Finn, Linny, F'dan


A peaceful errand turns nasty after F'dan discovers that the Junior Weyrwoman is seeing a young trader. F'dan thinks Igen is a disgrace. Everyone else thinks F'dan is nasty.


It is late afternoon of the eighth day of the first month of the second turn of the 12th pass.


Caravan Grounds, Igen Weyr

OOC Date


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Caravan Grounds

Deep grooves in the hard packed earth criss-cross a large patch of denuded ground, bearing mute testament to the caravans that frequent this area. Despite the midden holes set back a ways from the main center of traffic, the air is sweet, redolent with the sagebrush that forms a loose perimeter around the flattened expanse. In what is as close to its center as the vague boundaries suggest, a stone ringed fire pit has been dug and surrounded with the odd log or two, ash overflowing from its darkly blackened core.

The sun is sinking low on the horizon, shadows stretching through the Reika wagons, frost limning the grass, pooled and thickest in the shadows. Smoke from cook fires scents the air and most of the Reika have brought their day’s business to a close and gone to their own wagons for warmth, family and food. Finn’s workspace is a nexus of heat, orange glow of firelight radiating out of the forge, eclipsed occasionally as the young smith moves in front of the coals. There’s no frost on the ground in a wide radius around the forge and trader, still working, sweats in the cold as his hammer sings its shrill stacatto song.

After a hectic afternoon, F'dan arrives later at the caravans than he would have liked. By the time he makes it over, most people are finished for the night – which is the last sharding thing that he needs on today of all days. He's about to give up when he catches sight of Finn's forge. The smith working it looks young, but it's late and the last thing F'dan wants is to have to come back tomorrow for another order, so he pulls his jacket tighter against the chill and heads over. Just this, he promises, and then he can start some well-deserved drinking. “Evening,” he calls with a nod as he heads over. “Still working?” He rearranges his face into a smile, but it’s obviously been a stressful day.

Temperature control is a carefully regulated thing on a good day and it's a moment before Finn can answer F'dan's hail, hammering the metal on his forge intently before putting it back into the forge to heat again. He scrubs a forearm across his brow, face grimy with forge smut, smeared now after that swipe. He's flushed from the heat of the fire and wearing fewer clothes than the weather warrants, but his wagon's right there. Presumably. "Evening," light colored eyes fall on the knot, the shiny-newness not noted so much as the rider-ness of it, "Sir. It's slower in the cold, but folk still need their metalwork." He uses tongs to shift the heating piece and pumps the bellows, "Can I help you with anything?" His eyes are scanning the edges of the encampment beyond the wagons, looking for something.

Nowtimers: F'dan never had reason to appreciate it in hidebound High Reaches, but now he realizes just how much he loves his own people. After asking directions from a female bluerider – a female bluerider – who couldn't have mustered up a 'sir' if her life depended on it, Finn's respect puts F’dan in a good mood. His smile becomes more genuine, his eyes brighter, though perhaps that has something to do with stepping into the warmer radius around the forge. “I certainly hope so. I need tools for straps. Just lost a great punching awl somewhere between here and Reaches.” He snorts and shakes his head. “I tell you, it is not my fucking day.”

The smith rolls his shoulders, stretching and takes in a lungful of the brisk air, slightly less brisk for the heat of the forge and significantly more acrid for the smoke. It's ambrosia. He hums happily to himself, a man at peace with all the world. "I have a few on hand, though they may not be the gauge you need." Hands still occupied with smithwork, he nods at a stool, "I'll be a bit. Have a seat, if you don't mind waiting." He pumps the bellows a few more times. "You always travel with your tools?" Finn's reasonably ignorant about all that goes into ACTUALLY being a dragonrider. If he had heard anything though, it was that High Reaches riders were The BEST. Probably from a High Reaches rider, but still. Maybe they were Always Prepared. Or maybe every dragonrider did it and he just didn't know. The young man's still scanning the near horizons and curiosity finally gets the better of him. "Is your bonded close by?"

"Thanks." F'dan pulls up the stool and sets himself down, legs spread comfortably and elbows on his knees as he leans forward and watches the young man work. He's more interested than he lets on: when he finds the right smith F'dan wants new metalwork for his riding straps, which is as important a commission as he'll ever make in his life. One shoddy piece of workmanship, one buckle that doesn't hold in a sharp Threadfighting turn, and that's it. "I always move with them," F'dan corrects as he watches Finn. "Just transferred in from High Reaches yesterday. Igen needs more wing strength and we have more than we need." There's something in his voice that implies that's not the whole story, but F'dan isn't offering up the Weyrleadership’s dirty laundry to a trader. To the question after his lifemate F'dan shakes his head with a chuckle. "If Kadanth tried to follow me here he'd crush a caravan or three. He's waiting." He waves a hand backwards, out towards the nearest rim of the Bowl where the watchrider's green is perched by the Star Stones. Tonight she has company: crouched beside her is the huge bulk of Kadanth, one of the biggest male dragons on Pern until the arrival of the Oldtimers. The bronze stretches his wings lazily, and though it's too far for a human to see his eyes Kadanth is definitely watching.

