Second Pass Weyr - AU Canon Pern

Author Topic:  How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]  (Read 6317 times)

IC Date: 21-02-234 AL, morning, early afternoon

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How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« on: 21 Aug 2013 at 12:15 AM »
V'riy stood up and stretched his stiff body, tilting his head from side to side. He rolled his neck slowly and leaned backwards and moved his waist in a big circle. Morith waded into the cooling waters of the river just as V'riy sat down to rummage through his ever-present shoulder bag for something to eat.

It should be close to Arddra's designated rest day, if it isn't today, his bonded informed him hopefully. He wasn't really in need of a good scrubbing since V'riy was meticulous in grooming his partner, ever mindful of his father's horror stories about untended dragon hide. Z'ley had made sure that the effects of between on tender dragon hide were burned into his son's brain long before he was ready to stand for Impression.

The bronzerider picked up a small bag that contained some kind of nut variety he wasn't familiar with. He removed a piece deftly from the bag and held up the nut to the early morning sunlight for further examination. Brown, with .. ridges, he supposed, and a sort of line down the center. He took a bite of the nut and was pleased with its sweet and slightly bitter flavor.

Normally he didn't waste time identifying nuts. He was quite proficient at cooking but baking was beyond him, not to mention that he lacked the patience for it. He looked around the riverbank for a tree to lean against and sat down in front of it cross-legged, munching on his ... healthier fare. He grumbled and Morith rumbled right back at him with laughter. Ceilidhe had suggested that he try more variety in his diet since he seemed to be developing a sensitive stomach and had helped him along by switching the food he had packed for his usual morning meal.

I swear she's going to pay for this, the man proclaimed to Morith, but there was little weight behind his words. He cared for Ceilidhe too much to make an issue of her mothering him. For all intents and purposes she was practically his mother now anyway. The rider had to admit to himself that he did like the attention. In fact, he found it endearing. At least she meant well, even if it meant he was missing his usual robust breakfast by the river.

You will not. You're just ... full of ash and gas, Morith stated, rebuking him. V'riy's mouth practically dropped to the ground. He stared at his dragon for a moment and then began to laugh loudly, the noise drawing several curious stares from nearby onlookers, but he waved them away. Who's been teaching you that kind of language? the man asked and grinned as his dragon preened shamelessly, proud of himself.

I'm glad I got the usage right. Twilirth of course, Morith said.

Twilirth. Typical. That little green was a wealth of random and useful information.

Did you want me to head out to look for her, o-silver-tongue'd dragon of mine? V'riy inquired of his dragon, unable to resist poking fun at the bronze.

Silver? Hmph. the dragon snorted.

Right, I'll head out then, V'riy said in a more serious tone. Apparently Twilirth hadn't taught him that one yet. He rose from his seat and paused, reluctant to leave the comfort of his shady spot by the side of the river.

When you find her, don't forget about the picnic! the dragon reminded his rider. He had been repeating the word picnic to himself every few hours so that he wouldn't forget. This latest reminder was probably about the twelfth time he had brought it up to V'riy in the last six days.

I won't, V'riy replied as patiently as he had every time the dragon mentioned it. Shaking his head, he walked west toward the Barracks and communal kitchens. Now, to find the girl.
« Last Edit: 25 Sep 2013 at 09:23 PM by V'riy »

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #1 on: 21 Aug 2013 at 01:30 AM »
Arddra was up early, too excited to sleep much. Today was the day V'riy was going to teach her how to bathe a dragon. Morith was volunteering to let her practice on him too. She was sure she had not felt this excited since coming South.

Knowing she was likely to get soaking wet, Arddra wore shorts and a tight band around her breasts. Over top she wore a lose short sleeved tunic which she could take off later to dry. Normally very modest Arddra felt showing arms and legs from the elbow and knees down wasn't too improper.

She didn't know what she would need for this special lessons but Arddra figured what she had was sufficient. Leaving her room she headed towards the open area where she had arranged to meet him today. Looking around she was expecting Morith then realized V'riy probably assumed she wasn't yet ready to fly with him on Morith yet. Arddra wasn't sure if she was. But she really did want to, it was just being that close to V'riy she wasn't certain about.

It didn't take her long to spot V'riy and she smiled, pleased to see him to the point she actually walked quite rapidly towards him. Only when she was nearly close enough to hug him did she stop, blushing slightly at her unexpected pleasure of seeing him.

"Good morning V'riy, I am pleased you are here. How are you doing?"

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #2 on: 21 Aug 2013 at 01:03 PM »
Striding purposefully, V'riy made his way swiftly to the Barracks. He wondered if Arddra would be ready to meet him or if she had slept in on her rest day. It was still relatively early and she had said they would meet after breakfast. Well, he could find something to do if she wasn't around yet. Maybe he would go find Ce'lie and play with Isharyn. That young boy and Faredin were the only ones he seemed to be able to get on with.

Raising his hand over his eyes as he scanned the area, her slim form came into view and the man smiled in anticipation. He had been looking forward to this; it was certain to be a good bit of fun. As he approached, he held out a hand in greeting.

"Arddra! I see you're all set to go," he stated, nodding at her with satisfaction as he noticed the light tunic she was wearing and the plain shorts that went with it. Today, he had dressed for bathing Morith. Rather than his usual riding leathers, he was in a drawstring pair of tan cotton pants and a tight fitting dark blue tank-style top that showed off his athletic body. He had a small thin bronze-colored cord on his left shoulder knotted to display his rank,  but that was all that really covered his arms and shoulders.

"I'm assuming you're okay with getting your clothes soaking wet?" He grinned and made a splashing motion at her. "It's great weather to be in the water today," he noted, already feeling the effects of the summer heat.

"I'm doing well, thank you," he replied, still smiling at her. "Well, maybe not as well as I would be if Ce'lie hadn't stolen my breakfast," he complained. "Morith is at the river. We usually do his washing either there or at the lake. Shall we?"

