My Pie Is All Just For You


Ahnika.jpg Jhath Max.jpg

Date: 9/27/10 (IC: Following Instincts
Location: EW: Beast Cavern
Synopsis: Unable to get a night cook to deliver a bubbly pie to Max, Ahnika sneaks out to deliver it herself. They talk about the future of Jhath rising and what that means for them, and for Zen, and their friendship with him before Max makes a bold move which rouses Jhath and the two would-be champions of Ahnika meet in challenge.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Ahnika

Eastern Weyr: Beast Cavern

Sweeping upwards from the tunnel's entrance at the easternmost end, this cavern arches well over the heads of its inhabitants; both two- and four-legged. Wooden stalls and pens have been built in rows. Two rows are built into the north and south walls and two are back-to-back down the center, leaving two aisles up and down. Each animal enclosure is spacious, well-built and solid; the whole place smells of new timber and sawdust, with the subtle undertones of leather, animal and hay. The western end opens out into the feeding pens and from there into the upper bowl. The opening is large enough to allow a decent amount of sunlight to enter the cavern, but not quite big enough to allow the adult dragons inside.

For whatever reason, the nightcook wasn’t around when Ahnika started making that pie for Max while she was talking with Jaya, and for whatever reason, the nightcook stayed gone even while the pie was baking. Not wanting to leave it unattended and being burned, or burning the kitchen down, Ahnika stayed in the kitchens with it, keeping herself awake with little kitchen chores and cleaning even as she sensed Jhath dropped off to sleep finally and she wished she could join her. So, without having any good way of making sure the pie got to Max’s hands, Ahnika put the warm, steaming dessert fresh from the oven into one of the baskets used for delivering food to the VIPs of the weyr, and made her way to the beast caverns in what was now likely past the midnight hour and on into the early morning. She was wary about walking alone at this hour, alert, but not panicked, and tried to stick to the shadows more for not wanting to invite a dangerous manhandler, especially after that conversation with Jaya, than for fear of being caught. If she had known that she was going to be delivering it herself, she’d have brought along some kind of hooded shawl or cloak, but Ahnika wasn’t really prepared for this little misadventure and it just means it takes her even longer to getting there. Slipping in from the beast tunnel entrance and hoping Max is too deep asleep to be awakened, Ahnika slinks in past the stalls, trying not to disturb any of the animals for fear of potentially waking Max, as she heads toward his office-stall-bedchamber, basket in hand.

The entrance to the caverns are these days not left unattended but rather kept watch over by one burly stablehand, otherwise known as, Waine. So it's probably just as well that Ahnika isn't covered by hood or shawl or her arrival may well have met with challenge. As it is, the big man recognizing her simply follows her path in silence, offering only a brief nod should she notice his quiet presence in the shadows. The hours just passed midnight do indeed find Max asleep, although restlessly so as he tosses and turns in sheets that have become twisted about his lower body, lips moving in soundless speech. The bruising to his face now leaving only faint traces and the cut on his eyebrow well on the path to healing might go unnoticed in the half light of the stall.

Ahnika actually didn’t notice Waine, not until the movement of his head as he nods to her caught her eye and then she makes a soft sound with a short intake of breath before offering him a sheepish grin and a nod in return, and then still stepping softly so as not to disturb the animals and thus disturb Max, she eases on down to his stall. Assuming the stall half-door is unlocked, or at least able to be unlocked from her side, she will try to quietly slip in without actually looking to see if Max is there or not. It doesn’t matter since regardless if he is there or not, she will still be leaving the basket on his desk. Let’s hope the door doesn’t creak too much. It is the twisting in his sheets, though, that grabs her attention and she frowns as she sets the basket down gingerly on the desk and watches him from where she stands, trying to tell if it’s a nightmare or if he is just shifting in his sleep. All the while she is trying not to be lost in the wonderful sight of her man sleeping, something she hasn’t gotten to see in a very, very long time.