Finn notices the man looking and angles so he can see better, "I don't like working in these temperatures," over his shoulder, eyes still trained on the metal coming up to temp on the fires. "Gotta heat the pieces more, burn more fuel." If F'dan's reading between the lines: Winterforged goods are more expensive. The pieces is a nice golden yellow, and he draws it out, putting it on the forge. A long piece, a forearm's length, curved and countercurved with a long flat blade. "Other half of it's there," there's a piece sitting on a bed of gravel to F'dan's left, blackened and dusty looking. "Don't touch, it's cooled to look at, but it's still plenty hot." If F'dan looks close, he can probably see heat shimmering around the piece - it looks like half of a shear. The kind herders use on ovines and caprines. Hammering begins a steady ringing rhythm that echoes harshly off of the nearby wagons. The forge is set up on the edge of the encampment JUST because of the noise. Finn looks disappointed that Igen's newest pair is only half-present and blinks openly at F'dan saying his bonded would crush wagons. "Most folks land out there." He nods off at an expanse of open ground and then winces, as if he's thought of something embarrassing, "Oh." Ahem. "Is he clumsy?" Apologetic. Finn darts a look at F'dan and then is all eyes on his work. Hammering shrill in the thin air.

While Finn explains his work F'dan moves to crouch down beside the cooling piece of metal, eyeing it intently. He doesn't get up even as F'dan asks after Kadanth, though the question elicits a chuckle. “Clumsy? When he's trying to move seventy-odd feet of dragon around on the ground, sure. You'd be clumsy too. But in the air…” now that's a different story. F'dan's eyes lose focus for a moment as he communicates with Kadanth, before he stands up again and turns with a ‘what can you do?’ grin to Finn. “To tell you the truth he's annoyed I'm here. Thinks I'm just giving myself another excuse to bitch about how I've spent my turnday doing errands and chasing after a tease. Which is fair enough.” F'dan doesn't dwell on that for now though: he moves instead to stand to one side where he can see Finn's face in profile. “Your metalwork looks good,” he says, his tone even – but it's a big compliment. He wouldn't say it if he doesn't mean it.

"Fair enough," purses his lips nodding and looks off the direction of F'dan's waves towards the bowl. "Seventy!" Finn's brows raise, "That makes you a bronzerider." Certain other things may take a little while to percolate through Finn's consciousness. "Where does he think you should be?" Idly asked as he continues to hammer away. "Wait. You've just moved here," he finally picked that up, "It's your turnday and you're here?" If he could, he'd brofist Kadanth, but where Kadanth is annoyed, Finn is perplexed. The bronzerider's movement is tracked. The wind is from the east at the moment, so he's not moved into a dangerous spot, but the trader keeps a weather eye open and a warning ready. A face full of embers would make this Turnday even worse. "Thank you. You in the trade? Before?"

F'dan drops into a playful half-bow. “F'dan, rider of bronze Kadanth at your service.” He seems to be in an unexpectedly good mood: it's nice to get away from the oldtimers and women in general. That's the thing that unbalances him most about Igen, that it's so full of women, everywhere. Plus he's always appreciated watching someone do something they do well: there's a pleasure in a thing done skilfully. “It was yesterday technically, but that didn't go so well either. Going to try it again later at the Cantina.” On which note, he pulls a small flask from his jacket, taking a mouthful of liquor before shaking his head. “Nope. Weyr born and bred.” A pause, and after a second he tilts the flask slightly towards Finn in offering – but not too much because, you know, flames and all.

"Kadanth," Finn repeats, looking off towards the bowl, before bringing his attention back to the forge. Pausing to flip the piece he's working on, he looks up at F'dan, a grin splitting his face, teeth flashing bright as Rukbat in his grimy face, "Well met, F'dan. Finn of the Reika." The Smith spreads his arms and turns his torso to encompass the encampment. The wagons are sedate, browns and greens with few of the flashy splashes of color that some Caravans sport. Not exactly sober, for, as twilight encroaches, drumming and piping can be heard. Quickling folk tunes that nearly demand foot tapping at the least. Finn's hammer strikes a rhythm entirely out of time with the music. "Welcome to Igen. You should stay. Celebrate with us! Eat, drink, dance. But, uh, lose the knot," he winces, "Most folk don't want their daughters off with riders." Or their sons. Hammering still, he shrugs, apologetic.

