Not Just An Egg (Egg Touching)

Characters Alekzandyr, Alexa, N'sir
Synopsis The twins venture onto the sands for their first experience touching eggs. They seem to get more than they bargained for.
Out-of-Character Date April 5, 2019

Igen Weyr - Hatching Complex
The heat of the hatching sands is felt even here at the entrance to the great cavern. Darkened in shadows, a short stairway leads up into the galleries, where spectators can watch the hatchings in safety. The heated sands, spread out to the east, while the bowl opens to the west. With the deep gloom, it is impossible to tell what might be seen until one would be on the sands, until you're actually almost on top of them and only during hatchings are they brightly lit.


N'sir has been very, very busy for the past sevenday and is more then a little relieved to have a moment in which to breath. Even if that breathing is a wee bit more shallow then it normally is. He has, however, taken the time to send someone to fetch Alek and Alexa from their places of duty to the hatching cavern. It is there that he waits, occassionally smoothing a hand over his shirt, or shifting oddly in his lean against the wall. As is normally the case, the hair that would not die, is tightly bound in a braid, the braid draped over his shoulders and wound loosely around his neck. At his feet, a basket filled with thermos' of water and some light snacks waits, his arms folding over his chest as dark eyes sweep expectantly toward the entrance.

It is not nerves that have kept Alexa away from the Hatching Sands, but rather… doubts. Doubts as to the validity of this entire operation. Touching eggs? Seriously? It sounds weird. It sounds kinda gross (I mean… >.> Gotta think about where those eggs came from, right?). And Alexa wants *no part of it* thankyouverymuch. But it is hard (impossible, actually) to ignore a direct summons. And it got her out of chores so… Here she is. Looking dubious but unafraid, she enters the hatching complex, blinking rapidly as her eyes adjust from BRIGHT BRIGHT SUN to the relatively low-light of the indoors. "You brought snacks," comes instead of 'hello', but at least she looks a bit cheered by that basket?

And thus, Alekzandyr is fetched, and not at all displeased about being interrupted in his assigned task. Whoever it was that had gone to get him goes no further than the entry to the hatching sands, leaving the healer apprentice to go at it alone. Nothing wrong with that, and from the looks of it Alek is feeling a lot less apprehensive about getting his hands on some dragon eggs than his twin. Green eyes find her first and foremost, whatever tension existed in his form vanishing in that instant, before they shift effortlessly to the man with the braided hair scarf. An inclination of his head with a generic smile of greeting before he too notices the basket on his final approach. Brows lift, looking to his sister as she speaks, and then back to N'sir. Seems she's said all that needs to be at present.

"Of course I brought snacks," N'sir notes as he pushes off the wall. "And ample water, as well. You're going to want both before the night is through." Stooping to snag the basket, he drapes it over one arm, not at all phased by the lack of a proper greeting. He is, after talking with her, all to well aware of the fact that she has no idea what to expect. Oh, he could have tried to explain it, certainly. But some things just have to be experienced to be understood. When Alek arrives, N'sir flashes a smile at him, as well. "Alright, we're going to touch eggs," he explains. "Dam and Sire are both off the sands for the moment (so ignore the big lugs). However, it is still important that you comport yourselves well. There will be no rough housing what so ever or we will stop and that will be it. Believe me," he adds with a pointed look at Alexa. "It is in your best interest to touch at least one egg before considering acting out." Pausing a beat, he tilts his head for them to follow him as he moves toward the sand. "You can take as many breaks as you need. There is water, fruit and meatrolls in the basket for you." And with that, he steps out and to the side, setting the basket on the sand.

Alexa scoffs, a quiet, "I don't act out," muttered beneath her breath. But for her brother there's a grin, and a hint of mischief in her eyes, before she regards N'sir once again. There's a nod of her head, acknowledgement that she has understood his words, and a skeptical look out toward the eggs before she sighs, slips in beside Alek, and heads for the sands. A wince for the heat beneath her feet, and a roll of her eyes for the weyrlingmaster, a muttered, "Yeah, yeah," offered in tones meant for her brother alone. But with a huff, and a louder, "fine," she alters course and goes marching over to the opulent Road to Riches egg, a look thrown toward N'sir before she adds, "I'm touching it. Happy?" and plants her hand against the shell of the egg.