There is little sound coming from the sleeping beast caverns bar the occasional shuffle of hooves from a runner, or that of an animal turning about in the straw of its stall. With the top half of the door to the beast manager's stall left ajar, it's the bottom half that creaks slightly upon being opened. The sound only enough to cause Max to mutter something or other in his sleep and then he's stirring. Not because of any sound made by Ahnika but rather because he's gotten his legs well and truly tangled in those sheets. With a low growl coming from his bared chest he's suddenly fighting and kicking his way into even further ensnarement and finally ends up rolling off the mattress with a muted thud. "Sharding son of…" the curse uttered in a low snarl as he hits the floor is obviously one of nightmare induced origins but it's sufficient to wake him up enough to push up into a sitting position and stare blankly about and then blink owlishly when he finds the flame haired weyrling standing in his office. Once, twice, he shakes his head, pretty sure he's still dreaming and then utters in a sleep thickened voice, "Ahni?"

Ahnika is startled a bit out of her silent and loving study of him as his distress seems to worsen and before she knows or can do anything about it, the green weyrling blinks at him rolling off the mattress and onto the floor. She takes a single step forward then, reacting in instinct to his being tangled up and sent off his mattress, but stops as he rights himself on his own into a sitting position. She smiles shyly at the questioning tone of her name and nods, coming a few steps closer to him and reaching down with her hand, either for him to pull her down or her to pull him up. She will leave the choice to him, “Aye, my Heart. I brought you pie,” she swallows back the laughter, barely, as her comment registers differently on some level and elaborates, “Bubbly pie. Fresh from the oven. Are you okay?” The question is more for him and his tumble than for the healing cut and bruises, which in this light she’s not catching yet.

Yup, he's going to sit there blinking at the Ahnika 'apparition' a few more times, despite her confirming nod. Dark eyes starting to lose sleep haze and gain focus flow slowly up from her feet and all the way up to her face until they latch onto the luminous grey of her own and a crooked though brief smile appears, "Hey, baby." His hand closes around the one reached down to him and Max gives a gentle tug meaning to pull her down to his level rather than trying to stand in his current sheet entanglement and possibly lose his balance and face plant on the floor in front of her. A brow lifts upward when Ahnika says she's brought him pie and he almost literally swallows the words that spring up before clearing his throat and commenting quietly with a light frown, "Thought we already spoke about that?" Though his tone carries only light chastisement for her staying up way passed a decent hour to bake bubbly pies. Not that he's ungrateful, quite the opposite in fact. Peering down at himself a rueful expression fits into place, "Aye. Had me a tussle with a bed monster…I think…" frowning a little as bits and pieces of the nightmare flirt just beyond conscious thought. And then, if he's been successful in pulling her down next to him, he'll wrap his arms about her and pull her in close against him, stating quietly, "You shouldn't be down here." For a whole wealth of reasons but he's also not about to kick her out.

“Hey,” Ahnika breathes softly to him in response, that crooked smile making her heart do a little flip just as hard as if it was that first night of that first kiss shared. Even if he didn’t put all his brute strength into it, Ahnika seems all too willing to lower herself next to him and curl up, twisted sheets and all, in his arms. She waits long after he’s finished speaking and has wrapped his arms around her before she speaks again, stalled only briefly by a yawn of all the damn things, “Wasn’t planning on staying,” this seemingly in response both to his light chastisement and the comment about she shouldn’t be there. “No one to drop it off to you for me, so I made a personal delivery. And the only bed monster you should be tussling with is me,” stated with a wrinkling of nose and a grin and she nuzzles his neck and bare chest affectionately. “Although I can forgive you this since I know we are parted for a turn or so and it’d be … hard.”