F'dan laughs at that, because it's true. He's had plenty of experience of holders and crafters locking their daughters and wives away when dragonmen come visiting. Which, at least in F'dan's case, is probably wise. “Our reputation proceeds us! It's a pity that the knot works so well with the daughters themselves.” But he's teasing, and he's not after anyone's sister at the moment: he unclips his knot from his shoulder, slipping it safely into a pocket. “Very well – if you offer me your hospitality it would be rude to refuse. But only a drink or two! I came here on business.” And look how well that's going. But F'dan doesn't seem to mind, just like he doesn't seem to mind removing the knot for a while: it's only a symbol, after all. He settles back onto the stool to wait for Finn to finish what he's doing, looking out over the caravans after the music. “And how do you find Igen? There can't be this many women in any other Weyr on Pern. And those Oldtimer clothes! I can't imagine how I would have survived at your age.”

It will be going well soon enough, because Finn is nearly done. "We'll have to make them big drinks, then. One for your turnday and one for your welcome to Igen." It's a certainty. Finn, if left to his own devices, is totally getting F'dan drunk and laid. It's destiny. And he knows just which girls would be happy to give a proper welcome to a swoon BRAVE SECRET DRAGONRIDER in their midst. “You’re in good hands.” Finn grins broadly at the quip about F'dan's knot, "You should try being a trader." The hammering continues and then, abruptly stops. Finn peers at the piece, turns it, peers some more. Nods and, with tongs, slips it into a barrel swiftly and mindfully, as the barrel begins to seethe, stealing heat away from the piece. The slower roil makes that … oil? Not water, certainly. The smith tugs off his gloves and pulls his apron over his head. Gloves stowed, apron hung, the young man extends his hand to F'dan. "I can greet you proper-like, now." It's thoughtless gesture of goodwill between equals, which they most certainly are not. If the rider takes his hand or doesn't, Finn sets about breaking down his forge for the night, fishing out some large gauge awls for F'dan to inspect while he waits. "Any of those what you need?" He locks down a few more items and whistles, a shrill triple blast. "All right. Lemme just grab my girl and we can be on our way." He trots off towards the door to a nearby wagon and knocks lightly before reaching for the latch. The door opens before he touches it, a surprised and pleased grin splitting the trader's face.

This is shaping up to be an unexpectedly good night. A few drinks here, scope out the local talent for later, then back to the Weyr to get absolutely hammered. It's not a bad plan. As Finn finishes work F'dan stands again, and when the young man reaches out his hand F'dan doesn't pause in taking it. He's too absolutely secure in his rank for a bit of familiarity to be threatening. It's the same principle that guided F'dan in drinking and carousing with his wingriders at High Reaches: nothing wrong in getting along with someone man to man, so long as no one forgets their place. He inspects the awls as Finn unpacks, tossing each lightly in his hand to feel the heft of them, rubbing his thumb over the tip. “Your girl?” he grins, pausing in tossing one of the awls to watch Finn as he goes to the caravan. “You're too young for just the one.” And as the door opens he looks beyond Finn to see –

A female voice can be heard far before she can herself be seen, murmurings of words that may or may not reach F’dan outside. She’s rested, but still feels tired. Perhaps she needs to visit the Healers to see if there’s something wrong. Maybe with her hand. An infection or something, causing her to be lethargic. The woman assures Finn she’s fine, that she doesn’t want him to worry, and that she wants to enjoy the evening. Finally, Linny steps into view, pausing briefly to give the Smith a soft, sweet kiss (on the lips!), right hand reaching up to caress his cheek in an affectionate, lingering way before stepping out fully, waiting for Finn so that she can link her arm in his. There’s something fresh about the way the goldrider looks, a post nap glow, or maybe it’s the loving look that keeps getting sent up to the man beside her. Regardless, she pays no attention to anything or anyone, until… “F’dan,” is her monotone greeting as they reach him, expression wiped clean and clear as she stares at him. “What are you doing here?”

Finn's handshake is firm, no challenge offered. He's not one of those to squeeze fingers or crush bones or turn the handshake so he's on top. Simple, straightforward. Rather like the young man himself. "Don't see as how age is a factor?" Finn offers. Meaning… no upper limit on juggling ladies or no lower limit on monogamy? Not specified. He beams up the few steps at the woman who emerges from his wagon. "Good nap? Ready for some grub?" He lifts his head and looks off towards the music, "Maybe some dancing?" He bends into that kiss, rapt, reasonably unconcerned about the tender moment having a witness, but not, you know, grinding it in. Since F'dan had mentioned striking out and all. "Linny meet F'-" is as far as he gets and then Linny's naming the bronzerider. His brow crinkles, He's just arrived… OH. Of course she knows all the bronzeriders assigned to the Weyr. He's not too sure about that tone… something in Linny's stillness is a warning. "He's here buying awls." Nevermind the man can speak for himself. "And it's his turnday! I invited him to join us on account." Finn's arm slings around Linny's waist and pulls her close.