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #3 on: 21 Aug 2013 at 02:24 PM »
Now that they were close Arddra could see just how athletic his body was. It occurred to her he was a fine specimen of man and a bronze dragonrider in general was considered a higher rank. A Weyrleader of course was the top position for any dragonrider but that rarely fell to one who wasn't a bronze rider. Twice here a brown dragon caught the senior queen, if she was remembering correctly. Yet even though he was bronze Arddra had a feeling V'riy wasn't looking to be Weyrleader.

"I rather expected I will be getting well and thoroughly wet and it most certainly wouldn't be proper to do so in public without clothing." Arddra remembered the carefree days of her childhood where she and many of Fort's children swam in the lake together sans clothing. But they were children well before the first urges of puberty and their only thought was to have fun swimming and socializing. "It's almost always great weather to be in the water here, except during the storms."

"Why would Ce'lie take away your breakfast?" Arddra frowned. She was one of the very few dragonriders Arddra didn't mind talking to. Yet a part of her was always bothered by the thought Ceilidhe was a dragonrider. Women weren't suppose to Impress any but Gold but apparently some dragonets picked the girls anyway. What Arddra did know bout the greenrider was she wouldn't have stolen somebody's breakfast without good reason. "We could go into the kitchen and grab something to eat, if you are hungry?"

"We best not keep Morith waiting," Arddra smiled and fell in step beside V'riy as they walked to the river. "I am really looking forward to this lesson and having the chance to become closer to you and Morith. I think it would be good to have more dragonriders allowing Candidates, male and female to help them wash their dragons and teach that basic skill."

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #4 on: 21 Aug 2013 at 09:17 PM »
V'riy walked alongside Arddra and grunted when she asked about Ce'lie's swapping of his breakfast. "Well, she's my adopted mother," he explained. "Sometimes she takes it a bit too seriously. Since my stomach has been acting up lately, she decided it must have something to do with my diet, and took it upon herself to change it. This morning." He chuckled softly. "But it will do. I'll just eat a bigger lunch. No need to stop by the kitchen… especially at this hour. It's probably… crowded," he finished as convincingly as possible.

V'riy grimaced as he pictured S'kef sitting at one of the long tables, smiling his fake smiles, and looking for more dirt on his fellow dragonriders that he could turn to his advantage. V'riy knew that S'kef put up a front. The only reason he hadn't called the man on it when he had been in the Weyrleader's presence was because he didn't want Katila thrown into another mess.

At the time S'kef had made his play for Weyrleader, he hadn't had any ambitions to try for any position beyond his current one. The result had been him avoiding the communal kitchens as if Morith would catch the plague were he to set foot in the place. Things had changed lately, though. He was slowly formulating a plan of action. Perhaps, if he rose to Wingleader, or something more, he might have more sway in the direction that Katila was going. The more he thought about it, the more clear it became to him that he must become involved. What happened at Katila, happened to all dragonriders. And all of Pern would be affected when Thread started to fall.

The rider blinked rapidly a few times as he focused again on Arddra. "I'm sorry, you were saying? Oh, about the hands-on lessons. Well, there are some reasons why we don't normally do it that make sense. Firstly, not everyone Impresses a dragon," V'riy stated matter-of-factly. "It would be painful to be trained to completely care for one and then not get one of your own. Secondly, if you do Impress, there will be plenty of time to learn on your own dragon. However," and here V'riy paused to look directly at her, "when a new Impression occurs, there is a lot to take care of and a newly hatched dragon is very demanding. It would be beneficial if the candidates had some hands on experience before Impressing."

"For example," he said, "Imagine having a baby that could demand what it wanted in perfect English straight into your skull. Feed me. Brush me. Oil me. I itch. No, I itch, do it now," V'riy said, mimicking how Morith had complained during his time as a weyrling. "Having some experience would make it less stressful."

"Even if one doesn't Impress, at least the folks who stayed here after they were too old to stand would have more respect for the amount of time it takes to properly care for a dragon," V'riy confided. "Not all of them are on friendly terms enough terms with a dragonrider to really get the opportunity to know dragons. But this is the way things are done, and I'm not in charge of things. Really, a mentorship might be best once Impressed, on top of Weyrling classes, from a rider of the same color dragon," V'riy mused. "Sometimes the weyrlings don't take their classes seriously enough, and it can mean terrible things, even death."

"But enough of that," he said quickly, clearing his throat. "Today is about fun, sun and bubbles. Look, there's Morith now!" He pointed to the figure of his bronze languishing in the shallower waters of the river. The bronzerider momentarily worried that he might have been lecturing the girl and that wasn't what he had intended. Besides, he didn't want to get into his issues with the leadership so soon. There would be plenty of time for that, if their friendship developed to the point that he felt he could trust her with it.
« Last Edit: 21 Aug 2013 at 09:21 PM by V'riy »

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #5 on: 21 Aug 2013 at 10:14 PM »
"She's a nice woman, I have talked to her a bit here and there, but not all that often." Arddra didn't know why she had not grown close to Ce'lie. As a woman she wouldn't be as worrisome as the male dragonriders but Arddra kept her in the same category as the other dragonriders rumored to have been doing the kidnapping.

Arddra barely noticed V'riy's long silence as she took the time to work out her own thoughts. She didn't know why she was feeling more comfortable around V'riy compared to even her fellow candidates. Also, she thought about her unexpected talk with S'kef the day before. It wasn't till about half way through the conversation with him did she remember he was the Weyrleader, at least till D'ren recovered or Tsuen's Gold rises again, if she does. Perhaps later Arddra will mention S'kef seemed keen on finding out who else among them wanted to return north. Arddra doubted it will ever happen unless Tsuen steps down as Weyrwoman.

"I had not considered how it would feel to learn all about bathing and caring for dragons and getting hands on experience would make not Impressing harder to take." Arddra considered how she would feel if she never Impressed and ended up too old to stand after learning how to bathe Morith. Arddra would still feel very disappointed but she would cherish the times she spent with Morith and V'riy. "For myself I will be glad to have the memory of being with you and Morith to ease any future disappointment if I never Impress."

