It was all Ifrith's fault! Yes, if it wasn't for that meddling brown H'tai would be safely back at the Weyr which was currently a bit emptier with so many at the Gather. Why would H'tai want to go anywhere near it? A Gather was full of all sorts of people, most of whom he wouldn't know. Sure he wouldn't be expected to talk to them but if he looked at the merchants' wares, bought food, etc, he had to speak however briefly to these people he didn't know. Not H'tai's idea of a good time, wandering around trying to avoid people when he was surrounded by them.
Ifrith had other ideas, keeping at H'tai until he agreed to go. The brown was determined to make H'tai socialize more so he'd learn. H'tai had to admit it was working, but he was definitely not comfortable in a crowd yet. And yet somehow he let Ifrith talk him into being here, looking like a lost wherry chick as he shuffled around trying to stay out of everyone's way, not draw attention to himself. The various wares were glanced at from afar, the merchants' eyes avoided so they wouldn't know he was looking. It wasn't as if H'tai planned on buying anything anyway. Eventually he managed to steel his nerves enough to get some food, but that was about all H'tai was up to. The next candlemark was spent eating and hiding away-at least until Ifrith prodded him to get back in there.
This time H'tai opted to check out the competitions. Not to compete, oh no. He wasn't strong, had no special skills-not unless running whenever the situation became too awkward counted. The competitions would surely have many spectators though...and they would be focused on the competitors, not him. It might even be fun to watch others show off their talents. Of course as luck would have it one of the competitions was, in fact, running. The second H'tai saw it he felt Ifrith rumbling. What?
he asked, suspicious.
You should sign up!
Ifrith told him happily. You were thinking earlier that your only talent is running, yes? Well go run! You can do what you've been wanting to do and maybe win a prize for it.
H'tai wanted to argue, but he knew how persistent Ifrith would be...and maybe the brown was right. Running was the one thing H'tai was good at and there was a competition for it. He'd be the center of attention, eyes of the spectators on him-oh he'd run alright! For once his shy nature would be helpful...
So after some blushing and stammering H'tai signed up, already jittery with nerves. Running would be a relief by the time the race started!
Experience/bit hyper from nerves