It's lovely that Linny and Finn are having a nice moment, really it is, but it's too bad that it can't last that long. When Linny exits the caravan F'dan stops flipping the awl in his hand abruptly: he catches it in a white-knuckle grip, holding it a long beat before placing it down. In a second all the levity is gone, a transformation that Linny might recognize: the light goes out of his eyes and he's left glowering at her, the tautness in his body suddenly making it more obvious just how strong he is. The lines that seemed just athletic before are suddenly faintly threatening, like there’s a tension coiled inside of him, a force on the edge of breaking out. "Weyrwoman," F'dan greets her, but his teeth are gritted tight and it's obvious he wouldn't use that acknowledgement if he could help it. "I'm here buying. What the f-" he catches himself — "what are you doing here?" It's an innocuous question, but given the set in his shoulders the intent of it is obviously far from innocent.

When Finn puts his arm around her waist and pulls her towards him, especially with F’dan looking as threatening as he does, it gives Linny the perfect excuse to press herself closer to him, angling herself so she’s more turned in towards the Smith than the bronzerider, like she needs him to protect her, sliding her own arm around his waist with a hand pressed against his abdomen, head tucked in against his chest- hovering but not quite touching him. The goldrider may give off the air of toughness, but obviously, she’s wouldn’t last long in anything physical, aside from maybe getting in one or two good punches or maybe doing the typical girl move of immediately going for a man’s more sensitive region. “Bronzerider.” Though a short word, it’s clear Linny is carefully choosing her words, attempting to keep her tone flat. “Isn’t it obvious? I’m with him.” In more ways than just one. With him physically, with him emotionally.

Finn's belly tenses when the bronzerider reacts has he does. The bronzerider's easygoing swagger has sharpened, quickened to a looming intensity that has the hairs on Finn's neck stirring. He straightens from the easy mold he'd shaped holding Linny against him and she'll be able to feel the alert tension in his frame. It's not the threatening display that F'dan is putting on, rather, a focusing of attention. Light colored eyes that can spot a degree's difference in the temperature of a metal by change in its color are getting a good read of the bronzerider, primed for …violence of all things. He caught that aborted f-bomb, too. And then Linny's tucking against him. Frightened? Sheltering against him? Goading the bronzerider? Her words are neutral, but… barbed. What in the world…? "F'dan? Linny? Is there a problem?" Linny's first terse reply is reconsidered. There was definitely something wrong. FINN'S PICKING UP ON THE SUBTLE CUES. His arm loosens around Linny's waist, hand dropping to cup her hip in a brace of fingers, lightly pressed, his body ready to slip in front of hers at need, but not moving …yet.

F'dan ignores Finn's question for now, but that doesn't mean he's ignoring Finn as a man. Every one of the trader's movements are noticed, balanced: the straightening of his back, the drop of his hand, the readiness of him to step before Linny. The lizard part of F'dan's brain, honed by years of bar brawls, runs its own constant measurements: relative height, weight, the more nebulous idea of willingness — whatever it is that in absence makes a bulky man run while in presence makes a smaller man a genuine threat. Overlaying all the primal response though is the knowledge that a trader striking a bronzerider is simply unthinkable: F'dan keeps his eyes on Linny. "With him?" he repeats to her, voice low. "With him? A Weyrwoman fooling around with a trader like a lovesick caverns girl?" Disgust is thick in his voice. "Show some respect for your Weyr, goldrider.”

Whereas before, Linny was pressing herself again the Smith, ready to duck behind him at a moment’s notice, the way the two men are very obviously sizing each other up has the goldrider taking a step in front of Finn, putting herself between he and F’dan. Though a personal matter, she is a weyrwoman, in charge of diplomacy ironically enough, and a physical fight, over her no less, would mean she’d have to get involved anyway. For now, her way of getting involved is getting between them, thinking that perhaps they’d think twice before swinging with her in the way. Of course, she’s small and could be easily pushed out of the way- this thought does not occur to her. However, F’dan is the object of the narrowing of Linny’s eyes, a dangerous flash to them, taking careful measured breaths. “I’d choose my words carefully, bronzerider.” The emphasis on his rank is severe, as that’s as close to pulling rank on someone as she likes to get, though obviously willing to go all the way should it be necessary, lips pursing together for a moment before she speaks again. Chin is lifted, head tossing thick waves of hair behind her shoulders, as lips curl into something that could be called a grin, but it’s much darker than that. “For your information, it’s a lot more than simply fooling around.”