Looking up when V'riy pointed out Morith, Arddra smiled and with a sudden unveiling of the carefree and happy person she used to be before she was kidnapped, Arddra started to run. "Race you to him!"

Though she wasn't exceptionally tall Arddra was a good sprinter, mostly from knowing how to walk very fast to avoid any unwanted lustful attentions. However she highly doubted she would outrun V'riy unless he wanted her to 'win'. Not that it mattered to her for all she wanted was to get to Morith, or at least to the edge of the river. Arddra didn't want to run into the water till she at least removed her sandals. They were leather and the water would ruin them.

"Good morning Morith, you are looking splendid today," Arddra greeted the bronze, lifting her hand up, ready to scratch his eye ridge once he decided to lower his head so she could reach.

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #6 on: 23 Aug 2013 at 12:28 AM »
V'riy grinned as Arddra took off in a run towards Morith. He was happy to see her in playful, high spirits. For a split second he thought about letting her win, but his competitive nature won out in the end. Bending his knees slightly, he leaned forward and counted a few moments under his breath, giving her a decent head start.

The bronzerider suddenly shot forward, his powerful legs carrying him over the ground quickly as he gained speed. Realizing how quickly he was coming up upon Arddra, he changed tactics. V'riy managed to do a neat 180-degree turn without losing much speed or his balance. It made it more challenging though, and he caught up with the girl with about two-thirds of the distance of the race covered.

Laughing while breathing heavily proved to be a bit difficult but somehow V'riy managed it. He wasn't able to speak, though. Maintaining his balance, speed, and direction commanded too much of his attention. Just as they reached the softer ground of the riverbank, he flailed his arms out and fell backwards, landing smartly on his tailbone. He winced from the impact and released the air in his lungs in a noisy rush.

Alternating between chuckles and mild groans, V'riy stood up slowly. "That'll teach me to show off," he mumbled. "You win, fair and square," he conceded, not at all upset about the loss.

Serves you right, Mister-Ultra-Competitive. See that, it's not so bad losing sometimes, his dragon informed him, and without further delay, filled his mouth with water. Morith flapped his wings gently and arched his neck, his tail weaving back and forth mischievously as he opened his mouth just enough to let out a thin stream of water directly onto V'riy's head.

To Arddra, the bronze dragon said with a voice full of laughter, Direct hit!
« Last Edit: 08 Sep 2013 at 11:32 PM by V'riy »

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #7 on: 23 Aug 2013 at 12:49 AM »
Through the corner of her eye, Arddra saw V'riy catch up to her but she didn't give up and kept running. No point making his win easier by slowing down. She was surprised when V'riy turned and ran backwards which gave her something of an edge. Unfortunately she also worried he would trip and hurt himself.

Almost as the thought crossed her mind about him tripping, he stumbled and before she could think to make a grab of his flailing arms, V'riy fell on his backside. Immediately Arddra stopped though her momentum did take her past V'riy by a step or two.

"Are you alright?" she asked, concerned then she smiled in relief when he stood up, not looking injured at all. Except maybe his pride. "Your showing off did give me a chance to win, I thank you for that."

When Morith let water stream from his mouth to strike V'riy and she heard his 'direct hit' in her mind, Arddra's eyes went wide then she laughed.

"Looks like Morith isn't going to be the only one to get soaking wet," Arddra said, still chuckling a little. It was a very funny image but she didn't want to laugh too much least she offend her new friend. "Not that I expect to stay dry myself. Washing a dragon is bound to require standing in the water at least."

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #8 on: 24 Aug 2013 at 01:27 PM »
V'riy grinned at Arddra and poked her gently in the ribs. "This just confirms that you can use my help. Whatever color dragon you Impress.. you will need to be in better shape when the time comes that we're really needed," the rider said matter-of-factly. He looked up at the clear sky and tried to imagine for a moment what it might look like were the silvery sheen of Threadfall above them.

"Morith, really," V'riy grumbled as he sidestepped to avoid the thin stream of water from hitting his head, "I know you want to Impress the lady with your superior aiming skills, but did I need to be your target?" The bronzerider ran his hands through his hair as he attempted to fix it the best he could without some kind of mirror.

The bronze rumbled with laughter and relented, though he dipped his head up and down, his version of nodding. Anything that makes you less intimating can only make her more comfortable, his dragon explained by way of apology, though they both knew that V'riy wasn't in the least bit upset with his dragon. He rose from the shallow water and lowered his head as he approached Arddra for her to scratch one of his favorite places.

"Oh we'll get very wet, I assure you," V'riy informed her as he watched Morith and Arddra. "He'll have to go into the deeper parts of the river to be scrubbed properly, since he's a fusspot and insists on having his underside done while he floats on his back. How are you at swimming?"

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #9 on: 24 Aug 2013 at 01:45 PM »
"I am not that out of shape," Arddra protests but she was a bit winded from the run. scrubbing pots and cleaning fish weren't as physically demanding as cleaning a dragon as big as a bronze and if she Impressed a gold, they get even bigger. "But I could get in better shape, that's certain."

"Morith wouldn't be so ungentlemanly as to spray me with water, so you really were the only target he could use, V'riy," Arddra pointed out with a grin as she obliged Morith by scratching the bronze's eye ridge. Almost immediately she lost herself in the task, feeling the heat of Morith's body, the spicy musky scent of his hide filling her nostrils. It was a rather comforting scent and she felt herself completely relax.

For a moment all she was aware of was the dragon before her till V'riy spoke and drew enough of her attention so she could register what he was saying. It didn't distract her from scratching Morith. When he asked his question Arddra paused in her scratching then looked over at V'riy.