Max is mentally having to bite his tongue really, really hard at something said, eyes squeezing shut for a moment in a bid to ward off the temptation to do just exactly as stated by Ahnika on tussling with her rather than bed monsters. As such his voice is somewhat gruff as he tightens his arms about her and he tries to draw on humor to banish the slippery slope of having her back in his arms after so long. Through a crooked grin, "Was trying to get away from it. Ugly as a watchwher." The apparent bed monster he'd been wrangling with in his sleep. Although, those affectionate nuzzles across his bare skin aren't helping any and he loosens an arm from around her using the pretence of trying to disentangle himself from the sheet twisted about his legs as excuse to try and create some kind of steadying distraction. "Zen came by the other day," he states low and leaves that hanging in the air as he finally manages to get first one and then another foot free, studiously not looking at her.

Ahnika smiles up at him and that crooked grin again, “That’s ugly,” she concedes readily, and then he pulls away to disentangle himself and some of her warmth and smile fades. His comment about Zen takes her a moment to make the connection, but she does make the connection and rolls away slightly to help get off any of the sheets that she might be pinning and says, “Did he duck fast enough? No, wait, he must have. Tuorth would have been ready to tear you apart if he didn’t and we’d have heard,” The ‘we’ of course being her and Jhath. Making sure she’s no longer pinning any of the sheets that potentially have him trapped, she settles on the edge of the mattress, and watches him, offering nothing else over what she assumes was perhaps a less than pleasant exchange Max must have had with his best friend.

His heart lurches in his chest for that smile coming from Ahnika and he almost forgets why it was he'd been brooding for the past day or so every time his mind had wandered down the path of his flame haired beauty. Almost, but not quite. Once she's rolled off the sheet, he stands to his feet and seems to rather be wrapping it about him in a more orderly manner instead of removing it entirely. Chances are he's not wearing very much if anything at all, under there. So in the interests of a young dragon's mind, he'll play the part of modesty. This all done in silence. Tucking an end of the sheet in hands plant to his hips and he sends a long silent look down onto the redhead before commenting low, "It ain't a joke, Ahni." Having taken her words to have been intended in such a light. A heavy sigh exhales as he passes a hand over his face, "But you do what you need to when the time comes and I'll…" probably get shitfaced somewhere, but he's not about to say as much and instead ends rather lamely, "deal with it."

It was sarcasm, slightly, but not really a joke, and while she watches him get himself to rights, either oblivious to his apparent state of undress under the sheet or just not seeming to care, she manages to seem calm. For the most part. It’s when he begins talking that a dangerous glint enters her grey eyes and her jaw sets, and by the time he finishes saying his peace she is standing again and fixing him with a hard look, one hand clenched into a fist that suggests she might actually be close to slugging her own man. But she restrains it and says simply, “It’s a contingency plan. I’ve got many. You want to hear them all? One even includes overdosing on fellis. The truth is Max I’m scared as shells. I’ve never been with any man other than you, and now I’m supposed to fuck a dozen different men in this weyr every turn or so, or maybe even beyond should some rider from another weyr be around when she goes up? What if I get pregnant? Hmm? The thought of Yzuruth catching alone is almost enough to make me want to ask for a transfer when we graduate.” And then her voice softens, as she adds, “Because I know what it would do to you.” She pauses and says, sounding tired and weary, “I just asked him to consider it if Yzuruth chases. Not every time.” She turns away from him then, letting out a long breath, but managing to hold her ground. “I’d rather it be you every time,” more whispered than actually meant for his ears.

Max's entire frame stiffens when she puts voice to everything that's been assaulting him mentally on the topic of her green rising. Fingers of the hands at his hips curl tightly into his own flesh and his stubble shadowed jaw strikes a similarly hard line in response to hers. "You think I haven't thought about any of that? It's all I can do, not to drive myself crazy thinking about it," he states through gritted teeth and then shakes his head in futile gesture and goes silent, his gaze dropping to the floor as he tries to school back the emotions threatening to spill over into frustrated anger. Finally he lifts his head, only to find her turned away from him a light frown forming as dark eyes hold to her back, "I told Zen to do what he can," the words coming out low against the air and then hands scrub across his face and he's reaching for her, quietly entreating, "Come here, baby."

