Safety First


D'lan.jpg Maura.jpg

Date: 7/15/11
Location: Drill Grounds/Lakeshore - Eastern Weyr
Synopsis: Maura is scolded. Rar!
Rating: If above PG-13, please note here.
Logger: Maura

Lost in her own little world; or, at least one comprising of her commentary and Rikath’s echoing around in her brain. She’s gone through drills by rote and routine only, already regretting not taking another day to get back into the swing of things. And that very thought is what more than likely causes her groan when she finally jumps down from the blue’s back and gives his hide an affectionate shove. “Go on to the pens – we’ll hunt later. Promise.” And then it’s back to the slightly furrowed brow and thoughtful expression as she peels off gloves and hat and jacket and starts heading across the bowl. People? What people!

Maura’s absence from drills was noted but wasn’t enough to raise any alarm bells given that Randi still had them running a few clandestine errands here and there, although it was strange that the young bluerider would have been sent off on her own. It was only during the chance meeting with P’sec while taking an evening stroll along the lakeshore the night before that D’lan had learned the true reason. Thus it was that he’d kept surreptitious watch over Maura during drills. But now, with the wings dispersing, the brownrider, instead of following a few of them to the bar, hangs back, taking to an idle lean against the mottled side of his dragon, his piercing blue gaze, latched onto the former Igenite, “What was the very first thing you were taught before that first raid?” The question couched in an idle conversational tone, his visage devoid of expression.

Is someone talking to her? Someone is talking to her aren’t they. And it’s a voice familiar enough to nudge Maura into glancing back over her shoulder to look around and be sure. And having already stuffed gloves into the arms of her jacket, she goes through the motion of draping it all over her arm while a loud sigh echoes back and forth in her mind. She is, however, smart enough not to let that past her lips though. Instead, her eyes sharpen back into focus and she stares back at D’lan. “Safety first. Why? We didn’t make any mistakes today.” Lalalala. Pretending is fun! “And I haven’t done any timing it.” Frown.

Pulling his gloves off one finger at a time and then stuffing into the waistband of leather pants, D’lan takes him time about undoing the fastenings on his jacket. Maura’s evasive response draws a soft sound of wryness that catches in the back of his throat. “It’s a good rule of thumb for life in general,” he notes, still using that same idle tone. “It’s why we always worked in pairs,” back during the raids, here he looks up, a sigh of relief heard as the last fastening comes free and cool air rushes in over the sweat drenched shirt beneath.

There’s a moment where Maura’s expression tightens, and she folds her arms across her chest in an already defensive posture. “Oh let me guess. You’ve either been talking to P’sec, or Ch’rii. But I’m going to guess the former.” She decides, while watching the familiar post-drill heat relief routine. “Look, I had no reason to think this was going to be any different than all the other times I went to give her a few marks. I’ve been going there since /before/ we ever started the raids. And while I’m sure she’d have –loved- all the attention it would garner to have me dragging one of you around with me, it was never necessary alright?” Now she changes direction, heading towards the direction of the lake instead of back through the bowl to the caverns.

D’lan initially has little to no reaction to the defensive stance that Maura takes up. In fact, he maintains his silence right the way through her explanation, his expression devoid of the roguish charm he seems to wear so well, even when she makes mention of his brownriding counterpart being aware of the situation with her sister. “You’d rather we didn’t care?” Only now does a brow lift in pointed manner. Shrugging out of his jacket and laying it over a nearby boulder, he doesn’t look set to go after the bluerider but instead remains where he is. “Life is made up of mistakes that we can’t take back, Maura. All we can do is learn from them,” he calls out. Or bury them way down deep where no one can find them such as he does.

“No, I’d just rather you not start out a conversation by trying to lecture me.” Maura replies, on her way to walking past. “I was going to tell all of you. Ask for help, even. Once I’d had a few days to pull myself together. But there was Zekoith when we landed. And then P’sec when I thought it was safe to head for the baths. And now you.” There’s more there in her expression to say. But by now she’s gone far enough that he’s had to call out. « Smooth. » Rikath feels compelled to comment, from his safe distance at the feeding pens. « And for the record, she already knows to take someone with her when she goes back to Igen. She even thought of that one all by herself. » When one is snarly, the other one is too!

