Real Riders

Characters A'eyr, Alexa, R'sner
Synopsis Alexa and A'eyr become "real" dragonriders when they get to sit on their dragons for the first time.
Out-of-Character Date May 1, 2019

Igen Weyr - South Bowl
The orange hued sandstone layers comprising the bowl walls curve gently, but ever presently in your view. Fine sand shifts underfoot, a slightly paler version of what is found upon the walls. It gives way along the eastern edge to a section of contrasting green grass where a series of cleverly engineered pipes provide water to the fenced off area of the feeding grounds, and keeps the shimmer of the shallow lake beyond from disappearing during the driest periods of the turn. A distinctly squared entrance farther south is the tunnel leading out to the lands beyond. Traders and tithes arrive here at regular intervals and it is not uncommon for part of the bowl to be set up with a series of tents and wagons as wares are displayed and sold. To the west, the bowl wall has been eroded by the desert winds into strange shapes. At their base are found the weyrling barracks and training fields.

The sun rises way to early in Igen. Never mind that Alexa has already been up, she's still going to glare daggers at that beaming ball of light peeking over the rim of the Weyr. Beside her, Raaneth is outfitted in her finished leather straps, the pair of them awaiting the arrival of the weyrlingmaster meant to inspect and sign off on it. Of course, this time it is the Weyrlingmaster, rather than the more familiar N'sir, and it has Alexa chewing on her lip and alternating between looking thoroughly put out, and a little bit nervous. « Relax, » comes Raaneth's voice, easy and unflustered despite the swift whirl of her eyes. « We are ready. » Ready for what, exactly? Apparently everything.

Enter Indaryth, stage right. Or, really, from whatever direction the weyrling barracks are in comparison to the southern bowl. He's wearing his first pair of riding straps, a most challenging project that had overwhelmed his soon to be rider, ultimately fixed and made usable by none other than N'sir himself. In Alek's mind, there was no shame in asking someone far more skilled than himself in a task for help, and so that is exactly what he did. The man himself, a strapping eighteen turns old, isn't far behind his handsome lifemate and wearing exactly the sort of clothing that the greenriding weyrlingmaster assistant had suggested. Minus the head thing. Sorry N'sir, he couldn't make himself wear it. "I feel ridiculous…" he mutters in a grumble, perhaps even sulking a bit. You see, it had been Indaryth who'd somehow convinced him to take the advice they'd been given. « You look fine, stop complaining. » A'eyr does stop complaining, but not looking put out, shooting the hind end of the bronze a dirty look. Indaryth sorts, his amusement a sense that could be readily felt. On the other hand, the human half of the equation can't even look at his sister as they fall into formation beside them, pointedly looking straight ahead.

It's probably easier for Alexa. Desert robes aren't terribly different from the dresses she used to wear as an apprentice. Other than swapping out pants for skirt, her attire is not much changed; loose and comfortable rather than pretty. But like her brother, her head is bare, hand lifted to shield her eyes from the oppressive sun (which stubbornly insists upon rising) to turn and squint at Indaryth as he arrives. Raaneth ignores him, though there's a certain rustling of her wings that speaks to her awareness of him. But like hell is she gonna wish him good morning or something equally ridiculous. Grump. Growl. Hisssss. It has Alexa fighting a grin, eyes dancing as she eyes her brother and his bronze. But whatever she might have said is halted at the appearance of R'sner, the Weyrlingmster possessed of that uncanny ability that adults have of simply showing up without much warning. "Good. You're both here," comes without greeting, gaze passed between Alek and Alexa, then Indaryth and Raaneth, settling on the dragons and their straps. Perhaps in defiance to the desert (or, more likely ingrained habit from turns and turns of being a Weyrlingmaster) he's wearing leathers instead of robes. A choice he will no doubt come to regret if the lesson carries on for too long. "Line up."

