Bunnies and Blues

Ista Weyr - Forest
The softest of breezes blow through here, causeing the already humid air to grow thick and hot. The noises of the forest surround you, a million differing scents waft slowly into your nose. Animal paths lead to and fro out here. Vines as thick as a mans arm climb skyward, tangling in the tops of the tropical trees. Little light manages to shine down here on the floor, but that doesn't stop a lushous undergrowth from carpeting the ground. Insects of every discription crawl and buzz about their business, hoping the avian in a tree doesn't decide to make them lunch. If you look carefully, you may just see a very dense growth of shrubbery to the west that conceals a dark and forboding opening in the ground.

Zh'ae can be seen inside the forest. He's not too horribly far in and he's kneeling on the ground, looking at something in particular. His blue, Zhilinith, can easily be seen on the pathway through the forest. Hot pink straps encircle the blue, easily marking him as Zh'ae's dragon. Yep. Sigh. Pink.

Zorya has found the edge of the forest today, seeking out a bit of shade from the Istan sun. Of course the forest wasn't exactly what she was aiming for when she began, but it ends of being just what she was looking for. Blue eyes careful search the place she was going to sit, after her last encounter she's being a little more cautious. "Hello?" she calls down the path having spotted Zh'ae.

Zh'ae dosen't look up from whatever he's doing, but suddenly Zhilinith's brilliant eyes turns and look towards the girl. »Shhh. Come see, come see…« a whispered voice extends into the clearing, quite vocal it seems. The blue steadily regards the girl, obviously expecting her to join them.

Zorya peers down the path towards boy and dragon. She hesitates a moment before venturing towards the pair. "What is it?" she questions, easily assuming the voice comes from the rider. Something to be seen and her curiosity as gotten the better of her. But then is it something she really wants to see.

Zh'ae glances up from the ground where his hands are cupped around a tiny, shivvering rabbit of some sort. He smiles, gently scoops the bunny into his hands, and cuddles it inside his riding jacket. "A small rabbit that I had the good fortune to spot." he comments, cuddling the thing close inside his jacket. snuggling it between the crook of his arm and the lining of his warm jacket, his other hand falls to his side. "Hmm. You look familiar…"

Zorya ohs, "He's so cute." she smiles at the fluffy creature, her steps leading her up beside the blue rider. Blue eyes flit up to scan the young man's face at the mention of familiarity. "You know… so do you." Why, she hasn't a clue just yet. But why she'd look familiar to him is beyond her. "Maybe we just saw each other in the caverns or something..?" she suggests, but yet that doesn't seem right to her. There's a more familiar look to him that just a passing glance would leave.

Zh'ae chuckles faintly and strokes the little rabbit gently before shrugging. "Well, I'm Zh'ae. Formerly Zhayne Shipton." he comes off a little cocky, but other than that, he's a calm, quiet man. "Hmmm, perhaps… but I'm not sure…" he comments, turning to look up at the dragon hovering overhead.

Zorya thinks. Where would she have seen him otherwise though? And then it’s answered with his name. "Nice to meet you again cousin," the girl laughs, the smile already playing across her features brightening as the connection is made. "I wouldn't have thought I'd find you here too."

Zh'ae chuckles softly and nods. "I figured you for a Shipton. You got the looks, girl." he comments, offering her a broad grin. "So, you escaped the clutches of the dragon-hating relatives… How?" he asks, his eyes dancing, hungry for Shipton gossip.

Zorya giggles. "I'm Zorya." she offers her name. That does usually help, doesn’t it. "The good ones I hope." she replies to the comment with a smile. "Not that we exactly knew each other all that well or anything, but I recognize the name." But everyone should know who she is of course! Well all Shipton-ites, in her opinion at least. She frowns slightly at the question however, "That's.. well… I left."