Ahnika squeezes her eyes shut with his words, folding her arms over her chest, but listening anyway. There is a slight dip of her head as he responds with what he told Zen, and then a nod. As he reaches for her, seeking her, she hesitates and then turns to meet him partway, sliding one arm around his waist to his back and pressing herself into his chest, with the other arm resting there too, in front of her face. It lingers for just a moment before sliding up to his shoulder and gripping him gently. “It’s too soon to think about, I know, but she’s growing so sharding fast Max and they say greens mature faster than the others … I didn’t want to be caught unprepared. I just wanted to try and have some things in place … Shells, if what they say is true, Tuorth won’t even be ready anyway, when she first rises, so it’d be moot.” She sighs, sagging against him. “I’m just … trying to think of everything, anything I can.”

Strong arms wrap about her shoulders with Max leaning his head in against hers, silent as she speaks with him nodding and giving a low spoken 'Aye' in response to some of what she says. As the last of her words fades on the air, he's silent for a while afterward and then he's drawing away slightly, trying to capture her eyes with his own, arms sliding from around her until hands cup gently to either side of her face, a small smile forming and then slipping behind a sober expression, "Flights they … things can get out of hand sometimes, baby." Frustration flickers out onto his features, "And there ain't a sharding thing I can do to keep you safe." And therein probably lays ninety percent of his problem with the whole affair - his total lack of control over any of it warring with his natural instincts to protect her regardless of whether she needs or wants it. And with that his head dips to claim her mouth in what is meant to be a chaste and reassuring kiss, or at least it starts out that way and then suppressed hunger starts to bleed through and he breaks away, breath a little shallow as he attempts a crooked smile, "You think too much." The tease gently delivered as he wraps his arms back about her, happy to have these few stolen moments together.

As he draws away slightly, Ahnika pulls away too, sliding the second of her hands around his waist then, and looking into his eyes as he cups her face and speaks. She nods slightly, closing her eyes a moment, relishing the feeling of his hands cupping her, and then sighs with the reality of it all. Not regretful, to be sure. She could never regret Jhath. Not ever. Not now. It’s more like anticipating the displeasure of her turnly physical at the Infirmary. Necessary and understanding of it, but one doesn’t have to like it at all. So she goes for an attempt to be reassuring, “I’ll be safe,” after all, in her mind, it’s not like the rider of the dragon who catches Jhath will try and choke her to death. Right? And while that may be true, she probably isn’t realizing how primal, hot, and rough it can get, though. She’s about to say more when his lips capture hers; with her eyes closed, she didn’t see it coming. There is a little gasp of surprise and whimper of pleasure before she relaxes into it and slides her hands up his chest to his shoulders, fighting to maintain that thin layer of guardedness in her head at the same time. Jhath was asleep, yes, and that made it easier, but who knows how much it will take to wake her. As the kiss turns more hungry, Ahnika responds, having longed for it every night since even before the hatching, and her guardedness begins to slip just as he has the good sense to break away. She takes a few extra moments while he speaks to reassert her mental closed ‘bedroom’ door, breathing hard, chest heaving, and then she is reopening her eyes and a delayed smile touches her lips and eyes, settling into his arms once more as he holds her. She closes her eyes against his shoulder then, loving the feeling of his solid frame, feeling safe and warm and supported, “You fight too much.” Not that she’s one to talk. Perhaps indication that in the closer proximity, she’s seen some of his faded bruises, or more likely, the healing cut above his eye. “Were you caught in that bar brawl?” Obviously he didn’t start it, or so Ahni thinks, else Jaya probably would have referred to him instead of ‘ruffians’.

It probably took all of his strength of will to break away from that kiss especially given that whimper of pleasure wrought from Ahnika and the soft pliant body pulled in against his. Which aside from that gentle tease over her thinking too much, has Max slipping into silence as he gathers his wits about him once again. A rough sound somewhere between a chuckle and rueful acceptance is what greets her comment about his fighting but he wisely (in his opinion) lends no words to it. It's her next that has his frame stiffening slightly, a light frown forming, "Bar brawl? Down Jaya's place?" Not liking that he's only hearing about this now.

