Easy to Like

Who: Priska, Emily, Hanath, Yedrith
Where: Galleries, Fort Weyr
What: Priska visits Emily in the Stands.

Emily has taken up residence in the Hatching Galleries, with Hanath dozing on the sands, her body curled protectively around her clutch. With only six eggs to tend to, there’s been more than a few rumors and concerns flitting around Fort regarding Hanath’s first clutch. Benden’s bronze has not returned to Fort to claim a spot on the Sands with the gold who he flew. Emily’s kept up her lessons with Safiye and Priska, though with both goldriders relatively trained in the day to day aspects of being a goldrider, Emily has allowed them more free time as her occupancy at the Sands have kept her less accessible. She’s sitting on the benches this evening, a book in her hands and a feline napping on her lap.

Since Yedrith’s adventure to Ierne, Priska has done her best to keep her head down and not give anyone any further reason to question her, and nor has she invited general conversation on the subject of just what her queen did and why. She’s left her lifemate napping on her ledge when she moves into the galleries, a shallow basket looped over one arm. It takes her a little bit to locate Emily, but, once she’s spotted her, she heads over and claims the seat next to her without enquiring as to whether she might. “I’ve brought you something to eat,” she tells her. “I may or may not have stolen them straight off the baking tray. In any case, they’re ours now.” First providing a small plate from the basket, she plants a small fruit tart on it and offers it over.

The little grey tabby looks up, startled at Priska’s approach, and leaps off of the goldriders’ lap to scurry off in the opposite direction. “She’s the skittish sort,” Emily tells Priska with a smile. She takes the proffered plate and her smile brightens. “Oh, how thoughtful of you! Tarts are one of my favorites.” She tucks the plate on her lap and shifts, making room for Priska to join her in a more obvious way. She waits until Priska has pulled out her own plate before she takes a few appreciative bites of her meal. “How are you and Yedrith? Hanath’s been a bit… hyper-focused of late. I hope that Yedrith does not feel too excluded.”

Priska doesn’t seem offended by the cat’s reaction to her presence and busies herself fishing out another tart and plate from the basket, then uncapping the flask she’s brought along too. “It’s not alcoholic and I don’t know exactly what it’ll be like, but I was promised something sweet with klah undertones.” She pours two mugs of the hot drink and settles one by Emily’s feet, then one at hers. “…Yedrith is… unchanged and as unshakable as ever.” As for her, she shares no comment. “Is Hanath going to want to let the eggs go, when it’s time?” she asks with a nod towards the clutch, lips curving in a tiny, teasing smile.

“You know, you’re extremely thoughtful,” Emily tells Priska as she moves to reach for the hot drink to cup her hands around. “It’s nice to have someone… pay me this sort of attention.” Her cheeks flush, as she glances down at her lap and then out at Hanath. “I imagine some Weyrwomen get this treatment from their clutch sire.” She shrugs, not wanting to think overly on the aspects of her arrangement. She offers Priska a faint smile as she sips from the mug. “Hanath says that Yedrith takes after Eosyth very much. She will be a strong queen for Honshu.” She nibbles some more at her tart, looking out at the sleeping figure of her gold with clear adoration on her face. “She’s let plenty of kittens go to new homes. I think, so long as we collect the right group, she will be happy for her children to find their partners.”

“Hey, you’re my friend,” is Priska’s answer, accompanied by a faint twitch of one shoulder. “I can pretend to be an irritating bronzerider, if you like, but I thought you’d prefer this. And it’s not your fault he’s not here; it’s just the politics of it all. If it makes you feel any better, I think Safiye and Vesoviath must be glad they don’t have to worry about it… I mean, I know it doesn’t really help //you//, but she’s young and… when she’s older, she’ll remember she was looked after.” She breaks off some of the pastry at the tart’s edge and starts in on that first. “I’ll visit you here every day and bring you things and we can forget he ever existed,” she proposes, reaching down to pick up her mug. “If you want, that is. I don’t think being in here will be too comfortable for Isolwyn and I don’t see C’aol doting even on Eosyth and Daeserath’s eggs.”