Alexa is most certain NOT casting amused dancing eyes on A'eyr (she totally is), for all the attention that A'eyr gives it. Nope, he's looking stiff as hell and looking straight ahead, lips set into a thin white line. He's a little flushed, but that could easily be chalked up to a bit of a sunburn right? Squinting himself against the sun, the male half of the twins eventually does hold up a hand to shield his eyes from the sun as R'sner arrives, so it and his head turn in a single unit to follow his booted steps. Indaryth, having parked himself, has shifted the feeling he radiates from amusement to smuggness, purely for Raanth's….benefit. He won't try to move closer or anything and she might be trying to ignore him, but that wing rustle had told him all he needed to know. How could she ignore him. Just look at him. So handsome. Snout lifted a trace higher. Now it's A'eyr who snorts, lips returned to half-smirk. With the Weyrlingmaster having spoken, he nudges at Indaryth, and the two straighten up; coming to attention.

Alexa is quick to fall into formation, straightening up at Raaneth's shoulder as the gold squares herself and turns her attention solidly toward the Weyrlingmaster. Definitely not Indaryth (Honestly, she's practically sticking her tongue out at him). R'sner is slow in his appraisal, an arched brow directed toward A'eyr and his "sunburn" but no comments given. Once the weyrlings are ready, he stalks forward, a murmured, "Once your straps are inspected, we'll practice climbing up and down from your dragons." A task not overly complicated, but, "A couple times up and down, and we'll see about them actually moving." Baby steps, apparently. It is coincidence that has him at the bronze first, a murmured, "Indaryth," coming as quiet greeting before he turns his attention to A'eyr and wonders, "May I touch him?" To check the straps.

Ranneth's continued insistence that she ignore Indaryth, just makes him all the smuggier, facets whirling merrily. It was a real struggle not to laugh at this for A'eyr, shoulders bouncing as he purses his lips and side-eyes the two dragons. Due to this, he misses the look the Weyrlingmaster levels upon him. However, in the time it takes for R'sner to speak on straps, explain the lesson plan, and make his approach…the lad somehow manages to school his expression into something that vaguely approximated seriousness. Indaryth lowers his great head (no doubt much swelled with the hugeness of his own inflated ego) downwards so as to snuffle at the top of the Weyrlingmaster's head. It's short lived, ended with a chuff, and he returns to some semblance of attention. Green eyes dart towards R'sner, then flick back forward with a minute pause and a mildly strangled sounding, "Yes…sir." That sir, was hard for him. Truely.

Ignoring her dragon, Alexa is trying very hard to pretend that she doesn't know that Raaneth is trying very hard to pretend she's ignoring Indaryth. Honestly, the whole thing is ridiculous, and R'sner is probably just as aware of all the 'ignoring' happening but is… choosing to ignore it. Sigh. But with permission granted, there's a quick shift of his attention to the bronze and more importantly, his straps. A hard set to his jaw, and he tug-tugs at that strap or this, fusses with buckles, running his fingers beneath the belt-like bands that encircle the bronze dragon like he would the girth on a runner, and then tightening a few of them. "So long as it doesn't hurt," and it really shouldn't if done right, "Try to get these as tight as you can." Indaryth is a giant dragon, the chances of A'eyr having the strength to tighten the straps *too* tight is zero. With that finished, he steps back and pronounces it, "Good. Give yourselves some space and then climb on," while he turns to repeat the process on Raaneth.

Indaryth, seemed to be mentally feeding off poor Raaneth's pretend ignoring, the smugness rolling off him increasing considerably with each passing second. If it were actually being projected, it'd likely be insufferable by now. Though, as they all would quickly find out, having his straps tightened to the proper fit puts a significant damper on that. Rumbling from somewhere deep and low in his chest, the bronze's overflow of ease shifts decidedly into the opposite. A'eyr looks a might uncomfortable as well (well, more than he already was in that get up), gaze sent to glance the weyrlingmaster's way, but no longer than a second. Forward pointed again, the bronzeling responds with "Yes, Weyrlingmaster" instead, which he has much less trouble with. With things presentable and serviceable, all it takes is R'sner's word before the pairing move off away a bit, A'eyr murmuring softly to his lifemate. For the next little while, he has some difficulty with managing his new outfit and footing, taking probably as long as Ranneth and Alexa's inspection does to get himself on up as instructed. There was quite a lot of colorful muttering involved, but eventually he swings a leg over (and pull a decent amount of fabric out from beneath himself as it gets trapped and impedes movement), settling into place. Again, Indaryth rumbles, and A'eyr scoffs. "I do not! Now who's complaining?"