Lips press together at Maura’s reply with the brownrider setting her with a closed look before stating quietly pointed tone, “We wouldn’t lecture if we didn’t care. Don’t say you wouldn’t do the same were the positions reversed.” Only then does D'lan push away from Wyncrath who seems to be dozing in the sun and paying little to no attention to the conversation, and trails a good few steps behind the bluerider. That is until Rikath comes snarling in. For a moment or two there’s nothing, just a blank void where one might expect the brown’s mind to be. And then, slowly but surely a low hissing starts in the distance, swelling and building like the sound of a thousand tunnelsnakes rubbing up against each other and then shatters into a million tiny pieces of razor sharp glass. « Clever, » that the word left to hover in the ensuing silence, « Did it take her long to come up with that? » Mocking more of the blue himself than his rider.

« Less time than it takes you to ever get up off your lazy ass. » And where Wyncrath is a cacophony of snakes and shattered glass, Rikath is the quick snap of lightning striking stone; the pieces that crumble off banging against each other relentlessly when they fall down the face of the cliff. Maura is trying her best to pointedly ignore the draconic conversation going on, but her blue is making it impossible; hoping to further incite her own temper by snidely relaying the brown’s comment back to her. Only, /he/ leaves out the part where it’s meant as a dig towards him and not her. Thus, her indignant gasp. “/Well/.” That’s all she can think of to say at first, having little idea up until the last moment that the other rider is near behind. But by then she’s already shed the rest of her riding gear save for the shirt and underthings (sorry D’lan!) and made her way into the water. “I never said I wasn’t’ a hypocrite.” Now that right there? -Totally- clever response.

Wyncrath has heard it so many times before that the response from Rikath barely even registers other than a faintly slithered, « Whaaaatevaaaah » in return. D’lan has long since given up trying to interfere in the arguments that his brown often finds himself in the middle of and so takes Maura’s indignation as being levelled at him. As such he lengthens his strides and closes the gap, stepping over the clothing she drops on her way to the lake, he doesn’t however go in after her, merely standing at the water’s, fists to hips and setting her with an intent look that may or may not have something to do with her half nude state. “You keep pushing those away that care for you and want to help and one day you’ll turn around to find no one behind you,” says he, standing…behind her.

“Who’s pushing anyone away?” Maura demands, treading water once she’s far enough out. “What do you want me to do, or say? Because I just don’t know.” She admits. “Do all of you really think I’d voluntarily ask you along to a quick trip to the local strip joint? Really?” Okay, now she’s a little incredulous. “Okay, so it’s not really a strip club, but you get the idea. And then, when I /do/ get back, and I can barely say anything that makes sense should I have called a group meeting so that I could just sit there crying while you all stare at me like I’ve grown a second head? /RIkath/ had to tell Zekoith (and therefore Ch’rii) what happened cause I was a total fucking wreck and I couldn’t string together two sentences in a comprehensive way. So I’m –sorry- ok? I /still/ can’t discuss it without totally losing my shit.” If she could visibly have her hands on her hips, she really would. Hard to do while treading water though.

Would he have turned down an invite to a strip joint? Not bloody likely, the smirk that twitches onto D’lan’s mouth, says. It’s gone as quickly as it arrived though, leaving in its wake an expression of frustration almost equal to Maura’s. Balled fists leave his hips and hands uncurl to sweep through sweat dampened hair, “For shit’s sake, Maura. Forgive us if we’re all a little jumpy and overprotective here, but we’ve lost a few too many to want to risk losing another.” Those losses already carved deeply into the brownrider’s psyche given the terrible secret he bears. “Give us a break, sweetheart,” this spoken with a touch more gentleness to his tone as he tries to appeal to her sense of reason, “You’re family and family sticks together.”

Don’t think Maura missed that smirk. Not a chance, since she makes a disgusted sound at the back of her throat. “I never said that none of you wouldn’t voluntarily –go-, just that you couldn’t have expected me to voluntarily –ask-. I’d have to drag every last one of you out just to go home if I did.” She mutters. “I’m not mad at anyone for being jumpy or overprotective. You’re all mad at ME and I can’t do anything to go back and change what happened. Don’t you think that if I could do it all over again I’d bring someone with me, just this one time? Because I would. I promise I would and I can’t stop thinking about it.” At least now she looks as troubled as he does. “And that’s why I’ve said I’ll be bringing one of you with me, even just going to pick her up from Igen Weyr’s infirmary. I have no intention of taking care of this by myself.”