Zh'ae chuckles and nods his head. "Yes, the good looks. I promise. I wouldna lie to family." he comments, winking imishly at her. Yes, he's still the mischievous lad that got in trouble when he was young. Ahem… "I think our parents were cousins or second cousins or something weird." he adds. "Well, welcome to Ista Weyr, We'm all be here to help you right out, Zorya."

Its a long story really. Well it is and it isn't but hearing it from her would be a long story. Its not something she's gotten into since arriving in the weyr however. "I think…" Zorya looks up towards the trees and the sky, running the names through her head. "Zhayne… Phesha…" she barely whispers the names. "Something like that, yes." The exact connection eluding her for the time.

Zh'ae can understand. He had a long story too. He was shipped off to prey on his cousins. Or…be the prey. Something like that. Erm… "Yeah, anyways… So have you had the tour and stuff?" he asks, cuddling the bunny gently, the poor little thing dozing now, in his arms.

Zorya shakes her head. "Not officially, no." she replies. "I mean Zipalla's showed me around a little and I've explored a bit myself too." But that doesn't by any means mean that she knows her way around. She's still getting lost in the caverns some days.

Zh'ae nods his head a bit and grins. "Well, lets go. Have a place to stay yet?" yes, the Istan dragonriding Shiptons are a pretty close group, lime to help each other out. "If you don't. I have tons of room and no Weyrmate, yer always welcome to stay." he comments, slipping forward a bit. "Well, this is the forest, obviously…"

Zorya nods. "Yeah, Uncle Pa- -L'ton," she's still working on the changing names, "got it setup for me to bunk with Zipalla. But thanks for the offer." She's happy with what she has, caverns don't require flight to reach ones bed. She giggles then, "And yes, I kinda figured that one out on my own." Because really, how hard is it to tell a forest?

Zh'ae laughs softly and nods, "Good, good. Just trying to be helpful. Zhilinith here…" he motions to the blue. "Says I'm being too helpful and should shaddap and get on with it." he comments, striding across the path easily. "There's the mines…over there." he points, the blue following easily. "Beach is that way…" he adds.

Zorya falls easily into step with the cousin. At mention of the blue's thoughts on the matter she turns to look back at the dragon, "Does, does he not like me or something?" Too helpful? She still has a ways to go before she's beyond their family's dragon-hating ways, after all her time away from the heritage she grew up with hasn't been long at all.

Zh'ae laughs and shakes his head. "No, he likes you a lot. Thats just his way. Ignore him if he bothers you, Pi says he takes after meh too much." the young man notes as he keeps walking. "He thinks that I talk too much too." Zhay simply laughs and shakes his head. "He's rough around the edges is all."

"Oh.. well I .. uh… ack!" Zorya starts, watching the blue for a few more steps before stumbling over a tree root in the path pulls her attention forward again. She was never one to be lacking words though. For her she's been extremely quiet.

Zh'ae moves quickly as he hears the ack! In one arm, the bunny stays cuddled against him, and in the other, he grabs his cousin, keeping her from falling. "Hey there, you okay? Didn't hurt anything didja?" he asks, continuing to hold onto her until she answers him, his eyes dark and concerned.

Zorya shakes her head once her balance is back in order. "No, no, I'm alright." She's fairly certain at least. "Just caught me off guard is all." Stupid tree! And the offending piece of root gets a glare, before she turns a smile back to her cousin. "Thanks though, for asking I mean." Pause. "So how did you manage out of Shipton cousin?"

Zh'ae chuckles faintly and just shakes his head as he lets her go with a kind smile. Seems Zh'ae has many different expressions, wether or not he is that way. "No problem, Zory." he comments before grinning. "Actually… my ma sent me out here to foster with Pi and L'ton a bit… guess she's not as stuck up as the rest of the Shiptons, eh?"

"Really?" Zorya replies, clearly surprised by his answer. Surely he's just making that up. "She sent you to foster with -L'ton-." Of all the people! Not that it bothers her at all, but her family… "Not -nearly- as bad as mine for sure." she agrees. Her father, while an outsider before 'fasting her mother, carries many of the same views as the rest of Shiptons and is even worse than most if that's possible.

