Who

D'ren, F'dan

What

Two bronzeriders meet for the first time. Conversation turns to a mutual acquaintance and the best way of pursuing her.

When

It is afternoon of the fourth day of the second month of the second turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Star Stones, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 


igenstarstones.jpg

Star Stones

The climb up here on foot is steep, narrow stone steps carved high into the sandstone, and from the top the precipice-drop to the jagged-craggy stones far, far below is treacherous. It's a wide sweep of ledge, a dragonlength and a half jutting out from a rough cliff wall. The wind here is ceaseless, dusty-dry during daytime and biting at night. But for those who brave the climb to this lookout perched high above the Weyr's bowl, the view from these sandy-red rocks is breathtaking. Igen stretches wide-wide-wide around, a vast expanse of deep blue lake and lush green swamp and the myriad rust-rich colours of desert and rock. The real purpose of this spot, though, is highlighted not in its view of what is below but its view of what is above. Three tall rocks stand, one balanced across the tops of the other two, at the focal point of the ledge, perpetually framing one slice of the desert sky beyond.


This weather might be cool for a native Igenite, but for F'dan it's a beautiful day. Blue sky, brisk air (positively toasty after 'Reaches), not a cloud in the sky: not a bad time to be alive. He's come up here to spend some time learning the lay of the land: he is sitting, back to the rock wall at the edge of the ledge, knees up with a set of maps resting against his thighs. There's a frown on his face as he concentrates, trying to map the features on the map with the view in front of him. Kadanth is far off below, sating his appetite at the livestock pens.

Appearing from above and circling downwards, a large, golden hued bronze fans his wings before touching down on the wide sandstone ledge. Wings fan and fold, a rumble of greeting to the watchdragon before he crouches to let his rider dismount, and then circles downwards towards the lake shore to rest there, mindful to not get his straps wet. Dismounted, D'ren removes helmet and goggles, loosens his jacket and checks his satchel before peering at the treacherous path downwards. Hmm.

F'dan looks to watch as the bronze comes down to land, shading his eyes from the sun. As D'ren dismounts F'dan puts the maps to one side and gets to his feet, tilting his head back in a brief nod of acknowledgement to the other rider. A greenrider would have received a polite welcome, but not this level of greeting: F'dan is a Reaches boy at heart, and bronzeriders are special. "Afternoon," he greets. "I didn't expect company up here." The watchrider apparently didn't count.

D'ren dips his head in return greeting, with a small grin. "It's a nice view," he says, standing with shoulders back, gazing around. "And a difficult hike to get down again." He glances over with a smile. "What's got you up here? Checking map accuracy?"

F'dan fits easily into a sociable mode: he feels instantly at ease with other bronzeriders. Shared experience, a belief that fundamentally they're all the same — and, of course, the ready confidence of someone who rolled a perfect score when being born into a hierarchical society. "Can't comment on accuracy yet," F'dan replies with a grin. "Only transferred in a few sevendays ago. I'm getting up to speed with the lay of the land." He waves a hand vaguely towards all the desert around them. "Not quite 'Reaches. Bit out of my depth." The hand is extended again, this time towards D'ren. "F'dan, Whirlwind wingrider."

D'ren ahhs, grinning. "No, it's certainly not Reaches. Nowtime though I'm guessing," the bronzerider asks, flashing the other man a warm smile. "I'm oldtime Reaches, impressed up there." He points down towards his dragon, dozing on the lake shore. "It's different climate, that's for sure. So dry…"

F'dan had noticed the size of D'ren's bronze and noted the Oldtimer bit. It's tough, being a Nowtimer rider and being able to see that the other guy's is bigger than yours. F'dan's in a good mood though: he grins, shaking D'ren's hand firmly. "For real?" He laughs. "It's still insane thinking of you all being there when my great-great-great-whatever grandparents were alive." Apparently he's feeling chatty today, because he has settled into this conversation like a duck into water. "Must've been very different. I've met a few Oldtime Reaches folk and, ah, it's obviously changed some."

D'ren returns the man's shake firmly, with another chuckle. "Yes, for real. And I know, it's still strange to think about. The future…" He looks around. Still no Hoverboards. So lame. "Ah, yes," he says with a sobered look, and an almost sad smile. "It has very clearly changed quite a bit though I can't say the change wasn't a bad thing… Who else have you met?" he asks with the curiosity of someone still feeling very far from home.

Of course the change wasn't a bad thing, F'dan thinks, but he doesn't say anything. No point rubbing that in. The man seems nice enough; a man can't help when he's born. "Ah, I don't want to make this awkward," F'dan replies with an easy laugh. "Not sure we got off on the right foot. You know Junior Weyrwoman Linny?"

"Awkward?" D'ren queries. Then there's the mention of Linny and his brows lift, expression shifting slightly before his easy smile returns. "Yes, I know her. And I'm sure she confirmed your belief that things were /much/ different back then." The bronzerider chuckles, hands slipping into his pockets as he stares down at the guest weyr Linny used to occupy. Then to the one she's probably living in now.

F'dan notes D'ren's brief change of expression. Obviously he knows Linny. Note to self: don't bring out the unvarnished opinions just yet. Instead F'dan plays it as casual as he can. "Right. I tell you what, they don't make goldriders now like they did in your time. First time I met her she was in this dress…" He makes an expressive gesture with his hands which conveys the idea of a whole lot of leg and a whole lot of boob.

D'ren frowns. "Ah. Was it the blue one?" he asks with a deepening frown, watching that hand gesture. "Even in our time Linny was…" He waves a hand and exhales heavily.