"Not very good...I can tread water that's about it. I should be alright if you and Morith are near and I can hang on to one of you time to time." Arddra didn't mind swimming but she never was taught how to swim. The only reason she knew how to tread water was more via trial and error and instinct. At least she didn't fear water but she would never swim in the deeper water alone. "I never had anywhere to swim when I was a kid. I hope that won't complicate things too much."

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #10 on: 24 Aug 2013 at 09:54 PM »
The bronzerider chuckled as Arddra commented on Morith's gentlemanly ways. It was true enough that the dragon quite enjoyed the company of females and knew how to behave around them. He watched her reach up to scratch his bonded's eye ridge and saw her relax immediately and smiled with satisfaction. It was good that she was so comfortable around dragons as large as his bonded.

When she explained to V'riy about her lack of swimming skills, the man frowned slightly, considering how best to handle the situation. "Well, we'll have to teach you how to swim properly, but you should be alright for your first lesson," he nodded to her. Turning, he walked briskly over the tree where he had stashed his things and grabbed two large, long-handled wooden brushes with short bristles and a small canvas bag filled with sweetsand.

Extending his arm to offer one of the brushes to Arddra, he cocked his head to one side and inquired, "Shall we?"

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #11 on: 24 Aug 2013 at 10:24 PM »
"I would like that, to learn how to swim. It was rather foolish of me not to learn by now," Arddra had plenty of time to learn both on and after she left Candidate's Island. Not that she would have swam across the lake to escape. Where would she had gone anyway? The island was safer and she had no survival skills or even a clue where she was in relation to the sea. Once she was allowed to live with the other Candidates in the main part of Katila it never occurred to her to learn how to swim.

"At this rate you are going to be teaching me in all your spare time." She actually blushed when she said this, since the idea sounded quite ideal to her. She was really enjoying being around V'riy.

"I am ready when you are," Arddra said, accepting the long handed brush. Once he demonstrated how to use the sweetsand which really wasn't too complex Arddra gladly joined V'riy on applying it to Morith's hide. She hoped she wasn't being too rough.

"I am not sure how much pressure to apply..Morith you let me know if I am being too hard or not hard enough alright?" She looked at the dragon, not wanting to hurt him in any way.

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #12 on: 27 Aug 2013 at 12:43 AM »
V'riy chuckled at Arddra's assumption that he would be using up all of his spare time teaching her and slowly shook his head. "Not to worry, dear girl, I have plenty of time to spare," he assured her as he noted the rising color on her cheeks. The bronzerider presumed that she must be embarrassed by her poor swimming skills and made a mental note to be sure to instruct her in the near future.

The dragon stood as still as a statue while Arddra and V'riy started scrubbing him somewhat below his shoulders. The dragon was too large for them to get any higher in the shallow water. Don't worry, you're not hurting me. Think of it like… scrubbing… oh what are those root things called… potatoes? the dragon said in his musical voice before letting out a quick snort. Somewhat like scrubbing potatoes. Of course I am far superior to a potato. My hide is quite durable so long as it's well maintained.. it's when we get cracks and the tender flesh beneath becomes exposed that you'd have to be careful.

V'riy nodded as Morith alleviated Arddra of her worries. "You can brush a bit more vigorously than you would on your own skin, just don't overdo it in any one area. The real challenge is not how much pressure to apply… it's getting the entire dragon scrubbed properly. The first few times you scrub him, you'll see how tired out those arms of yours will get."

V'riy cleared his throat as he continued while Morith patiently stood in place. The bronze was clearly enjoying the attention and his eyes whirled bright blue as he regarded Arddra and his rider. "Since there's so much of them, it's easy to miss a spot here or there, so you really have to focus and develop a method. My routine is usually just to go from left to right, top to bottom, and then have him turn. Kind of boring, I know, but it gets the job done and since I do it the same way every time, I don't miss anything. And he'll let you know if any spot needs extra attention."

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #13 on: 27 Aug 2013 at 01:48 AM »
Arddra enjoyed how musical Morith's voice was and relished hearing it in her mind. She wondered if all dragon's voices sounded thus? His snort stopped her mind from wondering as she focused on what Morith was saying.

"Oh I definitely don't think of you as a potato, ever. But I understand what you are saying Morith. One can scrub a potato fairly hard without stripping the skin...especially the old tough ones, but the new potatoes you have to be more careful. I expect a hatchling would need a gentler touch."

"I may be very vigorous with my own skin so vigorous Morith will not like it at all," Arddra smiled at V'riy half shyly, half mischievously. It isn't often she's been playful with anybody, much less a dragonrider.  But she felt safe with Morith and V'riy, in fact she felt more her old self.

Turning her attention back to the job at hand, she resumed scrubbing, focusing on not scrubbing the same spot too long and not missing any place. "I don't think it will be boring, knowing that each stroke is being enjoyed by such a wonderful being as the dragon one is bonded to."

After some time had passed Arddra was feeling discomfort in her arms, Morith really was large and she normally didn't scrub at this angle. Usually she was on her hands and knees scrubbing floors. Maybe it would be easier if she climbed on top of Morith and scrubbed that way. Taking a step back she regarded the area she cleaned so far. There was still more dragon to do and she couldn't reach as high as V'riy even with the long handled scrub brush.

"How do you clean the wings or is that next lesson?" Arddra asked, looking at the delicate wing membranes. They looked so thin and fragile.

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #14 on: 01 Sep 2013 at 01:22 AM »
Morith practically purred with pleasure at the deliciously thorough scrubbing he was getting. He leaned slightly into the brushes but was careful to maintain his balance as he crooned softly and appreciatively. You're both so good at doing this, the dragon complimented them both in his smooth, musical and velvety voice, while his eyes whirled a serene blue.

V'riy chuckled. His dragon certainly did love the attention and he was happy to hear him encourage Arddra. The bronzerider started humming one of the teaching ballads as he focused on his work, making sure to get each area completely before moving on to the next spot. Morith playfully sprayed him with water again before moving his body slightly so that his pair of attendants could focus on another area.