R'sner is impervious to looks. Good, bad or ugly, as long as they're not blatantly disrespectful or out of line, he ignores them (helluva lot of ignoring going around today, >.>). Sending the bronze pair off, he turns his attention to Raaneth, going through the same motions of checking straps or buckles and making minor adjustments as he found them necessary. This time, Raaneth's focus truly is on her task and not her bronze brother, attention on Alexa and R'sner as the final pronouncement comes and they are given the same instructions. Without the length of Igen garb to hinder her, Alexa's ascent might be a touch faster than A'eyr's, but it is still slow and careful. Climbing a dragon isn't exactly routine yet, and she doesn't want to make a fool of herself by falling. But once she's up, she can't help the triumphant grin, Raaneth rumbling in agreement, a pleased, « Of course we are, » echoing a silent affirmation. Green eyes flash to Alek, an undeniable need to share the experience with her brother prompting her gaze and Raaneth's attention to swing toward the other pair. Right now, at least, she's able to keep her irritation with Indaryth at bay.

As surprising at it may seem, A'eyr was rarely blatantly disrespectful, even if he found most things hilarious. He had a pretty good idea when it was time to be serious, and when he didn't, he was easily schooled into it. Though, at least on the inside, he was probably smirking a little bit. Not right now, oddly enough. Indaryth's discomfort had become his own, and so in combination with already feeling off thanks to his attire, he's behaving himself. While Raanth's straps are being inspected, A'yer fusses a but with Indy's, where they connect to the saddle. And, well, he does some squiggling around up there, because it was new and he didn't know quite how to get comfy. By the time that he gets himself settled, Alexa is seated and Raanth is rumbling to R'sner. Suffice to say, there is a matching pair of green eyes waiting for his twin when she looks over, and A'yer might even sit up a bit straighter before a most affectionate smirk makes it's appearance. The kind of look that said, 'look at us now, Allie. We're dragonriders.' Like it was all official or something now, and not when their lifemates hatched and chose them. Indaryth, not so smug, just stiff and still trying to adjust to the feel of straps that fit him. However, being a prideful beast, and makes no mention of it…least the queen catch wind of it.

Technically, now that they were sitting on their dragons, it is official. They are literally riding dragons. Dragonriders. Even if it's nothing more than sitting around looking like two really enthusiastic bumps on a log. Alexa does not attempt to contain her grin, glee shining in her eyes. The only thing she is *not* doing is bouncing because… that would be awkward. And really immature. But on the inside, she's totally jumping around! And R'sner? He'll just… keep on ignoring things. Even if there's a suspicious little twitch to the corner. A bit of distance is claimed by the weyrlingmaster, hand raised to block the rising sun, and he lifts his voice to carry over to the pair of them. "Right. Dismount once, climb back up, and then you can take a walk around the Bowl."

Just then, they were the most of excited log bumps. Truly. Alek's smirky grin grows all the wider as his sister's does, but he'll leave the inner bouncing up up to her. There's another slightly awkward slide of his backside against the saddle, all very discreet, and R'sner starts to move off. Sadly, while being sky-rocketing happiness and pride back and forth with Alexa, he's missed the Weyrlingmaster's twitching tips. Looking back over to the man as he speaks, the boy's brows lift a touch before knotting. A glance to the gold pair and a rough exhale and so begins probably the slowest and most careful of descents ever recorded by human history. Seriously, it takes forever, and even Indaryth swings his head around to take a look to see why that was. Turns out, climbing down, is pretty difficult when concentrating on not tripping on robes, foot placement, and said robes billowing out to obfuscate the ground. He gets there, eventually, the bronze snorting as soon as he's on the ground. A look is shot back to Indaryth, and immediately the dragon looks away as if nothing had ever happened. "That's what I thought," A'eyr mutters, patting his lifemate's neck, and soon after starts working on climbing back up. Tedious, this assignment, but at least this time he understood its importance. Turns out, he was going to need a lot of practice with this, because Alek is no faster this time ascending than he was the first time. He does get back up there though, leg swung over, and soon wriggling to get comfortable. "Ladies first," is offered, once they both had done the first two parts of the what R'sner told them to.