The redhead smiles at the sound and feel of that chuckle in his frame, but remains where she is, side of her face pillowed by his shoulder as she simply stands in his arms. “Mmhmm,” and that would mean to Ahnika that the injuries Max is healing from is from something else entirely. “I saw her in the kitchen when I was making your pie. She said something about ruffians starting a fight in her bar. Eh. Not sure when it happened though.” There is a little frown for the way his body stiffens and she moves one of her hands to his back to stroke the tension from him, if she can, “I wasn’t there, Love,” stated softly, though if she was she wouldn’t have had to ask him if he was involved in it. She states it anyway, since she can’t really think of any other reason why he’d tense like that. Now she is turning her head to the others side and leaning her face into his neck comfortingly. “So, who were you fighting?” She asks, stifling a yawn.

Considering the nature of his recent meeting with Jaya, this piece of information simply serves to set tension tauter across his shoulders despite the soft caress across his back to try and ease it away. "Shit," the expletive given in a low tone, "She know who they were?" And then it suddenly occurs to him that Ahnika had made her way down to the beast caverns in the dead of night and…on her own at that. Not even the young Jhath at her side. "Maybe you weren't," he responds grimly to the redhead not having been there, "But you did bloody come down here on your own." It having sounded less annoyed and more concerned in his head than the way it comes out. One arm tightens it's hold about her waist while the other slides up her back and finds her braid to idly twist fingers about, "Sharding runner thief," he finally gives in a distracted tone in reply to whom he'd been fighting. Suddenly he pulls away, hands sliding to her arms, eyes holding a grave cast to them as they seek hers out, "Ahni, promise me you'll keep close to the barracks and the others, aye? Don't…go wandering off on your own. Not even if you've got Jhath with you."

Ahnika furrows her brow a little more at the curse and how the tension only seems to increase. “What’s going on?” She asks first, and then answers his question with a slight shake of her head, mentally rewinding the conversation she had had with the bar owner, “No, um, she just called them ‘ruffians’. Said she didn’t know who they were. One was sort of laying on the charm with her, I think. The other paid for damages, she said.” To the comment about coming here on her own, Ahnika frowns, but manages to hold back the scowl she is feeling at that tone of his, unintended or not. After all, Max was right about Phineus before. “I stuck to the darkness as best I could.” Right, because everyone knows the shadows are the safest place for a dragonless green weyrling unable to properly defend herself to be. “Besides, how would I have gotten your pie to you?” Because that is so much more critical than her physical welfare. Dummy. Her brow crinkles a little more at the runner thief comment but anything she was going to say is forestalled by his pulling away and that gravity in his expression. She finally nods slowly, watching him, her eyes meeting his, “I … will.” If there’s any hesitation, it’s mostly in her attempt to think about any times she really does tend to walk alone, and work out a way to change that. “What’s all this about?” She finally asks, in quasi echo to her first.

The tension and stress of the last seven not to mention dark thoughts plaguing from his past has Max slipping his hands off of her arms and stepping away completely to sink heavily onto the edge of his mattress. Head bowed with hands laced together behind his neck and elbows resting on drawn up knees, he stares at the ground for a while in heavy silence. Finally, with a sigh hands drop away and his head lifts to fix an openly troubled look up to Ahnika, "I don't know, love. Something." Shoulders twitch in a discomforted shrug for not being able to pinpoint quite what it is that's drawn an infamous Bitran crime boss' attention down to Southern and more especially, Eastern Weyr. His frown deepens and his expression colors with dissatisfaction as he touches on the route she'd taken to get to him, "You stuck to the darkness? Really? Fuck Ahni!" The curse more to do with the growing weight of the burdens being piled upon his shoulders and fearing he'll drop the ball somewhere along the way, rather than any real anger for her ill advised actions. "You don't never stick to the shadows less you're fetching to sneak up on someone! You always, -always- stay out in the open where you can be easily seen if something happens!" A low growl of annoyance with himself spills out for having taken it out on the redhead and he reaches a hand out toward her, "Sorry baby, didn't mean to snap it's just…" that he's so sharding tired he's not sure which way is up anymore. Rather than wait for her hand to meet his and realizing the lateness of the hour, the beast manager shifts sideways instead and reaches for his trousers, probably meaning to dress and escort her back to the barracks rather than have her walking alone.