"Oh, the wings? Well, they're quite high up. Believe it or not, the wings are rather durable, although from looking at the thin membrane from this distance, they appear rather fragile, don't they? A light scrubbing is all that's needed to keep them in order. I'll show you when Morith floats on his back, later. It's much easier to get them then."

Noticing that Arddra continued to regard Morith with a thoughtful expression and was looking at the bronze's back , V'riy cleared his throat a bit. "Would you like to take a break? Or did you want to take a crack at scrubbing his back?" The bronzerider frowned slightly. He wasn't sure if letting her up so high on Morith while he wasn't wearing riding straps was such a good idea. Should she slip, she would have nothing to grab onto to prevent her from falling.

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #15 on: 01 Sep 2013 at 02:14 AM »
Hearing Morith's musical voice in her mind, praising her scrubbing, Arddra smiled fondly at the bronze. It was then she realized she was falling in love with the dragon. Not in any romantic sense of the word but the sort of love one would develop for anybody they care about, be it family, a child, a friend. It made her glad she was sweating, she could use the water to hide her tears of longing. She wanted a dragon, to feel such a voice in her mind, to feel that connection.

It took v'riy's chuckle to catch her attention again and she blinked the tears away. With  her free hand she lifted the neck of her blouse to wipe her face and the tears from her cheeks. When he started to hum a teaching ballad Arddra looked over at V'riy to see him so totally focused on cleaning Morith. Once again she was struck by how good looking he was.

Morith's shifting drew her attention away from his rider back to the job at hand. Immediately she prepared to resume working on a new area of hide but by then V'riy was responding to her question about his wings.

"They have such an important role, I would think they need extra attention and care to keep them working in perfect order," Arddra said, glad her voice sounded normal. It will be interesting to see them closer."

She looked back at Morith, again thinking if it would be easier to scrub his back and upper flanks and shoulder from his back than from below. V'riy's throat clearing caused her to look back at him blushing slightly at being distracted by Morith.

"I think I would like a break, I am not used to cleaning in this direction, normally I scrub floors," Arddra didn't want to wear herself out so much she won't be able to do anything with her arms for the rest of the week. This lesson was a definite sign she needed to exercise more if she was ever to manage a dragon of her own. "I was thinking it may be easier to do more if I was able to scrub from above, if I was on his back that is...but it is quite high and I never really moved over a dragon and I wouldn't want to fall off and possibly land on a wing or hurt him in some way. Or myself hitting the water..."

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #16 on: 04 Sep 2013 at 12:41 AM »
Morith had been listening in on Arddra's thoughts to make sure she was doing alright during the bathing lesson and was surprised to catch the realization that Arddra's feelings towards him ran so deeply. The bronze was gratified beyond words and simply crooned softly at her, turning his head to regard her with bright blue eyes. He said nothing but sent his feelings back to her quietly, letting her know that she was appreciated and wanted, both at Katila and by him and V'riy.

Observing his dragon and Arddra, V'riy said privately to his bronze, I will be sad when she has her own dragon to fuss over, though I will be happy that she will have what you and I have together. Not every dragon and rider are well-matched, but she is sure to have a strong and steadfast bond when she Impresses, the rider said with approval. Morith softly rumbled his agreement as he lifted his left foreleg in the air for his rider to scrub, indicating that V'riy should keep his attention on the task at hand.

V'riy smiled fondly at Morith and nodded to him. "Don't worry, I'm on it," he chuckled as he attacked the proffered limb. He was barely winded at all and motioned for Arddra to have a seat on the soft grass covering the hill behind them. "Why don't you relax for a few moments and then we can get you up on his back when I'm done with this side. Since this is your first time, you're really going to be sore later on," he said matter-of-factly. "One of the reasons I wanted to have you help bathe him is so that you'll have a chance to use those muscles of yours," he said, grinning at the girl.

Turning back to Morith, he hummed the teaching ballad as he continued to faithfully scrub his bronze's hide, pausing now and then to examine his work. In his mind, he had broken the bronze's body into quadrants and during these pauses he would step back to take stock of his progress. As he leaned forward to continue his task, he seemed to forget Arddra's presence, so focused was he on diligently scrubbing his beloved bronze. His humming evolved gradually into singing and the girl was able to hear the rider's pleasant tenor voice, a rarity that he consciously tried to hide.

Catching the sound of her moving behind him, his voice caught in his throat and he turned to her with a sheepish look. He raised an arm, running a hand through his hair as he glanced upward, checking the position of the sun. "We've still got a bit of time before midday, and I did promise you a picnic. Just grab the brush and join in again when you're ready," the bronzerider instructed with a friendly smile of encouragement before turning back again to tend to Morith, who was now almost entirely scrubbed on his left side. "The wings do require a bit of extra attention, though really they tend to be the first thing I focus on when I examine him. It's easier to miss something on an area that's not as prominent. I'll show you how to climb up on him properly. And don't worry; if you fall, I'll catch you."

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #17 on: 04 Sep 2013 at 01:41 AM »
The feel of Morith's appreciation flooding through to her warmed Arddra's heart and made her feel very wanted. For the longest time she had not wanted to Impress even though she knew it was expected of her now that she was here. But now, she really hoped she would finally Impress. She never realized just how hollow she felt inside till she felt Morith's touch and V'riy's kindness. Perhaps others were offering kindness to her before but her bitterness at everything that had happened to her blocked her from realizing.

"After you teach me all there is to know about cleaning and oiling a dragon, taking care of a hatchling will be very easy to do." Arddra smiled at V'riy. She gave Morith an affectionate touch before moving to the shore and taking a seat on a stump. She was completely wet but the air was warm so she didn't feel chill at all.

Watching V'riy washing Morith was quite soothing and pleasing. He had good muscle tone, she can see the movement of his muscles through his shirt which was wet and clung to him. It had been so long since she was willingly intimate with anybody. The one sexual encounter she had since being kidnapped may have increased her distrust of dragonriders but it didn't dampen how much she missed being with Fosorcim. He was a very virile man and their lovemaking was enjoyable on both sides. It wasn't at first but after a few months they did find a way to make it pleasing for both.

