"Thank you Fi'man," she sipped her own glass at his toast. "We are lucky of a dozen and one healthy dragonets with promising Riders. I hope the same and more for Igen when the time comes." She noted V'lan's approach, he was usually more eloquent with those needing convincing. She hoped it was a sign that Fi'man's views were as easygoing as his present attitude. She looked up to a pair of people approaching but couldn't tell if they were intending to join their chat or not. She'd welcome them if they approached, but best to leave it alone at the moment. Fi'man had only just arrived.
"Are you expecting Henmintoth next?" she asked with a passing interest, enough to keep talk going and yet easy enough to shrug off with the vague acknowledgement that dragons do as they are want to do.
Lan would have remained confused as to her comment for a while, had Lithena not followed it up with placing her hand on his leg. The moment she did so a couple of things happened. He got a chill down his spine that terrified him, he completely understood what Lithena meant, and his mind went utterly blank as to what to do about it. He didn’t understand how to interact with the fairer sex at the best of times, this was an advanced class he had not studied for. Even as he felt Lithena press against his back to reach for his drink, he didn’t do anything other than feel his face turn red all the way to his ears. It wasn’t until Lithena decided she needed a better drink that he could get a moment to breathe and think.
Well, breathe anyway.
He did not have the ability to think this through. He tried mind, but He had no idea where to start. The fact that he was being hit on was entirely foreign as a concept. He dearly wished he was working. Then he could just say ‘I am on the job, citizen’ and march off to work. He had no such excuses here. Did female Whers count as having a girlfriend, because if so…
And then Lithena was back. With wine. And his brain took a vacation again.
Lithena considered her wine's nondescript reflection. She tilted the glass and watched how it moved and reflected the light. She kept up the neutral gaze and with a sip let it help her thoughts become generalities. In any case it had a good flavor. She glanced at the man's plate and while she had only barely breakfasted leading up to the Hatching, she was peckish. Lithena took the bread piece from the side and daintily inhaled it, taking with it whatever she could appropriately add to it. She considered her current company wasn't overly talkative.
"What do you say you finish this and we take a few of these drinks elsewhere?" she posed the question to his eyes and paused a moment. She winked.
Fi’man nodded in agreement to Rilora’s own toast and V’lan got some wine so that he could raise his glass to both. As V’lan sipped on the wine Fi’man raised his eyebrows and tilted his head slightly into his rising shoulders as a half shrug.
“I would ordinarily say yes, however I get the feeling Belinmareth will attempt to surprise us.” Fi’man let his shoulders relax and took as sip of his wine. V’lan took the opportunity to speak.
“What are you and G’nor hoping?” Fi’man smiled around his wine glass.
“We are both hoping that no matter how it happens, they are timed far apart.” V’lan nodded. Golds could be temperamental at the best of times. And if you know the two Golds in question, well there was a reason they didn’t want to let them rise near each other. “Regardless. There are some other Queens to rise for Rainbow Mists, correct? A bit premature to guess, but would you partake in some speculation as to when you might be graced with another Queen clutch?”
V’lan watched Fi’man as he spoke. The Crimsonrider could be hard to read in some of his views, but currently he was just being social. V’lan could see how this line of conversation could be precarious though.
Rilora nodded at appropriate places, following Fi'man's report of Igen's Golds. She got the feeling from V'lan that he was paying careful attention to the conversation's topic. It reminded her again of the underlying situation and she took a small sip to think over his statement.
"Ah, well, you know as well as we do that it's hard to say," Rilora said with a telling smile. In honesty she suspected Sunvoiath to take her first Flight soon enough, but reminding the world that their battle hardened Abyss would be clutching was likely a misstep. So she elected the name of the less hazardous Queen, at least as far as politics were concerned. In person she was rather a handful (though perhaps that was stating the obvious for a Queen). "It's been a few Turns since Orikaeth has Flown. Like as not we'll see her up next."
Lan looked frozen as the silence stretched. He was still completely baffled. It was hard to tell because he remained so stock still. Lithena was staring down at her wine, thank Faranth, but that didn’t mean he thought for a second that this interaction was over. He desperately needed help here. Gah! He was so absorbed trying to get his mind to move that he hardly noticed when Lithena spoke. He caught a bit at the end though.