Ahnika didn’t like him drawing her back and looking so grim, and so she likes it even less that he moves away from her and gives her that troubled look. She doesn’t move from where he left her standing, but she loves solving problems and for that matter, so does Jhath in her own way, “What can we do?” She might mean her and Max, or her and Zen, or her and the rest of the weyrlings together, but in reality, she means her and Jhath. And that’s about when he snaps at her and the redhead visibly starts, frightened at first, perhaps oddly, and then angry, made visible by her eyebrows lowering and grey eyes narrowing at him. In her mind’s eye, Jhath stirs a little and she closes her eyes and exhales a long, calming breath. On top of that, his quick apology and the tired look he has saves him from any berating she was about to give him. But she doesn’t take his offered hand. “Get some sleep,” she says, sounding tired herself, but not for the same reasons, mostly physical. She has been serving out a penance, after all. Sensing what he means to do as he starts to get dressed, she adds, “I’ll have Waine walk me to the barracks.” She starts to turn and then stop, looking at him over her shoulder, “But … you know if I can help in some way, I will.”

The flicker of regretful smile is sent to Ahnika when she offers her help, and he shakes his head slightly, "Nothing, love." At least not with them still being weyrlings. He's ignoring her statement of having Waine walk her back. He gets so little time with her, that what time he does, is jealously guarded. At least he has the grace to turn his back to her when he stands and drops the sheet (Yup, nothing under there) and shoves legs into trousers. He turns back just in time to reach for a shirt draped over the press and catches that anger coming off of her in response to his earlier snap. Lips press into an unhappy line but he says nothing of it, choosing to continue on the topic of where help can be given as he shoves bare feet into boots, "The less anyone knows the better until I can figure what's going on." Directed more at her fellow weyrlings than herself given that he's gone so far as to admit there's trouble brewing. Now dressed. Sort of, he's not bothered with doing up the buttons of his shirt; he closes the short distance between them, one arm reaching for her waist, the other lifting a hand to brush a stray tendril of hair from her face, unless of course she steps back and out of reach. Quietly spoken, "Don't bust my ass, baby," having somehow taken her earlier directive to get some sleep as withdrawing from him, "I'm doing what I can, aye?" tipping his head to one side and studying her own weary countenance, his next words come warm and gentle, "Let's get you back, hmm? You need your sleep if you're to keep those 'masters in place." Amusement showing up through the layers of stress and tension in a quiet chuckle as he references her recent penance written of.

It’s really a good thing he doesn’t press down the track of that anger thread considering Jhath nearly woke up once already. Ahnika simply nods to the suggestion of discretion. Yet another secret to work to keep out of her mind while Jhath is awake, but she understands the need for it and doesn’t complain. In all, it’s really good practice and helping her to strengthen that mental barrier for when she does need to be more candid and free, like now. As he steps toward her, reaching for her, she turns back around to meet his grasp this time, “I’m not,” busting his ass, at least in her mind. She gives the murmur in mild protest, though, even sound slightly pouty about it, but not angry and indignant anymore. She closes her eyes as he brushes some of her hair away and then reopens them with a slightly guilty smirk with his last words, “I’m not that bad.” Because, again, she doesn’t want to be a burden, quite the opposite, and that includes the weyrlingmasters. Still, her drive for fairness and reasonability is more of a priority than her need to not be a pain in the ass, and so she’ll speak up if she thinks someone is being unfair, no matter what. “My first one, in fact.” In two and a half months of weyrlinghood. So, if that’s the average then we can look for about three more before the turn is out? She leans in, wanting to be held by him one last time before they go, and apparently not arguing over whether he escorts her or Waine does, not anymore anyway. “I love you.”

