after that statement, though it’s not a cold silence or awkward. It’s merely Divale enjoying Zavyr’s company but not in dire need of conversation.

“Yes. We go on adventures.” Zavyr returns. “There’s really no one here to hold me, anymore. My few friends are busy. And I have a relatively small dragon and relatively few responsibilities. No children.” (Thank Faranth). “No desire for a lover or kids. However, there’s all of Pern out there, waiting for Nynnth and I.” Distantly, the blue bugles to highlight that sentiment. “He and I and the lizards and we’ve been to Bitra and I’ve played cards with some notables who,” she half-smiles, “Don’t much appreciate sleight of hand. And we’ve been to Keroon to some of the finest runner-races - amazing what a dragonrider’s knot - even a blue one - will get you admission to. And we’ve been to Ista Isle - all over and camped on the beaches on our rest-days, and we have found empty caves in the South, that I am sure our distant ancestors have lived in, and we have terrorized pirates on coasts of Pern, and-” Zavyr’s features animate as she tells these stories, and for a moment the bright and bold Fool of days gone by have returned. “We have performed on lonely beaches and also to crowds at Gathers. We have made a goodly sum of coin, and I guess I can afford to decorate our weyr, but…” She shrugs, “I haven’t seen much of a need to. So. How have you been entertaining yourself?”

Not only hearing Zavyr’s long explanation but the liveliness and animated nature to the other woman has Divale seeing exactly that; the Fool and Zavyr both, the one who she truly befriended in what feels like an age ago and some small piece of her still loves. “You keep busy,” she summarizes in a dry, but bemused tone. As the water boils, she rises to take over the preparation of the tea, allowing it to steep for a moment before passing Zavyr her share of it. It will be a spicy tea, meant to invigorate and warm from the inside out. “I keep busy too.” Ever the cryptic answer. “I do not idle well.” Silence and inactivity makes the constant whispered temptations lurking in the corners of her mind difficult to ignore; the struggle to remain neutral-good is beginning to wear on Divale.

“With dragonhealering and being in Parhelion, with rounds in addition to sweeps and drills…I’m not sure how you have time to eat.” She takes the tea with a murmured word of thanks, “And a dragon whose care likely takes the effort of a small encampment. I sure don’t envy the metallic riders their huge beasts. Or,” she grins, “Their jobs.” She and Nynnth clearly enjoy the Threadfall aspect of their job and must be good at it, for Divale has never seen them in the dragonhealer yard unless Nynnth is watching over some friend who ails; his slight scores seem to be ably tended by Zavyr. And the woman has trained her lizards to flame as well, and wears a smaller pouch for firestone for them. She has yet to be sorely wounded, other than backburn and ash from her own dragon and others. “And evidently I need not attend reading and writing classes anymore. Have had no need for that, riding sweeps. Unless there’s some incident, then I get some help from the kitchen folks.” Zavyr shrugs. “Saw an interesting plant the other day, thought of you. It was a blue-green plant, with lavender flowers, and flowering when everything else was dead.” She adds, then, “High upon a plateau near Ruatha.”

Divale scoffs lightly and takes a small sip from her cup, an equally as vague smile tugging at her lips. “I prefer it that way.” Being constantly busy or moving and preoccupied. It keeps her demons at bay. “Lukoith is not that large for a brown, but I see your point.” Mention of the plant draws her attention and her gaze will focus intently on Zavyr for a moment. “I am not sure if I am familiar with it. Ruatha is one region I have not yet truly thought on exploring. Perhaps if some day, fate aligns us with time to spare together, you can lead me to it.” She wouldn’t expect the bluerider to know how to properly harvest a sample or the whole plant itself.

Zavyr grew up in a cave. She’d just yank the damn thing up and stuff it in a satchel, roots and all. But she nods. “Indeed, have Sir Sexy bespeak my boy and we’ll be off. I can meet you somewhere, if you want. Or Nynnth can give Lukoith the image and you could go find it, I’m sure. It’s not … Well. It was startling, as the only color in an otherwise winter-killed landscape. Nynnth had wanted to hunt some of the caprine there, and I do try to feed him elsewhere, so not to put anymore pressure on the pens. Ruatha is very stark. Sharp lines and lovely water-scapes and crisp in air. Not unlike…Nynnth’s …Head. Like it is to be in his head. We both like it there, a good deal. Considered asking to transfer over there. I don’t think…Well. Likely no one there would know what trouble I was. Maybe we’d make a new start.” She half-smiles at that and sips the tea. “Lovely. Much better than the weed-tea I tend to drink when I forget klah.” Zavyr winks one of those pale eyes with another quick smile.

“It was winter when you found it?” Divale’s intrigue is further piqued on that notion! Now she is certainly wanting to find that plant. She will lapse into silence for a few lingering moments before nodding her head in agreement. “If time allows, we will go together. If not, I will have Lukoith take the image from Nynnth.” A pause, while she enjoys a little more of her tea, before adding in a quieter voice. “Your company would be preferred. It’d almost be like… before.” Or as close as she could imagine. A low, brief laugh for the wink and she shakes her head. “I really hope you are jesting about the tea… because I truly do fear what you would brew on a whim.” No offence.