”…These drinks elsewhere?"
He slowly turned and caught her winking at him. A shiver went down his spine. No, no what was this?! He tried desperately to get his mouth to say something, anything!
“Uh, What d-d-d-did you say?”
SHARD IT. Someone please help him!
Arc opened her eyes and yawned delicately. The White firelizard looked around, still sleepy. Soida was still asleep but Arc knew she had to be up. She had to do… something. Get help? Help. For her trainer? Yes, kind trainer man was distressed. She could find help! She was a good girl. So she stretched out her wings and took off, picturing a person who could help.
When Arc reappeared, she was in front of Saddyris. This was nice person who could help! She trilled to Saddyris, and flew close, shyly trying to nudge her without causing too much trouble.
Dyranor had really done it this time. There was no going back fro this. The heir to the Vrishna clan had gone and gotten himself Impressed to a dragon when he should have been learning what it took to be a leader! Objectively she knew that he hadn't had any more say in the matter than anyone else who had Impressed, but it was the culmination of disaster after political disaster and Saddyris was less than pleased. Yet again she was going to have to clean up after him; explain to grandfather why his heir was now beholden to the weyr and the little black dragon that called him his own. She was going to have to bear the brunt of the man's wrath as she always did. She would have to defend Dyranor in absentia as she always did.
Fuming and frustration had kept the young woman from the festivities at first, but after a while of pacing and trying to figure out how she was going to tell her family about the latest adventures of her idiot cousin, Saddyris decided that she'd had enough thinking and needed to do a bit more drinking. Drinking and dancing would at least distract her from the update she would have to send in the morning. The best place for both, was the feast. Still clad in her bright colors and a forced expression of merriment, she slipped into the celebration hall and snagged the first glass of wine she came across and much to the surprise of the dragonrider who had been about to grab the same goblet, downed it in a few expedient gulps.
Before long a second goblet had followed the first and then a third. As the music picked up, Saddyris felt the urge to dance and began searching for a suitable partner when she spotted the familiar profile of her favorite wherhandler. Her lips curled in a genuine smile though it only lasted a moment as she took in his stiff posture and the smile faded. Seconds later a firelizard appeared in front of her and it didn't take long for her to realize that the little dear was trying to herd her in Lan's direction. Cooing and clucking to settle little Arc, Saddyris made her way toward Lan's table just in time to overhear the rather forward proposition and witness the wink that had Lan stiffening even further.
Frustration bloomed anew in her chest along with another emotion that she didn't take the time to identify as color flushed her cheeks. Green eyes narrowed, she swept up as though carried by a sudden wind, a swirl of bright colors and a smile that was far too stiff to be natural. "Lan! You promised me a dance." Holding out a hand, Saddyris' eyes never left the blonde who'd seemed to take a liking to Lan. She was pretty. Pale and lovely and certainly with an eye for pleasure. Again that unnamed emotion sizzled and snapped within her. In contrast she stood dark and peculiar, her pale eyes softening as she pulled them away from the dragonrider and looked down at Lan.
Lithena didn't get her prompt answer. It disappointed her, though she weighed that this so far relatively wordless man and his wound up nature wouldn't have offered one. Shame too, he had a nice face. But still, even with this newly arrived rival she was not discouraged. Now the man would have to say something! Choose a path. And while she was still a few steps ahead as far as her plans for the evening went, to be perfectly honest she wasn't particularly set on the details. "Lan, hm?" she hummed. "I always seem to find the popular ones," she mused to the side, leaning into the hand she'd placed on his shoulder.
Lan didn’t notice a thing until his name was spoken. He looked up and, wonder of wonders, Saddyris was there. Telling him to dance? Wait, had he nodded off after food? Saddyris was staring at Lithena with a gaze that could melt ice, but behind her he could see tiny little Arc. Suddenly the world began to make sense again. He silently thanked Arc, and when he noticed Lithena pressing down on his shoulder, he finally, and decisively made a move.