Zh'ae nods a bit, "Well… mama was a pretty darn distant cousin, and so she's not as all… 'stab a dragonrider' as the rest of the family, yanno." he shrugs a bit and nods. "I mostly stayed with Pi, though… she had the space for me, Tonny didn't really. He has his mate, family.. whatnot." the lad comments.

Zorya nods. "Yeah, his family takes up a fair bit of space." she agrees. But then leave it to a Shipton. Right? "You seem to have settled in rather well." Then again he's been here more than few short sevenday that she has. "I just feel awkward more often than not. I don't know what to think anymore." She never clung as tightly to the family's ways, but still, growing up in the middle of it takes its toll.

Zh'ae chuckles and nods his head. "Yeah, been eight Turns and I like to think I've grown up a wee bit and ain't in that weird headspace where I dunno what I wana do anymore." he comments, grinning a bit at her. "I felt the same way and went out of my way to get into trouble."

Zorya pulls a bit of a smile before her gaze turns back to the path at her feet. "I'm no desire to cause trouble and be sent back." she replies. Which is perhaps why she's tried to be so cautious about how she goes about thing since her arrival. "But enough about me," Thought not much has been said, "You said his name is Zhilinith?" she asks, sending a glance back to the blue. "Could.. I meet him?" As if she hasn't already. "I mean, I'm still trying to get used to them being around. Until two sevenday ago I'd never even seen one up close before." And family ways don't exactly lend themselves to trusting the creatures easily.

Zh'ae chuckles and shakes his head. "I won't let you be sent back. The more of us escape the merrier." he notes with a grin as he leans over and settles the bunny inside a large, stiff pouch strapped to the blue's side, in with what looks to be a shirt. Then he closes it and tucks his hands in his pockets. "Yes, Zhilinith, and he says you're pretty, by the by." he comments, grinning. He stops in the path and nods his head. "Zhil, Commere…" The blue settles a bit then moves his head down in front of the girl and gently nudges her. "Zhilinith, meet my cousin Zorya. Zorya, Zhilinith." he grins.

Zorya laughs, "Does he really?" she ask in jest. "If you weren't my cousin I'd take that for meaning differently." But she has come to the realization that the dragons do understand and their riders understand their dragon, strange as it may perhaps seem to an outsider such as herself. Slowly she reaches out a hand, still unsure, to give the blue a light rub across his muzzle.

Zh'ae shrugs and tilts his head to the side. "Well, I'm not the type to pass a pretty girl and not tell her she's pretty, even if she is my cousin. However many times removed." The lad winks and shrugs. "Besides. All Shipton's marry cousins. So its not all that weird to me at least.." he shrugs and grins. Zhilinith rumbles gently and rubs his blue muzzle against her hands and then interjects. »But truly… you are a lovely young gem, pet.« Yes, Zhilinith is vocal with his rider's cousins, you know.

A subtle hint of pink paints itself across the girl's cheeks. "Given what I know, I'd much prefer you to.." And that was somewhere Zorya wasn't planning on going. Her words stopping quickly as the blue's comment interjects itself into her thought. She looks towards her cousin, her hand quickly withdrawing from the Zhilinith's hide as she's startled. "Was that..?" Surely she must be going crazy.

Zh'ae laughs softly, his dark eyes sparkling. "Hmm? Finish that thought, eh?" he asks, grinning rogueishly. Yes, the young man is a complete imp. He moves his hand to rest on the blue's neck, settled next to him and he grins to Zorya. »Yes, that was.« he answers her easily. Zhilinith rumbles in amusement. »Do not be afraid of me. Zh'ae was once afraid of us dragons. Then there was me… I will not harm you, lil' bit.«

Zorya eyes the boy. "Finish what?" she questions, perhaps hoping he was referring to her question regarding the blue. "I am -not- afraid." the blonde protests with a stomp of her foot, turning a look that's halfway between pout and glare towards Zhilinith. Okay, so maybe she is a little… alot. But no longer terrified like she was when she first arrived.