Arddra pushed those memories away, that are in the past, Fosorcim  is gone. He was very ill when she was taken and without the Healer to care for him, Arddra doubted he survived. She felt horrible that she wasn't with him during his final moments.

The sound of a beautiful tenor singing replacing the soothing humming broke through Arddra's burning feelings of guilt. Looking at V'riy she realized it was his voice she was hearing. He had a voice the Harperhall must hate to not have in their clutches. OR did he train to be a harper before becoming a dragonrider? Arddra realized she knew so little of who V'riy was.

Standing she walked towards him, wanting to be closer to hear his voice clearer. Arddra didn't try to hide her approach so it wasn't a surprise he heard her coming and his singing stopped. In response to his sheepish look she smiled. "You have a beautiful voice V'riy..."

Then he was talking about the task they came here to do and Arddra was certain he was just embarrassed about his singing. She decided not to tell him she would very much like to hear him sing again. Maybe later on when they knew each other better.

"I am ready to resume now," Arddra assured him, reaching out and giving his arm a gentle squeeze before picking up a wide brush. "I can work to clean his back, I am not afraid of heights and I trust you to catch me should I slip."

Saying she trusted him to catch her made Arddra realize she did trust him. Completely and more than anybody else she knew here, especially among the men. A few of her fellow candidates she did like and trusted but she wasn't as comfortable around them as she was fast becoming around V'riy.

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #18 on: 08 Sep 2013 at 11:52 PM »
“Right,” V’riy said with a nod of his head when Arddra conferred that she was ready to continue. He gestured at the spot between Morith’s neck and shoulderblades. “Really the easiest way for you to climb onto his back will be for you to do it with him almost completely submerged in water. But for that we’ll have to go in deeper,” the bronzerider cautioned the girl.

“Since you said you’re not that strong of a swimmer, my suggestion is that I tow you into the deeper water and then pass you onto his back,” V’riy instructed her in a calm voice. “In order to tow you properly, you’ll have to put your arms around my neck, but not too tightly. Otherwise I won’t be able to breathe,” the bronzerider explained. He hoped that the girl wouldn’t think he was talking down to her or treating her like a simpleton; the truth was that he really wasn’t sure how much he needed to tell her, so he was just covering all his bases.

V’riy smiled kindly at Arddra and took the brush that she had picked up from her, placing it in a loop on his belt and tying it securely to his waist. “Your hands should be free, since you’re not as comfortable in the water as I am. Morith, if you would,” V’riy said, sweeping his hands towards the center of the river for Arddra’s benefit.

Morith turned and waded into the deeper water until nearly all of his body was completely underwater.   He made sure that Arddra would have an easy climb from the water onto the spot between his neck and shoulder ridges. V’riy had bade the dragon to go deeper than usual just in case Arddra slipped off – he was sure to catch the girl, but if she fell he wanted her in deep enough water that there would be absolutely no chance of her getting hurt.

With a confident smile on his face, the bronzerider made his way into the river, walking forward until the water reached his waist. He turned and beckoned Arddra closer, smiling with encouragement. “Come on, we don’t want to keep him waiting,” he said, urging her forward.  As he waited for her to approach, he took a moment to consider her comment about his singing voice. He hadn’t meant for her to hear him sing but it had become such a habit for him to sing while bathing Morith that he had slipped.  It was kind of her to compliment him and he almost started singing again. Some other time, perhaps, he decided, in a more private place. The river was often used by other riders and weyrfolk and he wasn’t ready to sing in public. It would be far too embarrassing.

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #19 on: 09 Sep 2013 at 02:14 AM »
As V'riy explained the best way for her to get up onto Morith's neck to clean and they would have to go deeper into the water, it did sound like he was treating her as a child. Arddra didn't take it that way, there was no hint of mocking in his eyes, just calm kindness.

"I will be fine with you towing me into the deeper water," Arddra assured him, trusting he wouldn't harm her in any way. She felt a little uneasiness at the thought she will have to have both arms around him more than knowing she will be in water too deep for her and her swimming skills not all that great.

"I perfectly understand," Arddra confirmed when V'riy took the brush from her hand. "I also won't accidentally drop it while you tow me out if it's not in my hand." She gave a rueful smile at her joke, looking at him a bit shyly.

She watched as Morith strolled out into the deeper water, impressed at how at home the great creature was in the water. So distracted she was watching Morith she gave a slight jump when V'riy spoke again. Blushing at being so distracted she nodded and walked into the deeper water, taking her time. With her feet still touching the bottom it wasn't difficult to move deeper. Once the water level was at her chest and she worried the next step will be over her head, if there was a dropoff, she moved closer to V'riy. Reaching up she put her arm over his shoulder, the buoyancy of the water making it easy to use her one hand to pull her behind him completely. Once in place she put her other arm over his shoulder and moved closer so she could get both arms around his neck but losely so he could still breathe without restriction.

"I am ready," Arddra told him, her words coming out a little breathy. She was very much aware of the heat of his body against her chest. It made her tremble but not from fear of the water but more a mix of nerves at being this close to a man and the growing attraction she felt for V'riy. Taking a few deep breaths she pushed away the uneasiness. If V'riy had ever meant to harm her he could have done so when she was at his hut. Everything he had done was kind hearted and Morith wouldn't let her get hurt. Taking a deep breath she exhaled slowly and forced herself to relax. By the time they reached Morith, Arddra was enjoying the 'ride'. It was a surprise how quickly she relaxed being this close to a man.

"I could get used to being carried around on your back while you swim," Arddra teased as they arrived at Morith's side. Blushing at her boldness Arddra was glad V'riy couldn't see her face. "I shouldn't have any problem climbing onto Morith's back from here, it's isn't very high up."