Her protest at not having been busting his ass and the slight pout to her tone is met with a crooked smile and Max moves his hand to brush his thumb over her lower lip. Another chuckle and a lift of the brow intersected by the pink scar greets her apparent 'misbehavior' in weyrling class, and he pulls Ahnika in closer, a corner of his mouth lifting in a lopsided grin, "You keep 'em on their toes, baby." Weyrlingmasters around the planet, be grateful that it's the redhead and not the beast manager you have to contend with, or both at the same time. If anything, he's approving of her standing her ground and speaking her mind. Perhaps knowing she'd not do so at the jeopardy of others. Then again, he's quite possibly, biased too. "I love you too, baby," this shortly before dipping his head to claim her mouth briefly with a light press of lips and tight wrap of arms about her before releasing her and holding his hand out to her, "C'mon on then." Eyes drop to where she'd left the basket upon first entering as they pass by it and in a display more in tune to his roguish self, a lecherous grin breaks free and couples with a teasing waggle of brows, "Or you could just stay here and help me eat, pie?"

Ahnika is blushing on the supportive commentary about her keeping them on their toes, and then grins, softening the grin for a smile as he leans to kiss her lightly and she returns it in kind. She reluctantly withdraws from the kiss and his arms as he holds his hand out to her and she takes it. Her eyes drop to the basket with the fruity smell wafting from it. “My pie is all just for you, my Heart,” Ahnika says with a smile and a genuinely innocent expression for the reply. Which, unbeknownst to Ahni with regards to Jhath’s future flights, or lackthereof, is actually true even in the metaphorical sense, for all the stress and heartache the fretting over such things is causing the couple. If only they knew, it’d be such a load off their minds. “I’ll sit with you a while if you want to get a piece while it’s still warm?” Oh vile temptress.

And there he goes having to bite his tongue oh so very hard again. Max clears his throat in a poor attempt at keeping the low and wicked chuckle at bay, but is a little less successful in that regard and so it comes out as a sort of choking sound. There's just too much wrong with her last statement too for him to do little more than turn an openly hungry look onto her and it has nothing to do with the tantalizing smells emanating from that basket either. Using their joined hands to pull her toward him slightly and using that forward momentum the beast manager bends, wraps his arm about the backs of her knees and setting his shoulder to Ahnika's middle…tosses her over his shoulder and stalks out of his office and down the aisle growling low, "That's about enough out of you for one night, woman. Bed!" Leaving her to figure it out while fully expecting her beat at his back and demand to be set back down again.

A worried frown appears at the sort of choking sound, but it is replaced by a mild start at the hungry look. Not that Ahnika wouldn’t mind it normally, quite the opposite; it’s just a non-sequitor as far as she figures and so it’s confusing and surprising. So, in that slight startlement, his swooping of her up and over his shoulder in a firefighter’s carry is done too quickly for her to react to stop it. Instead, she shrieks reflexively, possibly startling the animals or some of them, and then yes, starts pounding at Max’s back and bum with the flat of her hands while her legs scissor and flail as much as possible. That is, until Jhath wakes up, and then Ahni’s antics are cut immediately short, going suddenly still and quiet, while she silently works extremely hard on quelling any immediate ‘call to arms’ by the alarmed green dragonet, which she manages to do, insofar as the oversized green righter-of-wrongs is huffing it out of the weyrling barracks on a direct course with the beast caverns and mad as hell. It’s a good thing they aren’t flying yet or able to go *between* else she’d be there a lot faster.