Zh'ae grins a bit, "You're prefer me to what?" Yes, perhaps he is being dense, but you know all Shipton's have their flaws. Maybe thats his. He snorts faintly. "Ah, I see." The blue tilts his head and gently puts his nose under her hands, letting out a sound that isn't unlike a draconic sounding laugh. »Mmmm, I smell differently.« However, he does go quiet then and simply watches the girl.

Zorya huffs, crossing her arms and turning her back on the pair. "What does it matter to you? I'm here now and the only way I'm going back is kicking and screaming. She's still mad about whatever reason she left. As for the dragon, she's going to pretend she didn't hear that. … Or not. "Oh what would you know, you're nothing but a giant tunnel snake with wings." Clearly the words of her father spilling from her lips.

Zh'ae takes a few steps back and simply blinks. Seems the non-stop talking wonder is wordless. After a few moments he tentatively speaks. "Family always matters. Whatever happened… You never have to go back there. Sorry for pushing so hard." he comments, still ovvering her a warm, friendly smile. Zhilinish turns his head and nuzzles against his rider's shoulder a moment. » …I'd like to think I was a bit nicer than a flying tunnelsnake.« Grumble. "Oh Zhil, I'm sure she didn't mean it like that…" he offers to the blue quietly.

A smirk crosses the girl's lips. See, she can get her way when she wants it. "You're nicer." she admits with a sigh. Why she has any feeling for the creature though she's not sure on herself. "And I'd prefer you Jadrein." she gives into telling the boy, the name rolling off her tongue with a certain venom. "If you must know." finally turning back to the two.

Zh'ae nods his head. "Ah, now… that makes much more sence." He offers her a silly grin. "Well, if you ever need a place to hide from your family, you always have a place to hide behind me'n Zhil." the lad comments, offering her a wink then. Yes, things don't phase him for long. He nods, "I must know, I was curious." he comments with an easy shrug of the shoulders.

Zorya doesn't quite frown at that. "Well now you do, but doesn't mean you have to go throwing it around or anything." She's still not telling all there is to say on the matter. "But I may just hold you to that come fall." The hiding behind them from family. A hand reaches towards the blue once again, hesitating just above the surface of his hide for a moment before she touches. She's making herself get used it it.

Zh'ae shakes his head and holds a hand above his heart. "I promise not to tell a soul. I swear on my job and the saftey of bunnies and Zhilinith." he comments before simply offering a smile. "Trust me. I know how bad it can be." And just briefly, a cloud flutters over his expression, making him look rather intense before he smiles, brushing away whatever thoughts. Zhilinith croons sweetly, softly.. and happily lets her touch his warm, blue hide.

Zorya's fingers brush lightly over the blue's muzzle as she eyes his rider. "I'm going to hold you to it." she replies. Meaning, she hears anything he'll hear from her. "So… how old is he?" she wonders, changing the subject. This of course meaning how long ago did he impress.

Zh'ae nods his head. "I already promised on the bunny and my blue, which are both more importaint than gossip any day." Yes… come on, how many men do you know who would go out of their way to save a shivering, starving bunny? Not many. "Zhilinith is seven Turns old." he comments, offering her a charming grin. "And please do hold me to it, both promises.. that is." he adds.

Zorya giggles, and whatever was pulling her down regarding the previous topic brushed aside, offering up a smile once more as she gives the blue a little scritch. "Its nice to have someone to talk to again, not that Ah didn't, I mean Zipalla and everyone else I've met… But they just don't really understand how different it is being here instead of home. I mean D'son found out I'd never seen a dragon up close and it was like it was some sort of impossibility. But its not like we get them that often at Shipton and even when we do they aren't there for long and its not like I'd ever be allowed near when they were anyway."

