Conditional Release - [Tag] Parker/Mar'lus

The main, central area of the Weyr, since it's no longer a "bowl" like before, people have taken to calling it the courtyard, or more often, the Weyr Yard. Dragons land and take off here while people walk from building to building going along their daily duties.
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Caryatid
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Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:23 pm

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Sunaia had finally reached the stage of her treatment in which the healers were cautiously optimistic that she could be considered healthy by the time eggs began to crack. Encouraged by her progress, they'd added something new to her daily regiment: exercise. No laps around the yard yet, but she could lift and carry, she could reach and bend.

The combination, as they'd described it, gave her the first twinkling of an idea. She enjoyed lending a hand to others, she very much liked spending time with dragons, and she needed to do something physical. Taken together, this meant washing and oiling something-- or, more properly, someone.

Carrying twin buckets was certainly labour enough. It had been so long since she'd done anything truly physical that by the time she reached the lake, sweat had already glued flyaway strands of hair to her brow and temples, and her upper torso-- arms included-- were burning. But there was something pleasant about that tingling heat, even if she felt about as useful as a wet rag. It was good to be considered useful again. It was even better, to know that she stood a chance of being ready when the eggs began to rock.

But that was still in the distant future. Now, faced with a number of dragons gleaming and water-dappled in the strong sunlight, she set down the buckets and brushes to shade her eyes. Was Zenjarth about...? No. Alas! Sandy bronze lashed with copper drew her attention instead. The rider wasn't visible-- no doubt hidden on the other side of his beast-- but the gleaming combination of colours drew her attention all the same. Smaller than some bronzes, there was still bulk there which no doubt made washing him down and oiling him up extremely labour-intensive.

And what was Sunaia here for, if not to help with the labour?

Marshalling a new breath, she hefted up her burdens and picked her way towards the pair. There was a wispiness to her voice but it at least no longer crackled with congestion when she breathlessly called, "Excuse me? Would you like some help? Healers orders, I'm at your service, sir."
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Parker
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Title: High Ebilness
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Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:57 pm

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Mars and Shardamakath was acclimating very well to their new home. His apartment was unpacked and settled as he wanted it. They were getting to know their fellow wingmates. At this point he couldn't say he didn't like any of them, however, Mars, in the back of his mind, always ruffled a little at being just a follower and not in some sort of rank of authority. He had been a leader pretty much all his life and while he didn't mind the hard work it took to get there, there was always a little part of him that was irked during the process. Thank Faranth he had Shardamakath who helped to keep him in line during those moments when he wanted to argue against authority for no good reason.

However, for all they were becoming accustomed to the new home there was one way in which he was not acclimated yet. That was the slightly warmer and more humid temperature. Because of that, anytime in the last week or so that Shardamakath had asked to be bathed, Mars jumped at the chance. The cool water of the lake did a lot to cool of the man who'd grown use to Benden weather.

Would terribly mind scratching a little lower on that flank? I do believe my hide is not yet use to this temperature either. Shardamakath asked kindly. Since they moved here his hide seemed to need more oiling than normal. Mars happily did as he was asked and began to scrub that spot more vigorously. Because Mars wanted to be in the water and get splashed so he could cool off, he was wearing just a pant of light linen pants he didn't care if they got wet and no shirt.

"Excuse me? Would you like some help? Healers orders, I'm at your service, sir."

Shardamakath turned to look at whoever had spoken as Mars came around from the other side of his sandy bronze. He took the bandanna out of his back pocket and wiped his face before speaking. "Well, if it is healers orders I do not wish to become on their bad side. I would very much appreciate the help." He stated with a smile as he moved closer to the young woman. He didn't recognize her, but then he didn't recognize most of the weyr yet. He held his hand out to her in proper greeting. "Mar'lus and this is Shardamakath. Most just call me Mars. What is your name?"

Shardamakath gave a small trill of happiness. Candidates really are marvelous creatures. Nothing makes me feel more spoiled than extra sets of hands for scrubbing. Not that you do not do a wonderful job yourself, dear Mar'lus. The bronze stated for both of them to hear. Mars chuckled and gave Shar a scratch under the chin that the dragon leaned down to receive. Then, he dipped his head lower so Mars could scratch his favorite spot....his extra long head knobs. "I've only worked on this side of him if you would like to start somewhere else." The shirtless man suggested.
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Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:40 pm

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Oh. Oh.