He’s male and about every male likely gets that reaction from a female when it comes to such male orientated places of entertainment. Which would be why D’lan had held his tongue to begin with and not given verbal response. The outburst that follows does however have the brownrider setting Maura with a slightly amused look as he points out, “Well yes, though I’d think that you wouldn’t have too hard a time getting M’pret and H’tek out of there.” Perhaps he’s trying to help lighten her mood with that comment? Either way there’s a long sigh. “I’m not mad at you, Maura,” though he can’t speak for the others, “I’m annoyed at the situation. But,” and here he draws in a cleansing breath and pragmatism shows itself, “What’s done is done. No use beating yourself up over something you can’t change.” Says he. “If you need a bit more time,” to regroup and gather herself together, “Wyncrath and I will take your sweeps.” The brown upon hearing his name opens an eye and sends out a snort of air which likely sounds like disgust for the extra work but is in effect, terse agreement being given.

“Smartass.” Yes, it does lighten the mood enough to make Maura smirk with a bit of amusement. Though she looks –very- capable of throwing something at D’lan for making such a comment. There’s a touch of shrewd observation in her gaze when he continues though. “Huh. You think /you’re/ annoyed. You shoulda seen the images of what Rikath wanted to do.” One might assume that’s her attempt to lighten things up, but no really… those were not family friendly thoughts the blue was giving off for a long while there. “I appreciate that offer.” She starts, taking in a deep breath and diving under the water then to let the cooler lake rinse away the sweat from drills out of it. And once she surfaces… “But keeping busy is helping me keep it together right now. Maybe… when I have to go get her. And if she won’t give me any names, when I have to go back to that place and find some information. /With/ help. Don’t give me the look. Please. Not the look. I’d ask you to go with me, but P’sec and Ch’rii are both more familiar with the area and the people. It will be easier for one of them to help me drag information out of someone. And if too many of us go, people just won’t talk.”

Arms come to fold across his broad chest with D’lan unashamedly and openly appreciating the ‘wet t-shirt’ look Maura wears when she resurfaces. Though it’s only the rake of piercing blue eyes that gives him away for a brief moment for his expression is unusually immobile. When she accuses him of employing a certain look, a brow breaks free from his unreadable visage but the brownrider makes no comment, simply nodding his approval at the two that she will be taking with her on the return trip. “Good choices,” he states not looking in the least bit put out for not being invited along. A chuff of sound coming from Wyncrath has D’lan turning his head that way and then a light frown forms. Probably as a result of what gets passed between dragon and rider. “Are you going to be okay?” concern sifting into his rich baritone for having just been reminded of somewhere he’s supposed to be, he’s reluctant to leave the bluerider on her own if she shouldn’t be.

Though Maura’s quite unable to help a bit of a grin at D’lan’s obvious appraisal, she still sighs at the whole stone-faced expression. “Going to tell me why you won’t so much as crack a smile today?” she wonders, handwaving past their discussion of her companion(s) for the return trip to Igen. She is obviously not looking forward to any part of that. Wyncrath’s sudden ‘alert’ catches her attention next however, and she glances the way of the brown before looking back at his rider. “You have somewhere to be.” is guessed, a vague smile showing up in her expression. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be alright. Rikath’s about done and he’ll be here shortly.“

“Not exactly a laughing matter,” D’lan states, though whether he’s referencing what has him less than ebullient this day or Maura’s troubles, is left undefined at this point. Once again his gaze pulls off of the bluerider and drifts back over to the brown whose long whip-like tail is snaking from side to side as if agitated about something. “Yeah,” his answer succinct in having somewhere else to be, “but we can stay until your boy gets back.” And for a brief moment a small and somewhat lacklustre smile appears.