Finn's been in his fair share of scrapes, usually some girl's father, brother, uncle, wannabe lover or someone threatening (real or perceived) Onari (or some other woman). The former, could either telegraph itself wholly (the shouting, the crying at top of lungs, 'Where is he?!') or not at all (the suckerpunch, and sometimes in the most, ahem, compromised positions). The latter had, in his experience, had as many varieties as there were there'd been instances. So. He's gotta be ready for anything. F'dan's words percolate around in Finn's mind for a good bit before their meaning becomes plain. 'Show some fucking respect for your Weyr'. Meaning: Linny's slumming. In other words: Linny should be fucking F'dan. Jealous. Finn's encountered THIS innumerable times, too. Which would be fine, except that F'dan's posturing is entirely inappropriate. Disrespectful. And. NOT. HAPPENING. Not in his house. Or… well, next to his house. It's, uh, just there. Finn shakes his head, disappointed, he'd really liked the guy. Linny interposes herself, drawing up, calling the man down and shedding light on the depth of their involvement. He puts his hand on Linny's shoulder, whispering quietly to her before he steps forward, hands going to the knife on his belt as he begins to close the distance between the two men. Once unfastened, he lays the sheathed blade out of reach as he closes the remaining distance, purposefully eclipsing Linny in the bronzerider's view. "So. Drinks are off, then?"

"Was it more than just fooling around when you came to my weyr earlier?" F'dan bites back to Linny. Honestly, the world has turned upside down: a trader stepping up to him, a Weyrwoman pulling rank. His whole life those things would have been unthinkable: the Reaches goldriders had no power unless backed by the Weyrleader, and traders knew their place, held in check by the debt owed to the dragonmen who protected them from Thread. But now Finn seems ready to go head to head, and who knows if W'rin can control Linny. As Finn steps forward and reaches for his knife F'dan is genuinely shocked: no matter how grave the insult, pulling a knife on a rider has always been taboo. Dragons are simply too precious to risk going between. Up on the rim of the Bowl Kadanth lets out a roar loud enough to be felt in the sternum, arching his wings to take off - and then Finn puts the knife aside, and dragon and rider settle back. "Did it look like I was talking to you?" F'dan spits at Finn before turning to Linny, which has the added benefit of not starting a brawl just yet. "You're a goldrider. You are worth more than this." In his nowtimer, 'Reaches worldview he genuinely has her best interests at heart. As he speaks to her the violence goes out of his body: F'dan would do many things, but he would never, ever raise a hand against a woman.

Linny’s more than happy to stand in the background and let the men deal with things, as she’s still not feeling 100% even after her nap and starting to feel more nauseated as time passes, though that could just be because of the current situation. However, F’dan’s comment has her taking purposeful steps to come up behind Finn, letting half of her body be seen with the other half safely behind him. “I came to your weyr to welcome you to Igen! You bitch because I’m not a proper goldrider, and then when I am a proper goldrider, you think I have ulterior motives!” No doubt Kaelidyth is put on alert, too, though Linny is more careful about her placement, secretive despite her size. Speaking of size, when the bronzerider spits back that reply to Finn and then continues on to insult Linny more, it has her fuming behind the man, practically trying to leap over him to get to F’dan. “That’s what you Nowtimers don’t understand. I am not just a goldrider! I am a person. I have feelings! This man right here,” and hands go to curl around Finn’s arm, even as it tugs on the still-healing skin on her left hand, “has satisfied me in ways you could never dream of.” Despite his earlier whispered words, Linny feels the need to justify her decision in being with the Smith. “It simply pisses you off that I want him instead of you.” And for that, the weyrwoman has a smirk all for F’dan, rather pleased with herself, knowing how those words are actually true.

"It didn't, Sir." Oddly incongruous the respectful address and the blocking posture. If F'dan's goal is not to start a brawl, continued disparagements towards Finn's worth and traders in general are a poor way to go about it. Another man might have handed the bronzerider his teeth or bent his neck and subsided. But Finn, son of the Reika Wagonmaster, has different ideas about things. He moves to continue to block the bronzerider until he sees the hostility drain out of the man. Finn huffs a breath out through his nose, lips clenched flat. Shoulders ease. Finn braces up again as Linny comes up behind him, angling his head down so he can glimpse Linny in his periphery. His eyes narrow at Linny's words, flicking to the bronzerider. Her hands go around his arm and he covers them with one of his own. The tenderness short-lived as Finn flinches at Linny's words. "Linny!" tumbles out of his mouth before he can catch it back, and he goggles at the woman. He extracts himself from her grasp and steps away, turning to fix both of them -ten years his elder at LEAST- with a look. "I don't know what happened between you two, but you are both my guests." He shakes his head, "And I won't have the peace of My Camp," capital 'M' capital 'C,' "disturbed by your… shenanigans." Internally Finn grimaces. How many times had those very words been cast at him. "You can behave peaceably. Or you can leave." Finn's chin tips up, and he looks down on both F'dan and Linny, eyes flashing. Linny last. "Both of you."