For an instant, all Sunaia could do was gaze up at the bronzerider. It felt like someone had turned her heart over in her chest and then squeezed it as she tooks him in. Shirtless. Why did he have to be shirtless?

She was no stranger to the ever-constant ebb and flow of relationships-- in all of their wondrous variety-- which took place within a Weyr. No child with a baker's dozen of half-siblings could be oblivious, and that was separate and aside of observing what occurred before, during, and after flights. But mindful of the rules, ever and always mindful of what was required of her, she'd never dabbled herself. Those who caught her eye never knew it, and the crushes always faded.

Until a new one appeared, as it had here, ushered in by Mar'lus naked to the waist and bright in the autumn sunlight. Thank Faranth he was dragging a handkerchief over his face; it gave Sunaia time to control her expression.

Brushing her hand off on her hip to dry it from the slop of water from the bucket, she reached out to gently accept the gesture. Formality was good. She could follow a formal script as well as anyone could, even if downcast eyes lent a touch of shyness to her smile. "It's nice to meet you both. Mar'lus and Shardamakath. I'm Sunaia. Ah..." He'd given a nickname but she hesitated before offering her own. "Papa calls me Sunny."

Thank Faranth for the bronze and his boldness in bespeaking them both. The little trill he gave-- so sweet a sound out of so big a creature!-- pulled her back from the brink of self-consciousness. She laughed, turning to the dragon. "You've caught me out, I'm really here to help spoil you, sir. Do you prefer your brushes stiff-bristled or soft?"

Because she came equipped with both. Sunaia ducked down to retrieve them so they could be held up in demonstration.
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Parker
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Title: High Ebilness
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Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:02 pm

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Mar'lus didn't notice the slight blush that had spread on the young woman's cheeks as he had appeared before her. He hadn't thought anything about being shirtless. While he wasn't an immodest man, he wasn't so modest that he was afraid of being shirtless around others. Granted he had no idea what affect that would have on the young woman. He wasn't arrogant by any means, but he was active and it showed in how good of shape he was in.

He gave her hand a firm shake before releasing it. "Sunny it is then." He stated kindly. Mars wasn't the best at guessing ages, but he'd guess her to be in her late teens. "Here. Allow me to help you with those." He said and then reached down and grabbed the bucket she had sat down when she shook his hand.

Shardamakath cocked his head to the side a little and thought about her question. Truth be told, I am fond of both types of brushes, but I think for today I would enjoy the soft bristles the most. Thank you. The bronze answered her politely. My head knobs are itching the most. If you do not mind, you can sit on my neck to reach them easier, Sunny. Shardamakath lowered down to make it easier for her to get onto him if she so wished. The bronze knew how excited candidates could become at the prospect of being that close to a dragon and he was the sort to encourage that sort of behavior.

Mars chuckled and shook his head at his dragon. "You don't have to climb onto him if you don't wish, but if you want to and need a hand, let me know." He offered and then went back to cleaning the spot he'd left off on. He didn't really say much after that as he wasn't the most talkative of people even if he did seem amiable enough.
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Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:13 pm

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Suddenly it seemed a wonderful thing, to be a stranger. Sunaia supposed this situation would play out very differently at Telgar, where she and her father were so much more well known. But here there was no scorn over his scandals and no fawning to gain favour. He really didn't recognize her-- and wasn't that a relief, given the way her pulse was racing? The less attention paid by Mar'lus, the more opportunity she had to pretend like she wasn't immensely aware of exactly where the bronzerider was, and how the light was picking out his figure.

It was also a blessing that her heightened response could be attributed to the excitement of a chance a-dragonback. She had no nerves over clambering onto a bronze, familarity with Zenjarth had seen to that. "That's very kind of you, Shardamakath. Thank you. Ah..."

Sunaia hesitated, surveying the climb before you. It might be best if Mar'lus did lend a hand but that would necessitate contact. After stealing another look at him from the corner of her eyes, she decided it was the better option to try to scramble up on her own. He was busy, after all. "Oh, I think I have it. You're busy there. It's alright."

Yeah. That was the ticket. He was busy and seemed disinclined to chat. So she bent to slip out of her slippers, and to tie up the folds of her simple work-dress around her knees. Still Telgar-pale, and skinny from recovering from illness, they were nothing to look out-- spindly, really, and lacking in anything resembling strength. But she knew where to put her bare foot on the bronze's forelimb to shove herself upwards, reaching with one hand for his neckridges to try to heave herself into place.