Raaneth is the picture of poised perfection, wings unfurled just enough to catch the sun without hindering Alexa's climbing. Her ignoring of Indaryth now is in truth rather than vanity, the queen's attention on Alexa and R'sner and what they are meant to do next. Which, for her means standing very still and doing… absolutely nothing while Alexa climbs down. But 'up' is a lot faster the second time around, and the human-half has barely swung her leg into the saddle before Raaneth is shifting her weight and setting out at a slow, measured walk. Or, as measured as she can make it, seeing as she is a grounded dragon and walking isn't something that comes naturally. It is not graceful, though she tries to make it so, and while Alexa flashes a grin at her brother, it wobbles a bit as she grabs for the handholds of her straps to keep her balance. A snort. « I would not drop you, silly girl, » comes Raaneth's remark, though there is tenderness and affection in her tone. « Sit tall, be proud. I've got this. » And she does. She really does.

A'eyr sits atop his lifemate and watches his sister make her first lap, simply beaming in pride for her. He'd always known that she was beautiful, but never as stunning as she was today, at probably the happiest he'd seen her since Impressing Raanth. He doesn't clap, as much as he wanted to, when the goldpair finish their first lap and return to where they started from. Instead he grins broadly with the sheer depth of his affection for her. It wavers a second as she wobbles, concern flashed acrossed his features, but as she steadies herself and sits up tall and proud. Well, it's best that he follow suit rather than get all verkelmped about it. Sniff. In the scheme of things, it didn't take Indaryth long to adjust to the new fit of his straps, but as he takes his first couple of steps it becomes rather obvious that he's not enjoying them. As he's not a runnerbeast, or some other non-sentient creature, he won't buck or go wild until exhaustion takes him. However, his movements as he starts to make his own circuit around the bowl look tight and awkward, almost like a feline might when something is 'off'. Not tape to the bottom of paws 'off', but certainly something is off-kilter. Every step is ginger and stiff, sometimes followed by a roll of his shoulders or the ripple of muscle beneath flesh, rather than the fluid flow of movement from on to the other as he usually presented himself. A dragon on the edge! There are soft unhappy rumbles vibrated deep inside of the bronze's chest, but he stubbornly presses onwards. Refusing to give up, or admit that anything is wrong. Of course A'eyr knew something was up, the two were connected in that way that all riders and their dragons were, and he was doing his utmost to be supportive without letting on there was an issue. At long last they return to the place they started, Indaryth pacing a bit before settling in beside his clutch sister and coming to a stop. A grin is flashed to Alexa, a shoulder shrugged, totally ready to play that whole thing off as 'whoa weird right?' rather than make a thing out of it.

R'sner can also see that something is up. Those weyrlingmaster eyes are watching Indaryth like a hawk, smile gone as his lips press into a thin line. He allows them to continue only because there is no obvious signs of pain (no ichor, no screeching, no true and honest limping) but he's certainly calling them back rather than waving them on. Raaneth and Alexa can just chill (which they are both happy to do, the human-half watching her brother while the dragon concentrates on settling herself as slowly and carefully to the ground as possible) while R'sner strides right over to the bronze pair. "What's wrong?" It isn't a demand per se, but there's really no room for argument or avoidance. "He's mincing and acting like something hurts. What is it?"