N'sir's pointed look earns him one of Alek's patented crooked grins as well as a playfully vacant flutter of lashes. Why, whatever could you mean kind sir. It's short lived however, expression schooled to one of passable seriousness as he nods once to display that he understood the instructions given. Then, it becomes a matter of following the greenrider onto the sands, one foot in front of the other. Specifically, beside his sister, who gets a soft amused sound from him for her murmured commentary. With no dam or sire to loom, it's just a spread of dragon eggs isn't it? Not that this is much less intimidating and for the first time there is hesitation, albeit discreet. Alek stands on the edge of the sands and lets Alexa choose an egg first, his gaze moving over each in turn until he had chosen. Once again, careful steps, a slight furrow for the sensation of hot sand beneath his boots and heads for Whispered Rumors Egg, reaching out and gingerly laying his hand upon it.

"Very," N'sir murmurs as he folds his arms over his chest and drops down to sit in one of S'las's lawn chairs. Watching the twins move amongst the eggs, his lips twitch in a quiet smile, dark eyes crinkling at the corners. Really, he could watch this a thousand thousand times and never get bored of it.

"Shards and shells!" The swear comes with an immediate jerk of Alexa's hand away from the egg, green eyes wide as she stares at it with varying degrees of shock. "There's a thing in there!" she announces loud enough to carry, though it's unclear who she is speaking *to*. A hard look at the egg. A hard look at her hand. Another look at the egg and, with a healthy dose of wariness this time, she reaches out to brush her fingers back against that rich, scarlet surface. Still, her breath is caught by the sensation of *something* not herself, but she persists in that contact, gaze distant until there's a flicker of a frown, and a catch of her lip in her teeth, and a suspicious expression of pain that has her withdrawing once again. "Not fair," she decides, eyeing that egg with animosity. "Who are you to judge. You're an egg." It is this thought that has her squaring her shoulders, jutting her chin, and stubbornly putting her hand back on that shell once again.

Up shoots both of Alek's brows as he startles, lips parted for the intake of a sharp breath. His face says it all really, complete the with colorful metaphors that says it all. What the actual…and we'll leave it at that. Suspicion is second on the menu, hand spread more widely and over the shell until in full contact, the boy's posture betraying his level of guard. Might as well have watched him throw up four castle walls, dig a moat and throw a couple sharks in there for good measure. Still, he doesn't retreat just yet.

N'sir stretches his legs out, one hand reaching down to tug a thermos from the basket and crack it open for a long drink of water. As much as he enjoys watching candidates with the eggs, it's still unpleasantly hot business. "There is a dragon in there," he points out to Alexa in calm tones. Of course, he does not expect a response and immediately chuckles as his gazes switches to watching Alek. That niether of them retreat has him taking another long swallow of water.

A sound suspiciously like a sob breaks at the back of Alexa's throat, the candidate's distant gaze glassy with tears that want to be shed but won't. Won't. Because she refuses to shed them. "Yeah, well. Fuck you too," she decides, unconcerned that she is cursing at an egg. But while she might not like it (and she is certainly *not* enjoying herself), there is a stubborn resolve to stay where she is, to grit her teeth and keep right on… standing. Touching. As though that simple act is enough to prove her point.

Continuing on his nonverbal journey into discovery, Alek appears to be studying the shell of the egg beneath his hand, but whether or not he actually sees it is another story entirely. With his guard up there is little change in his posture or expression, save for the slight pressing of his lips and his brows slow descent towards the bridge of his nose. Yet, little by little, he eases into this very new experience. Adjusting as it were. Shoulders are rolled backwards and his spine straightens, breathing in and out as if focused upon it.