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #20 on: 12 Sep 2013 at 11:09 PM »
V'riy chuckled as Arddra commented that she could get used to riding around on his shoulders. "Well, with any luck, you'll have a dragon for that soon. They're really much better at it," he laughed. He was glad that she wasn't able to see the pleased smile that he hadn't been able to hold back in reaction to her teasing.

The bronzerider swam alongside Morith and grabbed onto the riding strap firmly. Moving one arm behind him, V'riy put his hand on Arddra's and guided it to the leather strap while turning to the side with his body, bringing her a close as possible. "Just grab onto the strap and you'll be fine," he assured her. "You can use it to lift yourself up, and I can give you a boost once you have a good hold on it."

After Arddra did as he instructed, he cupped her right foot with both of his hands and boosted her up as he treaded water to keep himself afloat. He found it rather more difficult to do than he had originally thought it would be since he had never done it before while swimming but he managed. He was glad that she was able to climb up the rest of the way without any issues. She didn't have that far to go since Morith was mostly submerged, but he was still a good-sized bronze so there was a small bit of climbing to do. Unhooking the brush from his belt, he passed it up to Arddra along with some sweetsand.

When V'riy was satisfied that Arddra was well-secured on top of Morith's broad shoulders between two ridges,  he unhooked his own brush and made his way to Morith's rear limbs, intent on scrubbing his hindquarters and tail. Now that he was slightly out of Arddra's line of sight, V'riy took his time studying her appearance. She had a slim build, something that he preferred in women, but she was still quite shapely.

As she bent over to scrub a hard to reach area on Morith's neck, the bronzerider sucked his breath in with a hiss and mentally rebuked himself. He grabbed the pouch of sweetsand and applied some to his brush, scrubbing dutifully at Morith's tail as he attempted to clear his mind. He wasn't supposed to be sizing her up, he was supposed to be teaching her proper dragon care. The bronzerider had to repeat this to himself several times as his eyes kept straying in Arddra's direction.

"Just let me know when you've done as much as you can, and we'll stop for a midday meal," the man called out to Arddra. He knew that he could go for a long time just scrubbing his bronze but he was used to it. V'riy was sure that she would be getting tired soon and he was starting to get hungry.

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #21 on: 12 Sep 2013 at 11:40 PM »
With a firm grip on the riding strap and V'riy's help Arddra was able to get up onto Morith's back without too much issue. Her arms felt tired however from the effort of pulling most of her weight after spending the last couple hours scrubbing Morith. Once settled into place she wisely secured the flight strap around her so she wouldn't have to worry about tumbling off Morith's back should she slip.

"Thank you V'riy," Arddra told him as he handed up the brush and sweetsand. Now that she was on top of a dragon, even on half submerged in water, Arddra realized just how high up she was. It was a thrilling sensation. A tiny bit fear but mostly amazed wonder. Looking around she could see quite well, the trees obscuring her view more than anything else.

Remembering she was up there to work not admire the view, Arddra added sweet sand to the brush and started to scrub the base of Morith's neck. Arddra decided she will work from where she was seating out as far as she could reach along Morith's neck and shoulders. A few times she had to bend over, one hand gripping the fighting straps for balance so she could lean over and reach with the brush.

The steady whisking sound of the brush covered the hiss of breath V'riy released when he caught a glimpse of Arddra as she bent over. When he told her to just let him now when she was done all he could do, Arddra glanced over her shoulder at him and smiled, "I will V'riy, and let me know too when you are tired and want a break."

The last comment was said with a grin as Arddra knew she would tire sooner than he will and she was quite certain he realized she knew this too. Turning her attention back to Morith she was glad she decided to resume work on his back. It was easier to scrub this way than from the ground up.

"You will be the cleanest bronze in all of Pern when we are done, Morith," Arddra said softly, lying nearly flat out over his back as she scrubbed around the wing joint. Feeling the heat of the dragon underneath her body, the smell of the sweetsand and dragon filling her nose, Arddra knew this sort of activity would always be something even more special when it was her own. A beautiful gold to rival the sun in a healthy golden glow.

Eventually she felt too tired to continue and her stomach growled yet as she laid against Morith she didn't want to move. Thus she didn't say anything for awhile after she stopped brushing Morith. It was when her stomach growled again she decided she was ignoring it too long. Sitting up she once again found herself neatly in place between neck ridges. Turning around towards where she last saw V'riy she felt her body protest at the movement. Arddra knew she will be very stiff come morning, at this point she didn't care.

"V'riy, I don't know about you but I am definitely ready for a midday meal."  As much as she didn't want to have to move, Arddra realized Morith will  need to rinse all the sand off from their scrubbing. Yet she didn't know if she had the energy to even slide off his back without falling. But she didn't want to appear totally useless. "I probably need help getting down, if you don't mind V'riy."

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #22 on: 17 Sep 2013 at 04:29 PM »
V'riy immediately stopped scrubbing when Arddra indicated that she was ready to stop. Morith had informed him that Arddra was taking a brief rest and the rider had known it she would soon be ready to go. The midday sun was beating down on their heads and reflecting off the water. While he was more than comfortable in the water and had plenty of energy to spare, her muscles wouldn't be used to such physical exertion and coupled with the sun overhead he had expected she would tire out quickly.

With a brief nod to her, he swam over quickly to the point directly below her and hung on to the riding strap with one hand while he braced himself against Morith's side with his foot for support. He held out his free hand to Arddra. "Throw down your brush first. Okay. Just take my hand and slide yourself down his side. You'll be just fine. It just takes a little getting used to."

Once Arddra was back in the water with her arms around his neck again, V'riy grabbed the second brush that was now floating in the water and hooked it onto his belt next to his own. He swam steadily toward the riverbank with Arddra in tow. The bronzerider was not tired in the least from bathing Morith. On the contrary, he was invigorated from the physical work, but he had worked up an appetite and was ready to take a break.