Zh'ae chuckles and nods his head, offering her a kind smile. He brushes a forelock out of his eyes and nods. "I really do understand what you mean. Its a very, very difficult adjustment between Shipton and a Weyr." He pauses, "We're brought up to hate dragons, and only a few of us ever get over that issue. I'm proud of those that do, they're wonderful creatures." he murmurs quietly, his voice going deep and a little rough. "No, dragons at Shipton are rare. Mostly because we all know we're not welcome there." His eyes darken and he glances away a moment.

Its a very confusing predicament to be in. Upbringing telling you not to and everything else saying yes. "I can just imagine my father's reaction when he found out where I'd gone." Zorya comments, the pressure of her fingers across the blue's hide becoming harder than she'd meant to, and then suddenly she's stopped all together. "Did I.. say something? If I didn't I didn't mean to."

Zh'ae shakes his head, his eyes lightening to their normal amber again. "No, its nothing you said. I just don't like the way children are brought up to hate all dragonkind, and yet there are a few who escape to a good life." he smiles meaningly at her, then at Zhil. Then he shrugs. "Hmmmm, I remember how many Turns it took for my mother to convince my father to let me foster with dragonriders. It was rough." he comments, even as the blue bumps her hands with his muzzle gently.

Zorya pulls her hands to her forehead, resting them there for a moment like one might to play peek-a-boo, "Its just so confusing," she mutters before brushing them back to move a few stray locks of hair. Turning around as she thinks aloud her back to the pair once again, "I mean on the one hand," Well he knows that side, "and on the other everything here and I'm just so mad at him I want to like it just to spite him."

Zh'ae nods his head, completely understanding everything about it. "And it seems like its only getting worse and worse, and the Shipton's are tightening their claws and disallowing the Harpers to say one kind thing about dragonkind. Yet we are useful and save lives and do important things every day." The lad actually looks helpless and vulnerable there…. its rather amazing. "There's so much good we do, and yet they hate us… and its so confusing for the young Shipton's to leave and go out into the world too…"

"Forget Harpers saying a kind word, my father doesn't care for Harpers much themselves," Zorya comments. Of course that could be because they sing the praises of dragonkind. "I'm sorry," she adds, with a shake of her head, glancing back to send Zh'ae an apologetic smile.

Zh'ae shakes his head and simply grins. "No, no… its completely alright. I understand where you're coming from without a moment's pause. My father didn't care for them either." he comments with a return smile.

Zorya tries to pull a true smile as she chuckles a bit uneasily. "You should have seen his face when I told him I wanted to study with them." she tells the boy. Now that…

Zh'ae chuckles softly and nods his head. "About the same as when I told my father I was going to be a Healer. He dosen't like them either." he gives a shrug. Who knows why.

"A healer? Really?" Zorya asks, raising a brow. His father didn't like that idea.. wow. "I can't believe it was that bad. I mean healers… I'd think even my father would have been alright if that's what I'd wanted. But then who knows, maybe they just don't want any of us leaving." she sighs, shrugs lightly. "But really it couldn't have been half as by as my father's reaction to wanting to sing and dance."

Zh'ae nods his head, "I have no clue why, he just hates Healer's and so he told me no and said that maybe my mother was right and I should go see how awful the world truly is… and I loved the world." he laughs softly and nods. "I suppose you're right.

"Well I'm glad you do." Zorya replies, "Otherwise I probably wouldn't have anyone who understands that right now." But they should talk about happier things. Things more pleasant than family problems. If only so that he doesn't inquire further of her. "So what's Zhilinith like?" she asks, "I've met a couple of riders and they all seem to say different things about theirs." And well… curious.