“Oh, I’m not joking. Most things aren’t poisonous. The lizards seem to have some sense. OK. Joy seems to have some sense if I shouldn’t eat something. I haven’t poisoned myself yet.” Another quick grin. “And see? I’m eating. I look alright, I’m strong. I exercise again, the way I want to.” Which means climbing and tumbling and running and tightrope walking, most likely. “Never like before. Better, since there’s Nynnth now.” Zavyr assures. “That’s all the…All the anything I needed, I think. I just thought I needed…Others. And he is needed, so I guess by proxy, I am needed as well. Dragon caretaker. But I get him on the off time and he’s always there. So… Did Xia go back to Southern, then?” For some reason, that becomes an interesting question to Zavyr.

Divale levels Zavyr with a look that should be all too familiar by now. Not quite disapproving in her bemusement. “Your luck will run out some day with that failsafe. I should lend you some of my sketches for tea-appropriate plants…” she muses in a bit of dark humor and a dash of honesty. “It is good to have allies — friends, even, if one must. Anything beyond that?” Her shoulders lift in a small shrug. Which is followed by a small shake of her head. “No. Xia remains in Igen and I spoke true earlier — I only wish her the best and that she finds what she is seeking; I could not give what she needed. Perhaps someone better suited will make her feel truly at peace.” And Divale will resign another small sliver of herself to the shadow and darkness in her mind.

Now Zavyr falls into silence for a long few moments, punctuating stillness by sips of tea that don’t draw the level too quickly. She watches the dance of the fire, or perhaps the shadows pierced behind the flames. Finally, “Sorry. That I..Suggested you give her a second chance. I didn’t know then, what I know now.” The apology comes after, evidently, a good deal of consideration. Perhaps an entire internal debate raged, but nothing particular showed upon the former performer’s features. “Well then. No real Weyr-wide disasters, beyond a beast shortage, and things have been going fairly well. Suppose there’ll be a batch of new children here in about 6 or 8 months?” A quick grin to that, before Zavyr stretches her legs and rolls her shoulders forward, finally fully thawed out. Little Hope drops down from wherever she’d been perched to land on Zavyr’s shoulder, to earn absent caresses merely due to her presence.

“Why are you apologizing for that? I did not have to heed your advice but in the end it was my choice,” Divale corrects in her driest tone, her cup now lowered down and held between her hands near her lap. Her gaze, ever dark brown eyes not far from the same midnight-brown of Lukoith’s hide, remains fixed on Zavyr; her expression as ever is equally unreadable. “I suppose there will be a new influx of infants… The Weyr prospers in all ways.” Except for reliable herdbeasts, apparently. Watching as Zavyr stretches out, Divale’s posture eases and what tension may have been building evaporates too. “Better?” she murmurs, while casting a quick glance towards the entrance of her weyr. “The morning wanes on. I will have to go soon…” Even if she appears unhurried.

“Excellent. All is well.” Zavyr returns and as if Divale’s words are hint enough, she swirls her tea, as if to hasten its cooling, adding an exhaled breath to carry away the steam. “I just apologized because…Maybe I put pressure on you, and didn’t mean to … Well. I. Live and learn.” She shrugs. Takes a longer draw of the tea, but not quite a gulp. Zavyr spies that old log that she’d asked Divale to keep for her, turns ago, “Oh. I can take that now. I should have removed it earlier. Or I can come back and get it, if you’d rather. You could just let me haul it out so Nynnth can get ahold of it, and we can store that in my place. Our weyr has…Nothing in it.” She’s not kidding. The only thing in the place is the bed that she brought up when she was a Senior Weyrling, and the blankets that go with it. There’s Lane’s bag and his clothes in a corner, and Zavyr’s few changes of clothes. Not even a desk. Lots of dust. Zavyr takes another draw and sets the mug down, rising with her usual quick grace. “Thank you for the tea, Divale. Nice catching up with you again, however briefly.” Her lips twitch into a quick smile, offset by a shrug, before Zavyr begins to fold the blanket loaned her.

Divale makes short work of the remainder of her tea as well, as she mulls over her answer to Zavyr. “There was never any pressure. It was what I desired — to try again. I knew the risks and I never truly let myself hope that there would be a permanent future. Sad though it may sound, it is simply how it was and how it is, with me. I doubt there is anyone, aside from Lukoith, who could understand who and what I am and still undeniably ‘love’ me. I’ve made my peace with it.” Young as she is to hold such a jaded outlook but she’s accepted it. Mention of that log has her quirking a brow and her mood switching to something more genuinely amused. “You can leave it here. I’ve become used to its constant presence.” Which means she doesn’t mind in the least that something of Zavyr’s contributes to the organized clutter and eccentric collection filling her weyr. Rising as well, she will collect the two cups and set them aside, before turning to face the bluerider. “Let’s not allow time to pass so long between our next visit?” Divale murmurs as part of her farwell. The second half comes in the form of a slightly-stiff hug; as though she’s trying not to simply go through the motions.

Sometimes Zavyr has hopelessly empathetic moments, and this is one of them, but she’s left a touch confused by Divale’s crossed messages. However, she will take the tact she wishes, and will return a hug with fierce energy and even leave a quick kiss on Divale’s cheek. “You can always find me.” That, before Zavyr steps back and mock salutes, “Good morning and good day, Puzzle.” She flashes a grin entirely reminiscent of the Fool, before turning to the incoming flush of air and flutter of night-pale wings. Her exit is quick, with another wave and Nynnth warbling as well, a general bit of goodwill, before he drops off the ledge and into the quickening dawn.

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