Still seated, Alek's pale brows lift as R'sner comes to check up on them, the man's question making green eyes darting to the back of his lifemate's neck. It's there that his gaze gets that distant and far away look for a few moments while Indaryth rumbles, his talons scratching against the ground. Ultimately, the bronze lowers himself down to the ground so that the boy has an easier time dismounting, waiting until he's fully embarked before answering that question. He does so with a low and hushed, almost conspiring volume, "He doesn't like the way the straps feel against his hide," he admits, peeking past R'sner to his sister, and then lowering his eyes back to the ground. Not that the Weyrlingmaster had made any mistakes, those straps fit perfectly, and there was no sign or symptom that they were cutting into him anywhere.

The answer is met with seriousness on the part of the weyrlingmaster (who is not terribly worried about having tightened those straps; R'sner has been doing this for many, many Turns now). But neither does he dismiss the comments of the bronze, eyes sliding to Indaryth and his straps in silent contemplation before returning to the youth at his shoulder. "Will he expand on what it is that he does not like? Is it painful? Ticklish? Or is it simply that it is unusual; a new sensation?" While the Weyrlingmaster's busy with his not-an-interrogation, Alexa fusses with Raaneth's straps in that idle, 'trying not to pay attention so I'm looking at this super boring thing and pretending it's really super interesting!' sort of way. Even if she is too far to hear. And Raaneth is not helping. Eavesdropping? Pft. Totally beneath her unless there's a greater purpose for it. And teasing Indaryth does not count.

Indaryth was doing his utmost to look all chill and relaxed, but considering that the weyrlingmaster team had been with him since he hatched, it wasn't too terribly difficult to pick up on the fact he totally wasn't. A'eyr wasn't fidgeting nor did he look too concerned about it, always a good sign, but this was one of those rare moments in which he was taking something seriously. The boy does press the palm of his hand to his lifemate's side, a gesture meant to be comforting for them both, as having one's mentally linking companion in any sort of distress was…well…distressing. "Hmm," Alek considers, trying to accurately turn into words a sensation and sense of being, jaw worked some, "Not painful, or ticklish…" Considering, he shakes his head, but he goes on to say, "All I'm really getting from him is that it's constrictive…a weird feeling…and he doesn't like it." A sigh follows, giving the bronze a pat, because there wasn't much that he could do for him. Dragons wore straps, and for very good reason. Alek would no doubt meet up and share of this with his sister once Indaryth was awake and none the wiser, but for now he was content to keeping it between himself and the Weyrlingmaster.

"Hm." A squint of blue eyes, and R'sner regards the bronze once again. Scrutinizing. Studying. Thinking. "No pain?" he asks again, though he doesn't wait for an answer before continuing. "If it's not hurting him, and it's not causing injury, the best course of action is to make him wear them until he gets used to it. Not all the time," he's quick to continue. "But as often as possible. Start with an hour in the morning, and again in the evening. This can be before or after your walk." Because they will be walking around the bowl. That is an exercise that shall be repeated. "Then extend it to two. Three. Until he's grown accustomed to the feel of it." It is instruction, but not a mandate. A'eyr could choose not to do this, though there's an arch in R'sner's brow and a quiet, "Because I think he'd hate dropping you more," that says it's probably for the best that he does.

A'eyr gives R'sner all the room that he needs, even if Indaryth was not a small dragon in the least and still growing, but he's keeping in genuine physical contact with him no matter what while watching the Weyrlingmaster work. Shaking his head, "No, he's not in pain. He's…uncomfortable…" he replies and nods in agreement that the straps weren't doing any damage. Indaryth makes a low rumble and chuffs, shifting his body, but Alek ignores him for the most part. No amount of belly aching is going to change the fact that if they intended to fly together someday, they would need him to wear straps. "Yeah, I figured." The lad nods in agreement for the plan to get Indaryth used to the straps a little at a time, as it was sound and made sense to him. Although as green eyes roam over his lifemate, "I could try padding all the leather instead of just the places that rub too…" A glance to R'sner, "That might help with the weirdness factor." The constriction, wasn't anything anyone could help. Indaryth snorts at the Weyrlingmaster as dropping A'eyr is brought up, and whatever the bronze side makes him grin crookedly and pat his side affectionately, "I love you too, buddy."

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