F’dan snorts. "Yeah, I don't know what part of you having your tongue in my mouth gave me the wrong impression. Stupid of me." He doesn't deign to answer her comments about his jealousy — because, well, how can he argue that? — but her comments on goldriding get under his skin. Anger flares again. For a moment Finn disappears absolutely from F'dan's attention, and he locks eyes on Linny. In a strange way, it's intimate: this shared experience, this knowledge that she and he know love in a way Finn can't imagine it. His voice keeps its passionate intensity, but here's a deeper emotion there: a fierce, desperate care. A love that would do anything. "You remember what it felt like. That moment she looked at you." No need to specify Kaelidyth's name. "And all the world was just her and you. Forever. And you became more than a woman. You became more than you. What we want doesn't matter. What matters is what we owe." The outburst seems to take it out of him: the anger fades, dissipating under a warm rush as Kadanth, ever the peacemaker, shares that feeling again. That promise. Finn's order doesn't get a raise like it would have a moment ago: F'dan raises his hands. "Don't worry. I'm going." Right on time, there's the rush of air from above, pushed down by huge wings: Kadanth is coming in to land in the clearing beyond.

As soon as Finn pulls away, Linny instantly knows she's gone too far, an apologetic look on her face as her hands are suddenly empty, arms curling around her chest as her brows furrow together. "I'm sorry, Finn." Truth, but also a subtle dig to F'dan- she's not sorry at all for what she's said to him. And even as he brings up that kiss, which was his doing, the goldrider stays silent while dark eyes light up, flashing, a fire once more ignited in them. Surely she will make him pay for that, but some other time. The goldrider's expression softens slightly when he brings Kaelidyth into the conversation, if only because her mind does go back to that day so many Turns ago. Many more now that they jumped forward. But she doesn't respond other than meeting his gaze, slow breaths moving her chest and arms up and down. Linny wants to stay, even more now that F'dan is leaving, so she will bite her tongue until it bleeds, for the moment not attempting to go back to Finn. The weyrwoman stays put.

Mmm. Something had happened between them at F'dan's weyr. Finn makes a note to get to the bottom of this. F'dan's shift in tone has Finn confused until he puts together that the man is talking about his bonded. Her bonded. The dragons. The man's passion makes Finn's chest tighten. For all that he never lacked for company, there's a bit of him -more than a boy dreaming of dragons- that envies the riders their bond. Even as they risk their lives. Especially as they risk thier lives. Connectedness. Purpose. A gulf he can't cross to reach them, the two riders, as if they themselves had wings. And in a manner of speaking, they do. Finn's jaw muscles bunch and he swallows. He looks sadly at Linny, chest lurching, she is forgiven, of course she is. He reaches out for her hand and squeezes it (gently if it's her injured left hand). "F'dan, Sir. Wait." Finn's face grows unaccustomably grave, planes of his face drawing into sober relief.

F’dan doesn’t get the pleasure out of visibly riling Linny that he would have enjoyed a few minutes ago: he’s quieter now, the white heat of his anger faded into a slow-burning resentment. He’s not willing to have a fistfight with a trader for Linny’s honour, not today. Suddenly the process of saving Igen from itself — by which he means the Oldtimers — seems that much harder. Kadanth has landed now, wings still arched to take off again, and though he’s silent the weight of his watching is on them. F’dan turns on his heel to stalk off, but he stops at Finn’s voice. A slow breath, a pause before he turns. His face is impassive. “Yes?”

It is, in fact, her left hand that goes to him, so it’s very gingerly that the hand is extended, even though she knows he will be extra careful with it, allowing a little grin to return to her face as she is back by his side. Where she belongs, in her mind. But as the bronzerider is stopped by Finn’s words, Linny’s forehead wrinkles as she turns a curious look upon her lover, wondering why in Faranth’s name he wouldn’t just let F’dan leave after all that just took place between them. But she trusts him, whatever he has in mind, whatever he’s going to say, and so she smooths her expression into something calmer, much more weyrwomany (yes, it’s a word), as she, too, looks to the bronzerider, even while she presses herself closer against Finn, leaning her head against his arm.