Demands to be set down he'd expected, shrieks not so much and as such Max taps a light though playful smack to Ahnika's butt, "Quit it," when it's Renegade that's one of those animals starting to get all antsy. Those self same shrieks draw Waine quickly from the shadows but as soon as he sees the beast manager with redhead tossed over his shoulder he withdraws once again. A snicker comes from the big lout as they pass by him, "Say goodbye to Waine," he instructs the redhead who has suddenly gone quiet, simply assuming that she's given up the struggle. And then they're out into the bowl with him not being aware of one huffy green dragonet on a direct path with him and her 'captured' lifemate. Uh oh?

Ahnika scowls distractedly in Waine’s direction as they pass by, though considering she’s facing Max’s butt right now, it possibly goes unnoticed. To Max’s smack on her bum, she only wiggles a little, still too distracted with worry for Jhath and trying to calm her and what she’s going to do to Max and so it is out into the bowl and the night air before she states with eerie calm, “Max … I think you need to put me down now.” Not a shouted or indignant demand and she’s not hitting him now either. So, if that wasn’t enough she says, “I … couldn’t stop Jhath … she’s not happy.” Up ahead, the thunderous beats of silver-taloned legs and feet pounding hard-packed earth heralds the large green’s approach, more than twice Ahni’s size now.

What Ahnika says probably registers at around the same time Jhath comes into view. But rather than be startled or turn and bolt in the opposite direction, Max quite calmly sets the redhead down and turns his focus onto the oncoming green, hands held to his sides in a non-threatening show. With a glance sideways to the green weyrling, the beast manager then lifts both chin and voice and starts loudly and clearly, "Ah, there you young Jhath. I was just bringing your bonded to you. She needs sleep." Which isn't exactly a lie. And then? Having had a rather enormous brown playing nursemaid to him from the time he could crawl and toss himself off of a ledge, he'll simply stand his ground, eyes fixed to the large green dragonet and leave the next move to her.

Even as Ahnika is set down and Jhath comes into view, the weyrling’s grey eyes are unfocused and her expression only partly in the here and now. With a fierce roar that is much bigger than one would think belongs to the dragonet, she bounds forward again, eyes swirling red, and snaps her wings out to help her stop from barreling into the couple as she skids and sprays gravel and dirt. Ahnika doesn’t flinch at the spray, though she does blink a little in reflex to keep it from her eyes, and she doesn’t seem to register Max’s words, and instead seems to be heavily distracted with an internal dialogue of her own, only to have the green dragonet snort and then issue a mournful, soulful cry at Ahni. “Sorry,” she murmurs to him distractedly, stepping forward toward the posturing green, “She’s …” and Ahni doesn’t finish. Jhath rumbles at Max grumpily but some of the redness has dimmed in her eyes as Ahnika settles along side her with an arm around her neck. There’s a snort and a rake of the earth with her silver talons from Jhath as if daring Max to try something of the sort again. “Love you,” Ahnika murmurs softly to Max, and is already urging Jhath around to escort her back the way she came.

Max turns his head away from the spray of gravel and dirt sent their way by skidding-to-a-stop dragonet. Whatever it is that's going on between the weyrling and dragon, he doesn't seem too perturbed by either it, or that mournful cry coming from Jhath. Or perhaps he does if the slight tightening of his jaw is anything to go by. "Pissed," the beast manager finishes off where Ahnika started out on what her dragon is, "I get it." Said somewhat stiffly. And while he should likely send apologies the dragonet's way, he doesn't, simply sending a short nod her way by means of acknowledging her displeasure with him. He doesn't however back down from the challenge thrown his way by the earth raking, posturing green and instead sets an even look to her, "You and me are going to have to have a talk one day." Well, more likely him doing the talking and her doing the listening but the idea is there. With that he'll turn an edge of a smile to Ahnika, and give quietly, "Love you too, baby." And then he turns and heads back toward the beast caverns, not waiting to watch the green pair leave. Actually he does, but only once he's stepped into shadows (against the advice given Ahnika earlier) and the discontented expression he wears, won't be seen.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Queen - "Dragon Attack"

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