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"Shared" hunting or protecting an ego.

Who: Arekoth, H'kon, Miniyal, Peloth
Where: Feeding pens
When: Day 14, month 5, turn 4 of the 7th Pass.
What: Peloth helps Arekoth with some hunting while awkward conversation occurs between their riders about what is gone. There may have been tears. As usual the dragons do much better at socializing than the people.
Note: So many hearts to H'kon for continued Arekoth/Peloth love in these last days.



9/5/2007

At High Reaches Weyr, it is day 14, month 5, turn 4 of the 7th Pass.

In the feeding pen there is a gold dragon chewing daintily on a recent kill. The beasts shuffle nervously away from the nearly a turn old queen as she contents herself, for now, with the unlucky member of their numbers. On the other side of the fence Miniyal doesn't watch the feeding, but does keep an eye on Peloth as well as the animals in the pen. Leaning against the fence she smiles, for now, although one hand twists at the ring worn on the other.

Arekoth does the three-legged-dragon walk in from the bowl, H'kon moving alongside him. Even with the dragon rather injured, the poor brownrider has to move quickly to keep up. Short legs will do that, and Arekoth has indeed become something of a world-class jumper. The moment he spots that gold, of course, he's jumping all the faster, awkward, tail and head held up to avoid either bashing on the ground in the seesaw motion. << We can hunt together, now! >> Despite an obvious joy, the dragon's mental voice is certainly somewhat dulled. H'kon, for his part, makes his way directly toward Miniyal, and takes up a lean on the fence, about an arm's length from her.

Hunting together may be doable. However, for the moment Peloth has her kill and she rises up, grabbing it by what used to be its throat to pull it a little farther away. Settling back down she tears off another bite. << We can. I will still be hungry. This is my first. >> Her tail swishes back and forth behind her as she converses with the brown. << You are not well? >> The dull was noticed, it would seem. Miniyal turns her head when H'kon settles down and just nods absently. The smile goes away, but she continues twisting her ring.

When one isn't willing to lie to a friend, avoidance is a fine choice of tactic. Arekoth settles himself carefully into a sort of half-sit, so that the one leg can still be held up in the air. << I'm happy to wait for you. I would much rather combine strategies. It'd be more fun. >> And has nothing to do with the fact that he's somewhat less proficient at hunting now, surely. H'kon looks at Miniyal right up until he's acknowledged and she's looked away. Then, the ground becomes interesting.

Peloth extends her wings and and swishes her tail and is clearly preening as she continues to eat. << I prefer to hunt together. It is more fun that way. I will be done soon. >> Her eating speed has picked up, although she is still ever so dainty about it. Not a drop of blood splashes anywhere but on her muzzle and if it gets on a claw as she tears it is cleaned immediately. Fussy neat freak. << You are well? >> A different question, asking the same thing as she chews on a haunch.

Arekoth has turned his attention to the herd. << I think I would like to eat that one. >> A short fat thing is pointed out. << Perhaps that one. >> His focus falls now on a younger beast, with long legs. << It would amuse me to clean the bones. >> Talon-lickin' good, or something. At the fence, H'kon glances again to Miniyal. "Is that ring from G'thon?" Awkward. He's no master of small talk, even when trying.

"It was my birthday present last turn," Miniyal answers with all the casual calm she's mastered since the death of one of the weyr's former leaders. "A promise." Shaking her head she stops twisting the ring and stares at it. In the pen Peloth finishes up most of her beast and then rises up. << The best parts are gone. >> She might have eaten more on another occasion, but for now she is going to hunt again. << Which one? How shall we do this? I can just catch it for you. >> A pause as she turns her head to look at the brown. << To show you my technique. >>

H'kon gives his head the slowest nod. "Was it for marriage?" Arekoth, for his part, hops himself up to all three feet, and gives a great big snort, that borders on the sound of a sneeze. << That one, >> is decided. The short fat one is singled with a jerky forward step-hop in its direction. << If you want the kill, I won't deny it. I can chase her to you. >>

Peloth watches the beast in question. << Have you seen me hunt? Watch me. I will show you how it should be done. >> It is all but an attempt at a command from the young gold. Arekoth is not even glanced at as she studies the beast in question. << This is the proper way for hunting. >> He surely has time to help if he wishes as Peloth is a slow hunter, but she makes no effort to allow him to get involved. As for her rider, she blinks several times before nodding her head. "At the time? I am not sure. Later on it- Had Peloth not found me we would have been wed." She has to stop here so she might get the slight strain out of her voice. "I am not sure if it would have been worse or not. His dying."