The man seems not to have flipped out like some sort of jealous lover, so F'dan relaxes a bit. No looming fistfight. "If I level with you, I can't exactly remember the colour." F'dan offers a know-what-I-mean? grin. "Bit distracted by her not wearing anything under it." He pauses for a beat, and then decides what the shards, why not. "How'dyou know her?"

D'ren takes another deep breath and exhales, shifting his weight a bit. Damn that dress. D'ren can picture it. And picture her without it. Maybe he lost a greenflight earlier in the day. "I was…we were…" What were they? D'ren shrugs. "We were lovers, off and on, for…shards. The last twenty turns or so. So yeah," he looks over at the other man with a smirk, "you could say I know her. In all ways."

F'dan lets out a long, low whistle. "Faranth, I did not expect that." D'ren's smirk though is promising: F'dan is taking a shine to him. "I have to say man, and I mean this with the greatest of respect," raising his hands in an innocent gesture, "I can't imagine being around that woman that long. What a headfuck." A grin. "You must have some skills."

D'ren's brows lift and then he laughs, though it's low. Skills? D'ren just smirks and shrugs his shoulder a bit. "She kept coming back." So did he, but. He's not going to say that. "She's flirted with you then? She's rather irresistible isn't she." Again, he looks towards the goldrider ledges.

If F'dan knew D'ren better he'd give him a manly shoulder punch to express his compliments: any man who can keep that woman coming back must be quite something. They're not there yet though. "Flirted?" F'dan pauses, a smile spreading. "If I tell the truth here I'm not walking into some weird jealousy thing, right?" His voice is playful, but this is also a serious question. He's not in the mood for a fight.

D'ren is quick to shake his head. "No, not at all. I learned a long time ago that being jealous with Linny - having any sort of expectations of Linny - was just asking for trouble."

After a moment of hesitation, F'dan's grin returns. It's a relief to hear that the guy's cool with it. "I can imagine. Bit loose with her favours. Spent the whole of my first night here giving me blue balls, fucked my best mate the same month, had some sort of thing with this trader who was about sixteen turns old…" He exaggerates, but the effect is what matters, right? How all great gossip is born. "And yeah," he adds finally, "there's been some flirting." Sly grin here, so probably a bit more than flirting.

D'ren nods. "Sounds like Linny." Then there's a small frown. "She…" Sigh. "Finn. Finn is the trader, he's not sixteen though. He's actually a nice guy. Solid." A brow lifts. "Slept with her yet?" Since it's only a matter of time, he's sure.

"He seemed sound," F'dan is generous enough to agree. "And you can't blame the kid for trying it on. But a goldrider…" he shakes his head. "I don't know about Igen, but that would not fly in Reaches. Nowtime Reaches," he adds after a second. Because evidently Oldtime Reaches was a law unto itself. To D'ren's question F'dan can only shake his head, making an exasperated noise. "No. I've been this sharding close but the woman's a tease. You got any tips?" Because of course it's natural to share that info in F'dan's world: it's what blokes do.

D'ren laughs. "Linny does what - and who - she wants. Goldrider or no, she's a woman first." The bronzerider laughs again. "Tips?" He wants tips from D'ren? He considers for a moment. "Linny likes to be wanted. She likes getting to people. She likes knowing they want her, likes being told she's pretty, she's sexy, you want it. And she'll tease but…she really, really likes sex. Pretty sure it'll happen eventually."

Who said Oldtimers were all bad? F'dan likes this one a lot. "Cheers. I'll bear that in mind. 'Eventually' had better be soon though, because I think my balls are about to fall off." There's only so much teasing the poor man can take. He's grinning though, enjoying this bit of man-to-man bonding. It's almost like Reaches again — his Reaches. "Are you two still…?"

D'ren chuckles. "I hear there's a good brothel down in the Bazaar. Rosie's. Lots of the riders here…partake." There's a shake of his head, a gloved hand over his hair. "Still? No. At least not recently." One never really knows with those two.

"Already been," F'dan replies with a wink. "Didn't think I was holding myself back, did you? I've not gone soft over her. You know how it is, though — when you want a particular woman there's not another bit of strange that'll sort you out." What a charming image.

D'ren tilts his head a bit. "So she's a conquest."

If he just wandered into dangerous territory, F'dan doesn't notice it yet. "As opposed to someone to settle down with? Can't imagine myself doing that with anyone in the next twenty turns. Lot of life left in me yet." Big smile, and then a more serious look. "She knows what she's doing. I've never met anyone so —" he makes a face — "aggravating. She knows exactly what she's doing to me. She's enjoying it."

D'ren nods. "Of course she knows what she's doing to you. She does it to…" Not everybody. "Lots of men. Just be careful. Mind your manners. She can turn on a dime if she thinks you've stepped out of line. She is still a goldrider and she won't hesitate to pull that card."

F'dan makes a face, squinting his eyes slightly. "Ah, we're not doing so well with that. Seems like every time we meet we get into some screaming match or another." He pauses again after this, thinking back to what D'ren said earlier about learning not to have expectations of Linny. "Were you guys weyrmated in Oldtime?" Just a stab in the dark, but twenty turns is a long time for casual hook ups.

D'ren nods, looking down into the weyr once more. "Yes." A simple answer for a very, very complex relationship.

Another whistle from F'dan and then an apologetic — but friendly — smile. "Rather you than me, mate. Impressive woman, but…." he doesn't finish that thought, but presumably he's thinking about all the other men. A long pause, during which F'dan's eyes unfocus — Kadanth — and then he looks back at the bronzerider. "I should get going. Drills. Hey, thanks for the advice. I'll bear it in mind."

A friendly salute and then F'dan is off down the stairs, apparently taking the long way back down to the Bowl.

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