The smith touches Linny's cheek briefly, eyes out on the clearing, on Kadanth, traces of envy from F'dan's entreaty of Linny wholly swamped by awe at the sight of a dragon touching down. While the rider's back is turned, Finn had turns loose of Linny's hand to catch up the awl that the bronzerider had put down. He flips it around, presenting it handle first to the rider (prime Finn-stabbing angle), and swallows, "Here," he offers, quietly. The man should have a gift on his Turnday, right? "For him," the trader tosses a chin out at Kadanth.

F’dan has no idea how to respond to this. A last minute suckerpunch would have been more understandable than Finn making a peace offering — much less a peace offering of a sharp metal object pointed at his own stomach. F’dan pauses for a long beat before reaching out to take the awl, his eyes fixed on Finn as he tries to work out what the fuck the younger man is playing at. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of catch, though. Kadanth is convinced that Finn is ‘nice’ — it’s just a feeling he has — but F’dan refuses to believe anyone is that nice. « He is nice to me, » Kadanth objects to his rider. « It’s my present. » The tension of before is forgotten, Kadanth as present-focussed as ever. And who can argue with the dragon’s excitement? So F’dan pockets the awl, giving Finn a slow nod that has some genuine respect in there. “Thank you.” He steps back again, but this time he gives them a more polite farewell, nodding at both: “trader, Weyrwoman.”

After being reprimanded for her behavior, you better believe Linny’s going to keep her mouth shut, though to be fair, she doesn’t exactly have anything more to say to F’dan. Their next encounter, without Finn, surely she’s going to give him a mouthful, but for now, she’s content to be seen and not heard. There’s a tense moment, a flickering of eyes between them, at the gift exchange, but as the bronzerider accepts the gift without incident, it pulls a smooth smile from her, lifting herself up on tiptoes to give Finn a sweet little kiss on the cheek. He’s the one who gets all of the credit for that in her mind, and to the victor go the spoils. That sappy smile still remains on her face even as she looks to the departing man, “Bronzerider.” With him leaving, the goldrider turns her full attention to the Smith, snaking an arm around his waist while brown eyes are solely for him. “Shall we go dance?”

Peace-offering, or that Finn doesn't consider F'dan threat enough to take care in offering him a weapon. Or Finn is naive in estimating F'dan's threat OR is foolish enough to think that because the awl is a tool to him, it's not a weapon in the wrong hands. Peace-making through oblviousness. He nods acceptance of F'dan's thanks, "Evening, Sir," his eyes raise to the dragon, "Kadanth." Those spoils are ALL Finn's, the 'grown ups' certainly hadn't earned it. Finn's arms go around Linny, pulling her close, eyes thoughtful. "Is it true?" Is what true?

F’dan is gone, Kadanth’s heavy wingbeats sending up eddies of dust as they rise towards their weyr.

Even if she wasn’t the best diplomat earlier, Linny’s got her act together enough to feign innocence at Finn’s question, since one of the biggest rules of diplomacy is never admit to doing something unless directly asked if you did it. Sure, she assumes he’s talking about kissing F’dan, but if answers him and she’s wrong, then she’s just created a whole nother set of problems for herself. “Is what true, my love?” she asks him as she gazes up at him, that typical lovey-dovey expression and grin taking over her face as she does so, easily pressing her petite body against him, molding herself to him.

Finn watches Kadanth's flight away until he can't make the dragon out against the darkening sky any more. And Linny… Linny's not supposed to be using diplomacy on Finn! He's the last person who needs to be handled. Er… Managed. Ahem. He frees a hand to brush knuckles over her cheek, "With the dragons. Is that what it's like? What he said." What would that feel like? Love? Stretching out forever. His brow is knit, blinking down at Linny, eyes boring into hers. Can she explain the inexplicable? In the distance, muted, pipes skirl and lilt, drums thump, the stirring music of the Reika. Woodsmoke and cooking smells. When would the other boot drop? When would he ask about what had happened between her and the bronzerider?

See? Diplomacy: It works. But because it wasn’t what Linny thought he was going to ask, she’s rather caught off guard, expression going from sweet to somber. She would never admit to agreeing with F’dan, so she opts to describe it in her own way. “It’s a love greater than yourself,” she starts out, eyes unfocusing, looking through Finn, as she touches on Kaelidyth, whether for help in describing their bond or simply for reassurance. “It’s a love that is greater than the way you love your family or your partner or even your children. You have someone inside of your head forever, someone who knows you to the depth of your soul and back without you having to tell them a thing. Someone who knows what you’re thinking before you even think it. Someone who is always there. It’s this part of you that you never knew you needed but now can’t live without. It’s why dragonriders go insane if they’ve lost their dragon and why dragons go between when their rider dies. Because the thought of living without them is…unimaginable.” Linny’s petite body shudders at that last word, eyes finally focusing on Finn, but her somber expression remains.