Arekoth watches all right, and sets to circling in the other direction. His stealth has certainly suffered, even though he gives up the hopping in favour of a sort of cautious slithering, with a slighter bump. Of course, he moves much more slowly for it. << One of them, maybe, >> the brown is willing to allow. Saving face, perhaps. "Ah." H'kon stares at the fence beneath his forearms now. "Would it have changed things?" This is asked purely for the sake of logic. Very matter-of-fact.

"I don't know. I would have at least been with him. At the end. Instead of kept away from him like-" Miniyal clears her throat and watches Peloth move about in the pen. A couple of deep breaths restores most of her calm. Enough so that her lifemate spares her only a small glance before returning to her hunting. "Any change would have made things different. But I would still miss him. No matter what my heart would have been broken." There's no real warning before Peloth moves. A slight tensing of muscles and before the beast can get away she's upon it. It doesn't even have time to make any noise before she crunches teeth into its neck and gives it a shake. That done she lifts it gently and carries it to the brown. << My thanks. For sharing your tricks. >> A bit of salve to the pride of the brown.

"I suppose there is that." Arekoth accepts the kill as graciously as his ego will allow, making a good show of tossing it a ways before settling to consume it. But he'll look to Peloth before setting to ripping the flesh. << And thank you for showing me yours. I'll have to try them on the next one. >> Mmm, meat. "Better to say goodbye then, you think." Musing. Still looking at that fence.

"Better to have the chance," Miniyal answers in a whisper as she brushes away unshed tears with a quick dash of one hand against her eyes. "Better to not be told he's dead after it happened and not even be told the truth of how." Another breath to settle her down, but her hands tighten on the rail as she stares at the ring that catches a bit of sun for a second. << I always pick the smart ones. They require more work. It is more fun. >> For now she does not seek another meal of her own. Instead Peloth swishes her tail as she watches the beasts. << You pretend to want one and then take another. Even the smart ones will allow that if you are patient enough. >>

H'kon blinks, stunned for a moment by thesound of those words. "I'm sorry." It's not sympathy - it's an outright apology, spoken hurriedly enough that the words hint at running together. I'ms'ry. Uber contraction. Arekoth is a good audience for Peloth, following her motions in between gulps of herdbeast. << If you wish to show me, I'll watch. Now that I know what you're doing. >> That carcass is disappearing fast. Someone's a hungry boy.

If he's hungry and eating then Peloth will be happy to hunt. She likes to hunt and only hunting for herself doesn't give her nearly enough opportunity. So, while he consumes the first she finds a second and settles down to watch it with just a twitch of the tip of her tail to give away she's doing anything at all. << It is good I can show you something. Since you showed me. We will be quite good friends. >> Miniyal goes back to twisting the ring on her finger and watching it move around on her skin. "It's fine. He's gone. I'm supposed to move on. To accept what I have and let go of what I've lost."

<< We are quite good friends, >> Arekoth corrects. Thankfully, mouthfuls of muscle and ligament don't obscure mental words. << I like their knees. >> H'kon, for his part, is at a loss for words. So, after an extended awkward silence, the browrider admits, "I cannot think of anything for that. I... do not know." Broad shoulders receive a quick shrug, and settle simultaneous to the brownrider's sigh.

"There's nothing for it. I was told it would take two turns to even begin to feel normal. But I'm not sure I was normal without him." Miniyal shakes her head and ducks her head, hiding a sniffle in a cough. "It's quite all right not to know. I don't." Lifting her head she looks at Peloth as she watches, in turn, the next meal for the brown. << The knees? I like the belly. It is soft and there are lots of flavors. >> When the beast being watched looks increasingly nervous she moves. A flurry of golden claws and wings and before the beast knows what happened he's down and then dead. << You see? Easy. >> Lifting the beast she carries it over to the brown and drops it. << Quite good friends. Yes. We are nearly free. You will come sunning with me tomorrow? There is a ledge no one has claimed that is perfect. >>

"I cannot imagine it would ever even feel normal... when..." and at some point H'kon's brain catches up to flustered lips, and there's a distinctive subject change. "He and I will only be gone temporarily, I hope." And change again: "Will you be needing anything for your weyr? You and Peloth." Arekoth, thankfully, missed the brief transfer talk. He gives a final gnaw to a knee, and then, nudging the thing away, adjusts his balance and moves on to the next carcass. << I like to crunch the knees. It feels good. Not as much flavour, though, no. >> Wings rustle, and he even withdraws his face from the bloody mess to promise, << I will. I'd like to see it. >>