“Oh, I don’t really mind that //he// isn’t here,” Emily answers Priska quickly, flapping her hand in earnest. “I just imagine when people do this with someone who //is// they’d be as thoughtful as you are. Safiye does not deserve that stress nor does Vesoviath. Please, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not upset he’s not here.” She takes the time to take in a few sips of the beverage Priska’s brought. “This is good,” she comments before she finishes off her tart and grins, “So was that.” She shakes her head and looks out to Hanath. “No, C’aol would not come in, and Isolwyn should focus on herself. She’s glowing herself, carrying her baby.” She reaches to place a hand on Priska’s shoulder. “Thank you for thinking of me. You shouldn’t worry too much. I’ll be fine,” she squeezes Priska’s shoulder briefly and then drops her hand. “How is B’lian?” she asks, glancing sideways at Priska, “After Imahdth got Yedrith back… I had thought I’d see more of you two together.”

“Whether anyone wants him, or the idea of a him, here or not, I can still come and look after you,” Priska replies, undeterred. “Someone ought to, and you looked after me and Yedrith, anyhow. It can’t be all that much fun sitting here for hour after hour, trying to find things to fill your time that don’t need you to be somewhere else. And there’s not much privacy, either.” She smiles slightly, if a little wryly. “I’ll find all that out, soon enough.” Mention of B’lian abruptly drops her focus to what remains of her tart, though she determinedly keeps that smile in place while she tries to find an answer. “I… managed to deter him from thinking he’d like to spend time with me,” she murmurs. “Which is for the best, for him. And for Honshu. This way, it’ll have my full attention. Idiot seemed to actually like me, but there’s no accounting for male taste.”

Emily looks closely at Priska as she delivers the news of her and B’lian’s relationship. She tilts her head for a moment, purses her lips and then shakes her head. Her mug and plate are set to the side as she turns on the bench to face Priska. She reaches for and holds Priska’s hands until the other goldrider looks up at her. “Duty is important. I’m glad to hear you say how much Honshu is a priority for you.” She squeezes Priska’s hands. “It does not mean you shouldn’t have other things in your life. Please don’t… isolate yourself.” She tucks in the corner of her lip to squeeze between her teeth for a second. She looks to Hanath who is stirring and stretching as she wakes up. She looks back to Priska and smiles at her. “You’re easy to like, Priska. B’lian does not strike me as the sort of man who… focuses on romance all that much. If anything, I find him rather stiff,” she wrinkles her nose and gets a more girlish tilt to her smile. “Don’t dismiss him if you truly like him back.”

Priska surrenders her hands, choosing to stare down at them than look up at Emily for long moments until her fingers twitch to gently curl back around hers and she somewhat reluctantly lifts her gaze. “It’s done now,” she says with a helpless shrug of one shoulder. “He agreed there was nothing of that sort between us and told the Weyrleaders the same. They…” She grimaces and hangs her head again. “He stayed with me after Yedrith went Between, and I just wanted to feel better and I trust him and he’s safe, so I asked him to stay in bed with me while I slept, and Isolwyn found us like that, she says. And I don’t care about being ‘caught’, but I care that I don’t… mess things up. Mess him up. I don’t want to be responsible for hurting him.” Another shrug. “At least now I can’t mess him up or hurt him. I just… hurt me instead.”

Emily frowns at Priska as she listens. She moves to fold her hands in her lap and consider Hanath as the gold has fully woken and has begun to nose her eggs this way and that to find them more comfortable positions on the hot sands. “I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work,” Emily tells Priska with a shrug and then turns a smile to the other goldrider. “I can’t give you advice about romance or love. I’ve never… been that way with anyone. Aside from Hanath’s flight, that is.” She shrugs again and rises, dusting her skirts off with the quick flick of her palm. “Hanath says you and Yedrith may come and look at her eggs, if you like.” She leans in conspiratorially towards Priska. “She wants to brag, so make sure to compliment them.” She gives her friend a playful nudge and then moves towards the Sands.

“Neither have I, beyond the act itself,” Priska murmurs, only to straighten her shoulders and sit upright to finish off the tart and set the plate aside. She bends down to lift her mug to take a drink before setting it down to rise to her feet to follow after Emily, thinking nothing of reaching to brush stray grains of sand and rock from the back of the skirts of the goldrider stepping ahead of her. “It’s not like complimenting them will be taxing…” she tells her with a smile, making to greet Hanath with arms lifted for a hug when she reaches the Sands. Something in Yedrith’s innate understanding of what it is to be a queen keeps her politely at the edge of the sands upon which her sister guards her eggs, though no less interested for her mindful distance. Duty calls them both elsewhere, but it’s as evening falls that Priska returns, bringing something bubbly and bowl of sliced fruit with her for Emily, a pattern that forms over the days that follow.

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