Finn is silent a long time, turning this notion over and over in his head, face unreadable, eyes distant. He blinks, bringing his focus back to Linny, watching as her deep brown eyes unfocus, noting the shift in her features as her mind reaches out for Kaelidyth's. Finn takes a deep breath. "So. Do I need to pound this guy?" He'd been pretty angry. And then it had switched. An engima, this bronzerider. Finn shifts, eyes tightening, "Also, Linny, I'd, uh," brows knit, jaw muscles bunch. He stops, light blue eyes intent, lips flattened. "It's not anyone's business what happens between us. It's special and it's ours," a flash of anger, "And I won't have it used as a weapon."

"You might," and Linny sounds as serious as the day is long, but she doesn't elaborate on why pounding F'dan might be necessary. Especially because there's that look again in Finn's face, the look she so rarely sees, and she's instantly frowning. " I'm sorry," lips twist while her right hand goes to his face to briefly touch his cheek, and with a sigh, her hand drops. "He just makes me so angry! Such a stereotypical Nowtime bronzerider, who thinks I need to be the seen-but-never-heard goldriders of now, and that's just not me." Duh. But back to Finn, an embarrassed and upset look flashing across her features. "Are you mad at me? Do you hate me?"

A grunt is Finn's only reply, a flicker of anger and wariness, eyes unfocusing as he recalls F'dan's shift from genial newcomer to spitting-mad suitor to entreating dragonrider in the span of a few moments. He would bear watching. A strange, peaceful look comes over Finn's features. "It's not in you to hide, Linny." Eyes and hand drops to her threadscored, lifting the still raw-looking hand carefully, thumb brushing lightly across her knuckles, "Mostly." He smiles, eyes downcast, looking at the ruin of Linny's perfect hand. His eyes come back up, "So, don't." He turns loose of her hand and cradles her fine jaw in his hands, "Who cares what he thinks anyway? It's not like bronzeriders are… special." They are. No gold eggs without them. No Kaelidyth. "Maybe don't fight with ‘em?"

"I don't care what he thinks about me. I care that he voices his opinions about me, his lack of respect for me, his utter dislike for me. He just makes me sound like I'm a failure as a weyrwoman." Linny releases a heavy sigh, but with it out, her mood seems to lift, a little smile creeping back onto her face. "Let's not talk about him anymore, hmm? I don't want him to ruin our evening." Once more, the goldrider molds her body against Finn's, a devious smile suddenly there. "I was hoping we could dance for a little bit, then go dance in your wagon." After the events of the evening, perhaps she feels it necessary to remind Finn that she's not all bad. Or she's just perpetually horny. Probably the latter.

"Linny," Finn's eyes narrow speculatively, with a faint flicker surprise that he's asking what he's asking (especially after she asked him to table it), but curious Finn is curious, "Why does he get to you so? What happened?" He smiles as she cozies up to him, his arms going around her as night's chill begins to settle despite the lingering radiant heat of the forge. "You seem to," he sighs, squeezing her tight and looking down into her wide brown eyes, "You seem to care more than you say." He tips his chin down and looks at her from under his brow with eyebrows lightly quirked, Tell ol' Finn all about it. He squints, "'cause he's got a mouth on him?" Finn snorts, "So do you." And she's not afraid to use it.

“Honey, come on. Please? I really don’t want to talk about him anymore. Not tonight.” Linny tilts her head, and for the first time since he came to get her out of the wagon, the sheer exhaustion is clear on her face, circles under her eyes despite the ridiculous amount of time she’s napped just today. “I promise I’ll tell you all about him, and why he pisses me off, and why I probably am going to punch him at some point, but….can we please go eat and dance and have a good time?” Even the poor woman’s voice sounds tired, but she does her best to put on a brave face, sending a soft, and super sweet, smile up to him, eyes half-lidded with the skin on her face completely smooth- not a worried wrinkle in sight.

Finn grunts thoughtfully. Tabling the matter at her (second) request, content to let the sit amongst the banked coals of his thoughts. Linny can rest assured the smith will revisit it later, hammering at it steadily until he's worked out what he wants to know. His brow knits. He hadn't had to twist her arm to get her to nap today. Light eyes look back and forth between Linny's dark, noting with some dismay the dark circles underneath. Her promise delivered, Finn nods, once, decisive. A bargain struck. Sealed with a kiss. Straightening and catching his breath, Finn turns loose of the goldrider to offer his arm to her. He looks off to where Kadanth disappeared with F'dan and back down to Linny, cares of the day fallen away as the two set out, his hand carefully folded over hers. It would keep.

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