Who: Nala, Riel, Jynth, Mikketh
When: Month 1, 202 AT
Where: Weyrhold Bowl, Honshu Weyrhold
What: Riel returns home after winning a goldflight.
When Mikketh doesn’t show up for duty for the first time since weyrlinghood, it gets noticed by wingmates. It’s late in the day when the brown winks into the sky above Honshu, bugling proudly and winging down to deliver Riel, his gnarled branch-like limbs and wings curling briefly over her to share a quiet, intimate moment. He unwinds himself and launches skyward, heading for the beach. Riel’s hair is uncharacteristically messy as she takes off her riding gear, face glowing and smile beaming across her wind-swept face. She leaps on the first person she comes across, arms slung wide to ensnare them and hug herself tightly in against their body, squealing quietly under her breath. “This is the greatest day of my life.”
If she’d had more warning, perhaps Nala might have been able to avoid the situation she finds herself, yet, as it is, she doesn’t react quickly enough and finds herself trying to pry Riel off of her as politely as she can possibly manage, aiming not to shove at her but to encourage her to loosen her hold. “That is… wonderful, I’m sure,” she says rather stiltedly, inching herself backwards now too. “Have you considered letting go of me?” is her last ditch, rather more blunt attempt to free herself, shoulders squaring just as the large blue not so far off also flexes his heavy shoulders. Jynth keeps his focus firmly on Riel, though makes no move for her or his own rider, the facets of his gaze licked with yellow.
Riel is momentarily immune to the bluerider’s attempts to be free of her affection, her bliss sighed dreamily into Nala’s shoulder. Soon, her grip lessens and she straightens herself, trying to hold her victim at arm’s length. “I’m sorry–” Blue eyes sober but her smile is no less bright. “Oh, aren’t you the new assistant weyrlingmaster?” Her gaze swings over to Jynth, the yellow of his eyes driving her hands to leap off of Nala, feet stumbling back to put space between them as quickly as possible. Riel’s smile fades marginally. “I’m sorry, did I hurt you?” she asks Nala, concern pooling in her eyes as she searches for some explanation in the other woman’s outward appearance.
“Weyrlingmaster,” Nala corrects, not arrogant with it, but matter of fact, her attention now as fixed on Riel as Jynth’s is. “My weyrmate and I are both holding the knot, though we have assistants ready for the new clutch too. With a queen egg on the Sands, it seems it’s just as well, if Honshu is to have three queens.” Only then does she seem to register the brownrider’s concern, eyes narrowing faintly before she looks back over her shoulder and towards Jynth’s looming presence. “No,” she states, turning back to Riel. “Please excuse him. He is… protective. Unexpected contact tends to set him off.” With an abrupt gesture towards the caverns, she suggests, “Can I fetch you someone else to leap on? Though perhaps they should be forewarned of the why?”
“Weyrlingmaster,” Riel echoes, apologetic, and offers a gentle smile. With her elation dialed back, the day’s abuse begins to show in a red mark on one cheek and the tips of four red claw marks that begin at her jawline. Her brow twitches, blonde head tipping slightly to one side. “Oh? Sets him off how?” And, “why?” She shakes her head to the offer, lips again softly curling in a giving smile. “That’s alright, I will find someone to pounce on later all on my own. I think you can attest to the fact that I’m quite good at it.”
After a long pause, Nala finds, “He doesn’t often like people being near me,” to be the most distantly analytical way of conveying what she means, words delivered without judgement. “I—“ Behind her, Jynth tilts his head slightly, a motion she mimics by only a fraction, her dark gaze raking across Riel’s features. “Maybe the infirmary would be a better choice?” she hazards, lifting a hand to trace fingers along her own jawline in a pointed gesture. “I want to say that I hope that was a firelizard, but it seems a little too precise for their work.”
Riel smiles encouragingly – an expression that she lets slide up to the blue, squinting against the last of the summer sunset fading fast. “Does he worry that you will be hurt?” she asks quietly. Confusion taints the bridge between her brows and she touches her cheek. “Oh.” Riel laughs softly, a gentle, bubbling sound. “I’ve suffered worse during gold flights. It’s the pittance we pay, hmm?” She fades into shallow memory, fingers tracing the faint wounds. “Not sure who that would have been from. Not everyone was glad to see us.” Her focus surfaces to the here and now and her smile returns. “Sorry. I shouldn’t keep you from…”
“I don’t know,” is at least an honest answer, even if what Nala follows it up with is not entirely normal. “It’s been that way since we were shelled.” Either she doesn’t notice the slip or isn’t bothered by it – either way, she manages a twitch of her lips that isn’t quite a smile in response to Riel’s laughter, content that Jynth is not going to launch himself any closer. “Did you at least win, if you have to come back with war wounds?” she enquires. “If it was the weyrwoman, perhaps it’s worth it, but if it was another I would be of a mine to give it back to them.” If Riel is keeping her from anything, she doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to leave now that she’s no longer being pounced on.
A friendly flex of her lips and Riel lets the subject of Jynth’s nature slide, stuffing the one hand that isn’t holding riding gear into a pocket. Her leathers are so tight that the fabric barely permits the action. Riel’s grin flourishes, the glow returning to her face and blue eyes glistening with girlish bliss. “I /did/ win!” she gleefully returns. “Why do you think this is the greatest day of my life? We finally did it — I knew we could do it.” With her euphoria reinvigorated, her hand frees itself and clenches into an excited fist at her side. “I feel like I need to leap on someone again so I’d better let you get back to your day, Weyrlingmaster.”
It’s difficult to tell whether Nala approves or not, for the flicker of //something// that passes through her gaze is merely an indication of some weighted thought or another, yet the more animated Riel becomes the more she draws herself taller, as if to pre-emptively ward off another ‘attack’. She offers no further response but a curt nod, turning on her heel to head towards Jynth, who rises and sweeps out a wing to conceal her from the view of others as she approaches. When that wing eventually folds back again, there’s no sign of the bluerider, who’s presumably wandered on ahead. Or maybe he’s eaten her. Who knows?