“What isn’t a laughing matter? I get the distinct impression you aren’t talking about what’s going on in Igen.” Having hoped to complete her swim away from any eyes at all, it’s Maura’s turn to frown before she swims back towards the shore and starts donning her riding leathers again. They’ll be wet, but not nearly as wet as if she’d actually worn them into the Lake. “Did Rikath piss of Wyncrath again? “ The whiplike motion of tail is eyed a little hesitantly, as she tries to divine what the brown’s problem is. “I’m not going to keep you from whatever you need to do.” The bluerider insists. “I told him to make it quick. I’m not in the water anymore, so it’s not like I’ll drown without him. “

“Dragonriders getting beaten up,” D’lan replies smoothly, his expression giving nothing away. As Maura leaves the lake and starts to pull on her leathers while still dripping wet, a brow goes up and a small margin of amusement drifts in, “I hope you’re not planning on Betweening like that?” Popsicle Maura. It’s a wickedly entertaining idea to the man for obvious reasons. “Rikath?” the brownrider shoots another look to his dragon that has started stalking closer, “Oh. No, he just doesn’t like being reminded of his shelling day. Says it makes him feel old.” To which Wyncrath utters a noise that comes out something between a snort and a choking sound of outrage for being made the object of his rider’s evasiveness. As to keeping him from wherever he needs to be, the smile that appears is just a flash, there and gone again in an instant as D’lan takes up his jacket and shrugs back into it. “Not in the lake, no,” he responds on Maura being safe from drowning.

“You know, for a man who doesn’t like others keeping things to themselves you’re awfully tight-lipped.” A fact which earns D’lan a disgruntled stare from Maura. Wringing the water out of her hair takes care of some of the dripping-wetedness, but not enough to make that much of a difference in whether she should head Between or not. “Of course not! I just don’t like heading to the baths until late, when it’s empty right now. So… the lake, until later. I’ll dry off soon enough.” She is also –thoroughly- confused at his evasion and comment about shelling day. “Ok, then. None of my business. Got it.” She’s absolutely not going to press the issue given how poorly she reacts to similar techniques. Instead, choosing only to reply to the last comment. “Where else, exactly, would I drown then?” She’s got her hands on her hips waiting for an answer to that one as the blue in question is seen swooping in towards the water.

That disgruntled look coming off of Maura earns a level one in return and while he could likely drop a dozen platitudes onto her, D’lan doesn’t choosing instead to move onto the next topic. “Wear those bruises with honor, Maura,” his voice dropping low as with his jacket still hanging open, the brownrider closes the distance between them, “You got them defending another. There’s no shame in that.” A quick smile and a wink is what she gets in response to his comment about shelling days and if she’s not evaded his coming into her personal space, he’ll place a hand to either side of her face and brush a kiss to her forehead, “In your own lake or remorse for what happened. What’s done is done, right?” Gently spoken.

Oh if only she were a little less mature; now would be the perfect time to stick out her tongue and make a face at D’lan for the level look. Every single renegade is a stuborrn ass, which is probably why they’re ‘renegades’ to begin with. Can she really come up with a good protest against what’s said about bruises and how they’re gotten? No, so she keeps an entirely vain response to that completely to herself. “What’s done is done.” Maura agrees, obviously not evading the intrusion into her personal space. Instead, she’ll be clingy for a moment and wrap her arms around his waist to lean against the brownrider for support a moment, assuming he lets her. And then pull away once the splash of stone-hued wings marks Rikath’s obvious ploy for attention. “Go on, get your stuff done before he…” and she gestures back at the water. “… starts sending me ledge-shoving images again.”

Hands leave Maura’s face and D’lan wraps his arms about her shoulders pulling her into his embrace as she leans in against him. The expression of guilt ridden remorse that slips past his barricades goes unseen over her shoulder and lands on Wyncrath. The brown goes still, even his ever twitching tail barely moves as he sets his rider with an intent look. « The one is not the other. » his mental reminder slithers and hisses in, lacking in the usual sarcasm and bite he reserves for others. Rikath making a splashy entrance snaps D’lan out of it and has him releasing the bluerider. Stepping back, a smirk is sent her blue’s way, “Tell him the next time he does that,” send ledge-shoving images at rather crucial moments in time, “Wyn’s going to send him one he’ll need a bucket of soapsand to scrub his brain with afterward,” wink.

The fastenings done up on his jacket, the brownrider is soon astride his lifemate and pulling gloves and goggles on, “Back in a few.” In a few days that is but he’ll leave it sounding like a few hours. With a leap upward, mottled brown wings unfurl and scoop up the air in powerful strokes until the brown pair are high enough to blink Between.

Themesong: Nickelback - Good Times Gone -

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