N'sir looks impossibly smug as he watches the twins with the eggs. Really? It's probably a good thing that their attention is focused where it is. Why? Because he is totally sporting an 'I told you so' smirk at the moment. This? This /never/ gets old and he is most assuredly having a grand time despite the heat.

Alexa ain't going anywhere. Or so says the stubborn set of her jaw, those squared shoulders and the planting of her feet. As if she's about to freakin' wrestle a dragon egg. Yeah. No. Not today. But she does stand there long after that thing — that baby dragon? — has left her. It is a long, hard look that gets leveled on the filigreed shell, and then a long, hard look that gets leveled on N'sir, suspiciously glassy eyes narrowed at the greenrider. He won't say it. She won't say it. They can just pretend none of that happened, right? It is only once she's blinked away her tears that her eyes search out her brother, watching him in turn, studying him as he studies that shell, before she takes a deep breath and heads to her next one. With gritted teeth and a deeply suspicious look, Alexa reaches out to put her hand on the Before the World Awakes Egg. Hopefully, it is a much kinder host.

Yeah, no. Alek lifts his hand up and off just like that, with only a single dark look sent back towards the egg steps away a pace or two. Following this, he immediately seeks out his sister, checking up on her now that his senses are entirely returned to him, while still conscious of his location and that of the clutch around him. Just for a moment it looks as if he might go to her instead, pausing in his path to watch her a few moments until she's moved on and selected another for herself. Fleetingly, he glances towards N'sir, but he doesn't linger there long. His gaze swept over the seated greenrider and nothing more before he returns his full attention to the eggs, spotting Influence Eternal and directs his path that direction. It is with a degree more confidence that he touches this second egg, now that he had a better idea of what to expect.

N'sir raises the thermos of water to Alexa in a salute, the quiet smile on full lips making it absolutely clear that he understands. He's not going to say a word, but he kinda suspects, that some point, /she/ will. For now? For now, he's content to take a long swallow of water before recapping the thermos and resting it in his lap. Leaning back in the chair, dark eyes switch to watching Alek, his chin dipping in an encouraging nod in response to the glance his way.

This time, there is no knee-jerk response to send Alexa away from the shell. This time, she is prepared. Or, so she thought. But while it is not about to bring her to her knees, there's a wariness in her all the same. Her head tips, eyebrows furrowed as she strains to hear something just beyond her reach. Her stance shifts, distant gaze struggling to see something that just is not there. And when it is the shell, and not… whatever else is out there, that she finds before her, there's a huff of irritation and a slide of her hand to a new spot on that shell. As if, perhaps, she can follow it wherever it might be going.

It wasn't with any true trepidation that Alek lays his hand upon that egg, perhaps taking strength in what he's observed in his sister and the man lawn chair parked. Still, there is a notable change in the way he stands as the vision that sweeps him away takes hold, suddenly appearing as relaxed as he would be anywhere else. Unheard a breath is exhaled, taking in through his nose and expelled through the minor fissure between his lips. While it might only be for a second, the boy closes his eyes and just exists in that moment, his expression impossible to discern as his head lowers into shadow. Whatever he's found with this egg is enough to warrant the press of a second hand to the warmth its shell provides, encouragingly.

N'sir plucks at his shirt, billowing the light material in an attempt to get some air against his skin as he watches the twins. The subtle changes in both of them is noted with a quietly approving smile, dark eyes flicking from one to the other to make certain that niether are in any real distress.

Startled, Alexa jumps in place though it is not fear that prompts it. A wry little expression twists across her face as she lets her hand linger where it's landed. There is no need to strain this time, though she finds herself just as absorbed. Waiting. Anticipating. With baited breath and a tension that is both nervous and excited. And it is with a sense of intrigue that she slides her other hand to the shell as well, as if perhaps both, combined, might draw out the egg's secrets.

No distress as of yet, though Alek's two hands once more become one, weight shifted from one foot to the other as his head lifts back up into a shaft of light to reveal true deadpan. Was it impatience or irritation that brings him to none-too-long after drum his fingers ever so gently against the side of the egg, brow quirked? Difficult to say without any else to go on, but it may suggest that whatever interest that the lad found was rapidly being lost. However, it is without final judgment that he lingers for just a while longer, perhaps with the smallest inkling of expectation.