Morith submerged himself fully in the water as soon as V'riy was able to stand, not wanting to cause any waves while the pair made their way to the shore. His bronze head broke the surface of the water and he followed them to the shore where he outstretched his wings and fanned them slowly a few times to let the water slide off of them. He bumped Arddra playfully with his nose in thanks for her efforts on his behalf. The bronze was being relatively quiet but he had been enjoying himself and hadn't felt the need to talk.

V'riy settled Arddra on the blanket that he had set up earlier in the day. He smiled at her and cocked his head to the side, grinning as he asked her, "Fun, huh?" He nodded to Morith as the dragon came closer and proferred his foreleg. "I'm just going to pop to the kitchens and grab us something to eat. Be back in just a moment."

~~~~~~ V'riy pops between to the kitchens and back ~~~~~~

V'riy quickly jogged up to Arddra with a bundle of cloth that he deposited on the blanket. Untying it carefully, he revealed several meat rolls, bubbly pies, and an assortment of vegetables and tubers. It was definitely more than the two of them could eat. "Well, I promised you a picnic and here we are. I'm a man of my word. I wasn't sure exactly what you'd want, so I made sure to get you a good selection," he said, smiling kindly at her.

"Don't feel obligated to finish it all. Whatever we don't eat, I can always have later on in the day, or tomorrow." He pushed a plate towards the girl, sliding it slowly along the soft blanket. "Help yourself."

He got up and jogged back to Morith, climbing up the dragon to grab another bundle. Making his way back to the blanket, the rider quickly took a seat and unrolled the second bundle, revealing two bottles. "Juice and wine," the rider said as he nodded at them. "Well, what passes for wine at Katila, anyway," he chucked, winking at her. He unwrapped two glasses and picked up one as he gestured to the bottles. "What are you having?"

Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #23 on: 17 Sep 2013 at 08:07 PM »
"It's a good thing all dragons are small to start otherwise I would not be able to take care of one as big as Morith much less a gold." Arddra knew in time she will adjust to the work and would have no trouble cleaning an entire dragon as often as they needed it. She tossed down her brush and took his hand, carefully sliding down into V'riy's arms.

As rubbery as her arms felt her grip upon V'riy to ensure she didn't slip free was firm. Not too tight as she wasn't afraid of the water just not a strong swimmer. Once again she was very much aware of his closeness and found she liked it far more than she felt uncomfortable being close to the dragonrider.

Once back on shore Arddra laughed when Morith nudged her. She turned and rubbed his muzzle in affection. "You are most welcome Morith, I enjoyed brushing you as much as you did."

Her arms ached but she didn't regret a single moment scrubbing Morith. It was good honest work as far as she was concerned. The need to clean one's dragon on a regular basis certainly explained how deep the bond was between rider and dragon even without the special connection forged at the dragon's hatching.

"I will be here when you get back," Arrdra assured him, smiling. "After all that work I am quite hungry too."

Once V'riy mounted up and Morith took them into the air, Arddra turned away to shield her eyes from the debris blown up by his wings. She walked over to where she left a towel she brought from her room and used it to dry off as much as she could. If she had thought about it ahead of time she would have brought a change of clothing. Not that she felt comfortable changing out in the open but right now there wasn't anybody around to see her. Fortunately her hair wasn't all that wet so it was just her clothing she couldn't dry at this moment.

It wasn't long before she saw the bronze return, landing a little ways away so as not to bury her with sand. Arddra had sat down by this point and found she felt quite tired but hungry too. She smiled as V'riy jogged up to her and laid down the food he had brought.

"There is more than enough here I like to eat," Arddra assured him. "Thank you V'riy." She picked up the plate he slid over and started adding a few things while he ran back to Morith to fetch something else. She was very tempted to have one of the bubbly pies first, Arddra liked pastries. Chuckling she decided to eat at least one meatroll and some vegetables before having a pie.

"Out of all the people taken from the north against their will, you would think somebody would have snatched up somebody in the wine making craft." Arddra joked when presented with a choice of wine or water. "I best have juice, wine is likely to put me right to sleep."

Once V'riy poured her a glass of juice Arddra accepted it with thanks. Taking a sip she savored the cool drink as it went down her throat. It was quite refreshing.

"V'riy, can I ask you a rather sensitive question?" Arddra said after she finished off a tuber. "I remember you told me about not approving with all the decisions of our leaders here, I was wondering, do you want to go back north?"

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Re: How to Bathe Your Dragon [Arddra]
« Reply #24 on: 21 Sep 2013 at 07:01 PM »
V'riy smiled at Arddra, glad to see her relaxed and enjoying herself. He snagged a few meat rolls for his plate and filled his glass with wine, raising it at her before taking a sip. "Helps take the edge off," he said as he tilted the glass from side to side, examining the liquid as he caused it to roll this way and that. Although it wasn't a particularly tasty vintage, it served its purpose.

The bronzerider was glad that she was adjusting to life at Katila and happy to know that he had been able to push her in the right direction. He wondered if she would take the picnic as a kind of … overture, from him, and hoped not. While he definitely found her attractive, he was afraid that any advances from him would cause her to question his motives for befriending her and that was the last thing he wanted.

The man blinked at her dumbly for a moment after hearing Arddra's question. The bronzerider hadn't been expecting a question like this. His eyes met hers as he tried to quickly formulate an answer. He considered for a few long moments. Was she ready to hear about his personal opinions regarding Katila's leadership? Should he even share them with her and invite the danger that knowledge might bring her into her life?

V'riy frowned slightly and shook his head imperceptibly. No, he decided, he wouldn't burden her with too much information. He was comfortable, however, with telling her enough to ask the right questions after she'd had time to think about his answer. Their friendship had certainly progressed far enough for that.

Remember, you and I know she can be trusted. Though I think you are right not to tell her too much yet.  the bronze commented.

"Hmm," V'riy finally said as he played with one of the meat rolls on his plate. "Well, in a word, yes." He picked up a fork and skewered a few vegetables, shaking them off the utensil as he deposited them on the plate next to the meat roll. "I'd like to go back to Benden, surely. Why do you ask?"


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