“Sure, let’s go d-d-d-dance.” He grabbed the offered hand, got up and practically dragged Saddyris to the dance floor. He did not even remotely have time to think about how this might be viewed or how to handle it differently, Saddyris had offered him a way out and he was going to take it! Even if he didn’t know how to dance. Once there were there he turned back to Saddyris, still feeling flushed.
Even as Lan grabbed her hand, Saddyris took note of his stutter and had taken note of the hand on his shoulder and his obvious, at least to her, discomfort and took a step toward the blonde. She didn't have many friends at the Weyr given the fact that she came and went rather frequently, and so she might have been a bit protective of the few friends she did have that were outside the clan. But before she could so much as even open her mouth, she was spun about by the hand she'd offered Lan and dragged off toward the dance floor. It took her a few stumbling steps to catch up but she expertly managed to avoid tangling her legs in her own skirts.
When he finally stopped and turned to face her, Saddyris felt the uglier emotions that had been bubbling up settle and fade and the music began to coax the more bubbly feelings brought on by three glasses of wine back to the surface. Flashing the first genuine smile of the evening, the caravan woman shrugged and tilted her head, her long, loose hair spilling over her shoulders with the motion. "Can't leave my hunting partner to the wherries, can I?" Her fingers curled a little tighter around his. Even she knew it was more than that, that something in the way she viewed Lan had changed but she wasn't willing to look too closely at it. He was one of the first people she'd connected with at the Weyr and she wasn't sure she wanted to change what they had.
"Do you actually want to dance?" There was a hopeful light in her eyes but she was giving him a way out. The urge to dance was still strong but she knew not everyone lived to dance like she and her family did. In fact there were those that insisted they could not dance and while she found that a fairly silly notion, she respected most people enough not to push them.
“Sounds appropriate.” Fi’man took another sip of wine, and V’lan nodded alone. “Only time will tell. I wonder if…” He paused, a deep purple dress catching his attention. He put out his arm and Trisali, Weyrwoman of Igen took it lightly. She moved properly as any lady, but as V’lan would have put it, she had a backbone of steel.
“I apologize for being late. I do hope Fi’man has been behaving himself.” Her voice was lightly musical, and for the moment her smile was light and airy. Fi’man smiled, but it was V’lan who spoke.
“Oh, he would never.” Trisali glanced at V’lan, and her smile took a subtle wry hint. Fi’man himself chuckled.
“Well it is true.” Fi’man said low to the Weyrwoman, while drinking a bit more wine. The other Goldrider, only revealing her amusement the slightest bit turned instead to Rilora.
“Thank you for having us, it was quite the hatching. I am grateful to have some time to speak with you both more casually, I believe it will do us all some good.” V’lan nodded, gauging Trisali. She was a fair person, but much more formal and traditional compared to himself at the very least. It made sense how she could keep so good a relationship with Benden, despite her less traditional Weyrleader partner. Of course, Fi’man was no slouch in the backbone department as well, which meant if the pair ever got into it, he wouldn’t want to see it. But the differences were what made them a good pair of leaders. He was glad to call them friends.
Rilora smiled politely when Trisali arrived. She took a moment to admire her dress and the attention she'd put into her appearance for the occasion. She was lovely. Her eyes tracked the conversation, smiling lightly whenever anyone so much as laughed. She took another light sip from her glass to smooth over her need to do something besides listen. She was grateful for the Igenese GoldRider inviting her into the conversation.
"Ah, you're quite welcome," Rilora said. Pleasantries really weren't so hard. "To the casual doing us some good," she tipped her glass up as much as was courteous. She paused a moment before asking, "Speaking of, your tailor has outdone herself, especially that tidy needlework there," Rilora indicated towards the Weyrwoman's dress.
Lan finally smiled when Saddyris said she wasn’t about to leave him out to dry. He was glad for that. He still a little flushed and somewhat nervous, but that was probably just left over from his encounter earlier with Lithena. When she asked him, very clearly this time if he actualy wanted to dance he glanced around at others dancing.
“I don’t mind, but…” He turned his gaze back to Saddyris and used his free hand to rub the back of his neck. “I think you’ll have to tell me what to do. I have never had to dance before.” He smiled. It didn’t bug him any. He was used to being weirdly sheltered on some things. Compared to being at the Weyr, he was practically from a hermit family.