With all calm on the sands, N'sir shifts in the lounge chair, a quiet gasp exhaled before he lightly clears his throat and drops back into a more languid repose. It is in the wake of a quiet exhale that a laugh spills past his lips, dark brows twitching mildly as he watches the pair.

It is wonder, and longing, and whimsy that passes over Alexa's face. Wide-eyes follow the shapes of things unseen, ears tipped to listen to sounds that exist only in her head. Her fingers twitch, her body shifts, movement foretold in the tensing of muscle and the lean of her frame. But it is with a gasp that she finds herself back on the sands, the spell broken to leave her once more in Igen, with her hands on a shell, staring at it with a mixture of awe and expectation.

It may very well be imagination, a play of light and shadow, a mirage that's to blame for idea that there was any rapid shift of emotion before Alek removes his hand from that egg. At first there had been a slow build of intensity in which the healercraft apprentice bore his eyes into the ovoid before him, followed by a quick progression through anger, defiance and acceptance, all before his expression smooths back to its generically pleasant. Except, there's an edge there that wasn't before, and may explain why (even as he backs up a step) that his gaze is unwavering. At least, for a moment, then it was as if nothing had happened at all and Alek was on the move to weave himself between the eggs and find another that interested him. Not a single look back as he approaches Lost in Paradise and applies his palm to it's surface, a cloaked look cast towards N'sir, before green eyes slide towards Alexa and remain there until the fetal mind within his chosen egg roused.

Shifting in his chair, N'sir stretches out his legs and crosses his ankles, his expression softening as he glances between the two. It's a lot, he knows that without a doubt. But, it is also one of the fondest and more powerful memories he has of being a candidate.

A quick look to Alek comes before Alexa will move again, green eyes following her twin before they turn back to the eggs around her. N'sir? On his chair? Looking smug? Yeah. HIM she will ignore. IGNORE (and she'll make sure he knows it, too), turning to wander amongst the eggs until the pastel hue draws her in and she's drifting her fingers across Walk me Down the Lane Egg. Immediately there is a smile spilling across her expression. A press of teeth into her lip stops the emotion from bubbling into laughter, but the want of it is clear in the catch of breath and the little bounce of her shoulders that suggests amusement. But she can't help a little bit of a giggle, the sound escaping before she can stop it. And even once her eyes have cleared and she can see the sands again, there is no leaving *this* particular egg.

It might seem as if Alekzandyr means to hold Alexa's gaze indefinitely, locked on her in perhaps a silent and secret exchange of information. But…blink. Just one, accompanied by an ever so slight cant of the boy's head as he turns it away from his sister and towards the egg before him, if only to ever so slowly narrow those green eyes of his at it. Shoulders straighten, his spinal column following suit, and a stance is taken that suggests battle preparations. Yet, oddly enough, there is a stunning lack of stiffness to his form.

N'sir knows! Oh he knows. He can feel the waves of 'You no longer exist in my world' wafting toward him. Unfortunately, it only makes that smile a bit more smug and inspires a husky laugh to humming in his throat. She might be holding her laughter in, but N'sir? Not a chance. Leaving her with the pastel beauty she is currently adoring, his gaze switches to Alek, his braid uncoiling from his neck and shoulders and tossed over the back of the chair. It's the change in posture from Alek that most catches his attention, his weight shifting as he leans slightly forward in his chair.

Now this is something Alexa can get behind! This egg? This one makes the trials and tribulations of the others worth it. Lost in her own world, or rather the world created by the creature in the egg, Alexa cannot help but to smile. To laugh. To look young and innocent and free when she would never allow herself to do so of her own volition.