Zh'ae chuckles amusedly for a moment. "Zhilinith… is difficult to explain in a few words." Zh'ae pauses and then tilts his head at the girl. "He's a prankster, loves to play tricks. Never harmful of course. He's impaitent, yet sweet. Sarcastic, fun, always asking questions…"

Zorya giggles, "Well I can see why Pi says he tags after you." she teases. "What's it like, being a rider I mean?" For as much as she was brought up to be against them the longer she's here the more interested she is to learn more. But then she's always been that way, the topic of interest just changes periodically and depending on who she has to as questions of. "Zipalla wants to be one, like Uncle Pallaton. She said I might even stand some day. You think that's really possible?" Before leaving Shipton she would have never thought of such a thing, but then there are many things she would have never thought about was she still living in those hills.

Zh'ae chuckles softly and nods his head. "Being a rider is like having a piece of your heart that can never be broken. Like having a twin that you never had, the love of your life and the other half of you… until you find your other, other half…." he teases a bit. "I think its very possible for you. All Shipton's stand at least once. Why, my own twin was Searched and Impressed here." he comments, grinning a bit at the young lady.

Zorya closes her eyes for a moment while he explains, a smile crossing her lips as she imagines. "It sounds so… perfect." she settles on the word as her blue eyes flicker open once again. "No wonder harpers always want to sing about them…" Sigh. Not that she's ever heard one of those songs. "But I don't know if it be for me. I mean the flying and… I've flown twice since I got here," Read twice in her life, "I don't know."

Zh'ae chuckles softly. "Well, it does help if you enjoy flying, but it dosen't stop a dragon from choosing you, yanno." he comments with a fond smile for the girl. Hey, he likes her already, what's he supposed to do? Ahem. "I think you'd be well suited, you have a good personality and a good head on your shoulders.

Zorya laughs, "Come on, you're just saying that cause I had the guts to leave Shipton." Not that she did, she just sort of stormed off and was too afraid to back when she'd finally realized what she'd done. "Sorry, I feel like I'm the one asking all the questions this time," after his explanation of Zhilinith. "If you have anything you'd rather.." she trails off, leaving the rest of the sentence unsaid.

Zh'ae laughs and shakes his head. "Nah, its because I believe all Shiptons have definate potential and they should all be as happy as I am to have a lifemate like Zhilinith." he comments innocently and then shakes his head, "Actually I enjoy answering your questions and talking to you."

Zorya eyes the boy, "You're sure you're not just saying that so I don't feel bad?" she asks. "I like talkin to you though too." she smiles happily. "I just feel silly asking all the questions. If there's something you wanted to asked just ask. Right?"

Zh'ae nods his head. "If I have any questions, I promise I'll ask." he agrees, grinning as she smiles at him and he nods. "No ma‘am. I’d never just say something. I'm no hero." he teases her with a grin, a drawl, and a wink.

Zorya giggles, shaking her head with a slight roll of her eyes. "Anyway… did you wanna finish that tour?" she half asks, "Show me your favorite place in the weyr?" Everyone's favorite place is different for different reasons.

Zh'ae chuckles quietly, his dark eyes glittering. He nods. "Well, my favorite place is rather up high. My Weyr, actually. I'll hafta show you sometime." he comments with a grins and then moves forwards slowly, letting her have a moment to join him. "There's the Pens," he notes as they break the forest line.. "The Pleateau, caverns… Bowl."

Zorya turns as Zh'ae moves on, falling into step beside him. "Well lead the way then." she smiles, closing her eyes for a moment as they walk back out into the sun from the relative shade of the forest, letting its warmth wash over her face.

Zh'ae frowns for a moment and his head tilts to the side… Thats when you can tell that he's talking to his dragon. "Grrr, Hey… forigive me for not finishing the entire tour, but Zhilinith says something importaint is going on and I'm Wingsecond so I hafta go see whats up. I'll shwo you my favorite place soon, alrighty?" he asks her, grinning and reaching out to touch her under the chin only briefly. With a wink and a smile, he leaps onto his dragon's foreleg and slips up the blue's back before waving. "If you need anything, let me know!" he calls before they launch into the air.

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