<< Ahh. The crunching. I understand. I like to crunch the middle parts. >> Peloth hunkers down to watch the herd again, perhaps selecting a beast for herself. Again the tail twitches and she sits still. << Excellent. The sun shines just perfect it on it. If you like it you should make him move you there. >> Arekoth may have missed the mention, but Miniyal did not. A sidewise glance to the brownrider and no comment is made on the subject. Perhaps she wants to spare Peloth anxiety for now. "Life is not normal. Those who claim it is are clearly not living it I think. Still, there are people who have lost more than I. I should not dwell."

"Things are more important to you if they are yours." And finally, H'kon can no longer help but look to those two dragons. Arekoth again provides a good audience, though he's eating this beast much more slowly. A smaller brown, it doesn't take much to get the edge off his hunger. << Well I'll look forward to it even more, now. If it really is as good as you say, then maybe I'll talk to him. >>

"I suppose so," Miniyal answers with studied indifference. Poor indifference, really, but she does pretend she's fine. Peloth is not eating so she can be watched. There's no stomach for chewing on animals. It's all enjoyment for the dragon. At least she is fun to watch hunt. << I am finding the best spots. I am surprised no one has taken that one. >> Peloth would, after all, be unaware of any problems within the weyr. But the ledge is good so what more does she care about? << It has a lovely view as well. Quite high. >>

"Sorry," is apologised once more, this time with a little bit less sincerity. That quasi-offer of things for the weyr is left hanging, and he stares at those dragons. Arekoth's eating doesn't bother the man in the least - and that brown is no neat eater. << You can take me tomorrow. My ledge is good. It gets sun, and the wind can't get it. You should see it sometime, too. >>

She spaced on the offer, clearly. It takes a moment for her brain to process things. Slowly Miniyal catches up to what she heard. "Oh. And, umm. I think- I mean, we should be fine. I've got things from- some our things I will move in once I am allowed to move in. Other than that, I don't know. I won't need much. I need little." Just the gold who in a flurry of claws and teeth has her own meal. She carries it close to Arekoth while still leaving a safe distance. Settling down with it she tears into the throat delicately. If one can describe such an action with delicate it is definitely the way Peloth does it. << You may show me tomorrow. Before we see the one I found. >>

H'kon, dissatisfied with the response, gives a bit of a sniff, and leans more heavily against the fence. << I'll meet you in the air, and we can land together, then. >> He's on the final tidbits of this, his second beastie. "Well, if you think of anything in the next few days. I never gave you anything back for that supper." His present.

"You're not obligated to give me anything back. It was a gift. Anyway, you're letting him spend time with her. That's thanks enough. She really enjoys it." Miniyal may not want anything and has little concern for how she's treated, but kindness to the queen is always looked favorably upon. No matter who gives it. << We have drills in the morning, but when I am done after my bath I will meet you. >> Of course Peloth will have her bath first. And especially before doing anything of a social nature. Another bite is taken as she watches the brown. << We will fly together and then you may show me your ledge. The one I found is better. >> Everything she does or has is better. Even something not hers.

"He enjoys the time as well," is said softly. And H'kon pushes off the fence, standing straight. << I think you'll like my ledge when you see it, >> Arekoth almost counters. << And I think you should let me try your hunting technique alongside you. >> "There are things I should see to. He will probably eat a third before he is done." And already that brown is eyeing up the herd.

"Obviously. I suppose it would only have made trouble if you had stuck around." Miniyal glances at H'kon, shaking her head before she looks back at the pen. "I will see you around." Peloth continues to eat, but she lifts a barely stained muzzle to look at the brown. << We will try together. We will see if you are as good a student as I am. >> There is teasing in her tone and she lowers her head to eat. She'll help however she can and Miniyal will remain quiet, twisting her ring, as long as it takes the two dragons to finish up.

"My dragon cannot walk," H'kon calls over his shoulder. Hands are shoved into his pockets, shoulders hunched, and now it's a hurried step. Arekoth is oblivious, spirits lifted by food and company. << If you're as good a teacher as I am, anything is possible. >>

Comments

( 1 opinion — Say it like you mean it. )
imarirose
Sep. 13th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
As always, these scenes are wonderful to read. I shall miss them greatly.
( 1 opinion — Say it like you mean it. )