"Papa's dragon," colour carefully not mentioned, "sometimes gets itchy headknobs between oilings. When I was little, I was small enough to sit between them. It must have looked ridiculous. A dragon wearing a child for a crown. He never let me fall. I don't think it would work as-- oof-- as well now."
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Parker
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Title: High Ebilness
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Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:19 pm

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Mar'lus gave a nod as her assurance that she didn't need his help to get onto his bronze's back. He didn't argue, either, for the sake of chivalry. If she said she could manage then he trusted that she was sure. Then, Mars went back to finish scrubbing the one spot he'd been working on before Sunny came to help them.

I know how much you love to be alone with your own thoughts, Mar'lus, but perhaps you should take it upon yourself to actually converse with the young girl. Shardamakath commented to his rider only as he made sure that he held still while Sunny mounted onto his neck ridge. He was careful to keep his head turned in such a way that she couldn't grab onto a head knob even if she wanted to. Not that he thought she would, but he'd had enough passengers do that automatically that now it was habit to keep them out of reach. He got it....they were way longer than usual, but that didn't mean they were a handhold.

If she wishes to talk to me all she needs to do is talk. I will not blatantly ignore her comments. You know that. Mar'lus stated as he scrubbed. He was a reticent man, not given to much small talk. I do know that, Mar'lus, but I think it would be good for you and her if you at least tried to make small talk. Ask her a question. It does not have to be anything important. Ask her what she hopes to impress. Shardamakath suggested then turned his attention back to Sunny. I bet that was a sight to behold. No, I do not think it would work very well now. Not that you are that big, but I am not the largest of bronzes.

Mars gave a sigh, but he supposed his bronze was right. "So Sunny....what do you hope to impress to? Do you have an preference?" That wasn't hard.
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Caryatid
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Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:41 pm

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It was enough like her childhood-- even perched on neck instead of head-- that Sunaia felt herself sliding into a warm contentment. She recognized the care with which Shardamakath tilted his head, keeping those unusually long headknobs just out of reach, and she saw why that might be. They were sensitive and so as she applied the brush to bronzen hide, care was taken to provide no reason to flinch. She scrubbed the brush over the bronze's 'ridges, and the nooks and crannies in between, but didn't threaten higher.

"You're exactly the size you should be," she told him quietly, a smile laced through her voice. "And it's good I haven't gained all of my weight back. I'm supposed to be spoiling you, not crushing you."

After that, it was good to work in silence. She was almost able to forget Mar'lus, nearby. Almost. His proximity, his exact position, never quite failed to ping on her heightened radar. But moments of quiet allowed some of her equilibrium to return.

At least until he asked that question and she felt herself flush with something other than her burgeoning crush on the man. It sounded like the question was kindly met and the last thing she wanted to do was to risk having him see her as a whiner, by answering honestly. But riders sometimes had a knack for seeing through half-truths...

With ruddy cheeks, and her lower lip tucked between her teeth, Sunaia glanced from the back of the bronze's head to the top of the rider's head. Could she be funny? Maybe she should try to be funny. Maybe she'd succeed, even with ruddy cheeks. Maybe she would even be lucky, and he'd like funny.

"Bronze, of course! Preferably someone as handsome as... as Shardamakath here. Tawny and patterned. And kind. But since no one's likely to manage all of those things together, and you've already won him, I suppose I'll have to go back to being assistant to the headwoman, if they'll have me. Can you pass the longer handle for the brush, please Mar'lus?"

There. Humour and a diversion. Sunaia felt rather clever-- and bold enough to ask (with mingled curiousity and shyness), "Did you dream of impressing bronze before he found you?"
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Parker
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Title: High Ebilness
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Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:15 pm

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Shardamakath practically purred at the feel of having two brushes scrubbing his hide at the same time. Mars kept a chuckle to himself, but his age old theory that most dragons acted like over-sized house felines was only reaffirmed by his bronze's noises. He refrained this time, but there were times he would tease Shardamakath and ask him if he'd like to have a belly scratch while he was at it. The bronze rarely found that very funny.