His movement towards this egg are minute, nearly undetectable, and merely close the slight gap until Alek's knees are a hair's breath away from making contact themselves. Leaving it at the touch of a single hand's fingertips, the boy remain much the silent sentinel, any semblance of reaction dampened and muffled into near non-existence. The concentration with which he gazed down from his vantage implies that Alek's mind was fully engaged, but whatever churns in his mind remains obfuscated through the sort of control that reeks of practiced. It's difficult to say when his hand comes to be laid flat against the egg, but it does, lips drawn in the sort of line that toys with grim but never fully commits.

N'sir smiles as he settles back in his chair with a sigh. It's something to see the normally guarded Alexa smiling and looking as young she is. The rarity of it is not lost on him and he gives it the respect it is due as a witness. As he watches the pair, the thermos is opened and brought to his lips for a long swallow, the drink followed with one hand raising to wipe sweat off his brow. Still, he's watching, prepared to intervene should it become necessary.

With a sigh of longing, Alexa's hand lifts from the shell to her cheek, fingertips ghosting over her own skin as she stands and stares at the egg before her. There are no words. How could there be? It was an ethereal and completely otherworldly experience. And Alexa definitely needs a moment to come back from it. A few deep breaths, a resettling of her features into something much more 'her', and she turns. But it is not to another egg that she walks, but her brother. He is standing at an egg. He is touching that egg, but it does not stop her from coming close enough to reach out and touch him as well. Just a hand, at his arm; a curl of fingers in a gentle squeeze that may register or it may not. And then she's heading for the greenrider and (more importantly) his basket of snacks.

There is but a twitch, a flare of nostrils, and then the return of steady air exchange, ashen lashes taken to half-stance in a light drift downwards. Then it's over and Alek's touch slides free to leave his arm hanging at his side. It is there that he lingers longer than he had before, saying and doing nothing, but just like that the spell is broken with the feel of his sister's skin to his. He looks to her, saying not a word through the length of that contact, but as it ends he follows in her wake towards N'sir and the basket of goodies he'd brought along. Regardless of the thinless of the material that covers him, Alek is more than a little sweaty, fabric clinging and darkened in the usual places, hands drifting upwards to pull his considerable bun of hair tighter into its elastic out of a sudden need to be busy. What does one say after something like that? Perhaps the right words haven't been invented yet, but suffice to say that he was keeping well within his twin's orbit.

N'sir tilts his head, the basket flipped open before the pair even reach it. It's a lot to experience and he remembers that keenly. Particularly since he had to be carried off the sands by his weyrmate. Still, while there is a smile dancing on his lips, it is not the gloating sort, but rather a gentle reassurance that he knows how overwhelming it can all be. "You are going to want to drink a lot of water tonight," he murmurs in low pitched tones as they get close enough to hear him. "Take a nice long bath, as well."

There might be a saucy little smirk attempting to play across Alexa's lips, but it's a poor imitation of the real thing. Pathetic, really. There is none of that smug in her gaze, the wild-eyed look about her clear evidence of how impactful she found the experience. So it is a nod that comes for N'sir's words, rather than a roll of her eyes. And a quiet, "We will," that answers him before she stoops to snag a thermos and offer it to Alek. Her own comes soon after, opened and quickly drunk. It is only once half the contents have been downed — and Alexa is rather surprised to find it thus — that she asks, "Are we done? Can we go?" in a voice that is shockingly devoid of sarcasm.

Alekzandyr is still there, promise, he's just considerably more muted than he was before taking to the sands. There was something especially genuine about it however, seemingly having been stripped of all his boisterous pretense. The offer of the water is accepted, uncapping the top and taking small mouthfuls at a time as not to mess too badly with his body's pH. Sending his system into a tale spin was not the goal here, neither was collapsing, so he drinks until the vessel has been liberated of it's contents and so returned to the basket. It's when Alexa speaks of doneness and leaving that his eyes find N'sir and hopefully the answer.

"Absolutely," N'sir assures Alexa. Right now, he suspects they both need a little time to think or rest, or both. "You're off duty for the rest of the day." In the wake of the words, he finishes off his own water bottle, recapping it and tossing it in the basket as he rolls to his feet. "If either of you need, or want to talk later, just let me know." He'll be there, it's just who he is.

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