Thank you, dear. I sincerely doubt that you could ever squash me. Weight makes little difference to me. Shardamakath said to her with only a touch of arrogance in his voice. What dragon worth his salt would admit to not being able to carry something? To his credit, Mars couldn't remember a time that his bronze had ever complained about being too weighed down and they had done some mighty lifting in their time.

Her answered earned a chuckle from Mars and from Shardamakath a boosted ego and a trill. Obviously no woman had ever impressed to a bronze before, but the answer did much to please both of them for very biased reasons. "Careful, keep saying things like that and he will never leave you alone again." Mars warned her jokingly. He grabbed the long handled brush and moved closer to her to hand her up the item. "I'm sure no matter the color, you'll have a dragon find you." He said kindly, obviously making an effort at being more social than he normally was.

However, her next question caught him a bit off guard. He really didn't like talking about himself and he disdained telling anyone that he'd been basically a prisoner when he impressed to Shardamakath. You do not have to tell her all the details, but you should answer the question honestly. Shardamakath said to his rider with some comfort and reassurance. He knew that his rider could be very ashamed of his past. Mars thought about that for a moment before he answered her. "No, not exactly. I was never an official candidate. Shardamakath chose me from the stands. It was quite the surprise." That was the truth even if it was just the bare basics.
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Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:24 pm

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Their amusement was an encouraging sign and Sunaia made a mental note: funny worked with Mar'lus. Not that she managed funny very often but it was something to aspire to, if it meant earning smiles and laughter from the bronzerider. And the thought of Shardamakath never leaving her alone? Well... she made certain to give her head a little shake, freeing her hair to swing about her face to hide the brightness of her cheeks as she accepted the offered brush. Hopefully he'd think that colour came from their labours to see the bronze scrubbed and happy.

"Maybe they will. But they may not, and... and if they don't, I ought to have a plan." She racked her mind for something amusing to say and found it as she applied the bristles to the dragon's neck. "Perhaps I could become a professional bath assistant. Invent an entirely new craft for it, sketch out ranks and everything. Only the masters would be allowed to help bathe dragons as fine and strong as you, Shardamakath."

Maybe she could be hilarious. Certainly she'd amused herself. As she worked, she hummed a little chuckle and stole another glance at Mar'lus.

He'd hesitated before answering, and shown the signs of a rider conferring with their bondmate. It left her hesitating too-- had she stumbled over a forbidden topic? Most riders, she'd found, could go on at length about Impressing; it tended to be their fondest memory. But Mar'lus' hesitation led her to hesitate too. Should she change the subject?

Uncertainty left her voice soft when she said, "That would be a surprise. They do like surprising us, don't they? We think we have our life in order and then... everything's up-ended. You've done well with it, it seems." She paused for a beat. "And... I'm glad you did. If you hadn't I may not have met you, here."

On that note, she fled behind the fall of her hair again, to shield her blazing cheeks. Oh look: she missed a spot between the bronze's headknobs, and found she needed to strictly concentrate on brushing there until his hide gleamed molten.
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Parker
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Title: High Ebilness
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Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:07 pm

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"Maybe they will. But they may not, and... and if they don't, I ought to have a plan."

"Thinking ahead. Smart move. Not everyone your age thinks to plan ahead." Mars complimented her. He was a planner, but then living holdless for so long one had to plan ahead. Was there going to be enough food to last the winter? What about shoes for the little ones? Yeah, he knew how to be a planner, which wasn't a bad skill to have a rider either. "Professional bath assistant. Well, I can tell you that'd be a position the two of us would be happy to have around. I don't see how those with larger dragons ever have time for something other than bathing and oiling." He noticed the bright blush of her cheek, but did not think he was the cause of it.

The bronze crooned and puffed out his chest even more at the further praise from her. You are far too kind. The bronze said happily to her.

"That would be a surprise. They do like surprising us, don't they? We think we have our life in order and then... everything's up-ended. You've done well with it, it seems." She paused for a beat. "And... I'm glad you did. If you hadn't I may not have met you, here."

"It was very much a surprise, yes. I am very glad I did too. Surprise or not, I feel like becoming a rider was what put me on a good path in life. I hope whatever dragon you impress does the same for you." He stated kindly to her. He might not want to tell his whole back story, but he could still be polite. Mars looked up at her for a moment and noticed how red her cheeks were again. "Are you alright? You're not too hot out here, are you?" Mars was the worrying type for all he could seem rather cold and aloof.
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