N'juk

Character type: Dragonrider
Rank: Weyrling
Age: 17
Gender: Male
Sexual Preference: Heterosexual

Appearance

Najuk is a big fellow, and not really in the best way. He's always been tall and strong for his age, true, and it looks like he'll be tall as a grown man, too (currently he's at 6' and will probably squeeze out another couple of inches before he stops growing), but his problem is in his girth. He's broad, and some of it is genetic – he's built wide, and he's big-boned, but that can't account for all his extra weight and he knows it. He's… well, he's chubby. His face is round, his belly has enough pudge that it doesn't really show much muscular definition unless he flexes reeeeally hard, his upper arms and thighs have a little extra flab. He's shy about taking his shirt off because he doesn't have the hard pecs that so many boy his age want and some actually have – no, he actually has a hint of man-boob that he's terrified someone will point out (again). He's not really obese, or in awful shape, no. If he was, he would never have been allowed to Stand. He's been doing candidate exercises long enough that he's actually in better shape than he appears to be, and he's very strong so obviously there's some decent muscle under there somewhere, but he'll never be among the best – usually he falls near the top of the bottom third to finish when they take their runs, for instance – and he just happens to wear his extra pounds more poorly than some do. He sweats like a pig and he hates it; he never wears white or other very light-colored shirts because the sweat-stains show up worse and make him feel like everyone is looking at him and thinking about how disgusting he is.

There isn't really much to note about his face. His nose is broad and turns up slightly at the end, he has dimples in both cheeks when he smiles, and his left eyebrow is bisected by a small scar (no real interesting story about it – he just fell when he was a toddler and doesn't even remember it), but other than that his features are utterly forgettable. His skin is fair, his eyes hazel, and his hair – when he has any – is dark brown. He keeps it shaved down to the barest stubble most of the time though, just because he can't stand how it feels on his ears and it makes the back of his neck all sweaty. Unfortunately this, combined with a broad jaw and lack of definition lent by the extra chub in his cheeks, makes his head look rather round and and potatoish.

Personality

N'juk is a young man in transition, balanced precariously on the edge of the little boy he was and the man that he may someday be, with all of it riding on the next few delicate turns and which way life decides to push him. As a child he was the shy boy who stood by the wall while the other children played silly games, desperately wanting to join in but too self-conscious to take the chance. On those occasions when he did, he always felt like he was making a fool of himself – even when everyone was doing the wiggle dance, he just couldn't bring himself to do it too because it felt like there was a spotlight on him and him alone, like he was somehow messing up. He never quite fit in, and he did get his share of teasing – especially once they were all old enough to realize that it's fun to pick on the fatty and that he was sensitive enough to be visibly hurt by it.

It only made him more fearful of stepping up, of doing anything at all to stand out, when deep down that's exactly what he wants – to be recognized for something special, to be one of those people that everyone knows. He doesn't have to be the best at everything. No, that's never been his goal. He doesn't want to be the big man on campus, he just wants to be a somebody intead of a nobody. He's not anti-social, and usually isn't bitter, either. In fact, he's quite a friendly guy, but very sensitive and hesitant to speak up sometimes not only for fear of being hurt himself, but for fear of inadvertently hurting someone else. Even when he manages to be more forceful or more aggressive – even when he has every right to, such as standing up to a bully — he never seems able to feel proud of himself afterwards… just guilty. He's easy to push around, easy to guilt-trip, and has a hard time saying “no” even when he damn well knows better.

Underneath the self-esteem issues and poor body-image, there's the makings of a solid young man. He's not very book-smart, but people who get to know him are often surprised by how witty he can be – in fact, he has a bit of a gift for humor, and he doesn't even realize it. Once you coax him out of his shell, he's a bright and engaging conversationalist, as if making up for lost time and words never said. He honestly wants to please, to make people happy, and his sincerity is apparent on his face… when he forgets to be shy, that is. He can be fun, he can be passionate, he can be fierce and loyal, but mostly he's just that big sweet guy that people only remember as an afterthought, and he doesn't quite realize how close he actually is to shedding that old skin and revealing his real self.

Impression has actually been rather hard on him. On the one hand, Kabridith's love is so complete that it makes him feel better about himself. Surely such strong feelings from someone who can see into his very soul can't be wrong, right? But on the other hand, he feels terribly overwhelmed by it. How can he ever live up to his dragon's expectations when he's only a quiet, dumb, chubby boy and the blue keeps insisting that he's the most handsome, talented, amazing man on Pern? Did he somehow fool Kabridith into believing he's something that he's not? Has he unknowingly perpetrated the deepest, most intimate and disgusting lie of all time?

It tears him up inside, and it's a lucky thing that Kabridith is too stubborn to relent in his opinions, or else he'd be just as messed up thanks to his rider's crippling doubt.

History

Birthdate: 434.04.01

Najuk was never really anyone special – just another weyrborn brat at Benden Weyr, one of his bluerider father's many barely-acknowledged by-blows, fostered by a strict but fair Lower Caverns woman alongside a half-sibling and a couple of other children. He was always a shy boy, never really one of the guys, and often took his refuge in food, which did nothing to help his natural tendency towards… well, largeness. As he got older, he started to come out of his shell a little more, but it was hard being at that delicate age where body image is everything and the young men in the candidate barracks were starting to get competitive.

It was his older half-sister, his closest family, who saw the potential in him and realized how close he was to either achieving it or closing the door on it forever. She had volunteered to go to Ista after the first 'Fall (she was always a free spirit anyway, and honestly wanted to help out), and she contrived to bring Najuk along with her – deliberately dragging him out of the rut he was in, going on and on to him about the potential of a fresh new start. He was terrified at the prospect, but he did listen. He needed that kick in the pants, someone to give him a little hope, and he realized it, too.

So he resolved to change things. At Ista, nobody knew he was a big fat loser. He couldn't exactly magically make himself un-chubby, but he could at least try to win people over with his personality, right? He made a real effort to be more outgoing – introducing himself (awkwardly sometimes) to people, trying to contribute to conversations, really trying to make friends. The Istans didn't make it easy. It turned into a sort of roller-coaster: some days he found himself keeping to himself again, too afraid to speak up for fear of getting snapped at for being a dumb Outsider again, only to wake up the next morning resolving to do better no matter what anybody thought. He quickly found the people who were safe to talk to, and mostly concentrated on them. He even tried to take better care of himself, to eat right and exercise more. He didn't magically get better, no – it was all still a struggle every day, some worse than others, but by the time the Hatching rolled around, he was actually feeling pretty good about himself for the first time in his life. He had even made a couple of tentative friendships…

…and then the Hatching rolled around, and Impression happened. It was everything he'd ever wanted, true, but it was also more overwhelming than he had expected. Kabridith has all these… expectations. And he seems to think that N'juk is not only the guy he was trying to be when he came to Ista, but something even greater than that… and N'juk can't escape the feeling that he's somehow managed to fool a dragon, and will never be able to actually be that person that Kabridith wants him to be.

Relationships

Family

Father: Unnamed bluerider, Benden Weyr
Mother: Kitchen staff, Benden Weyr
Half-sister: Rider, Ista Weyr
Other half-sibs, none close

N'JUK'S DRAGON: BLUE KABRIDITH

Dragon Name: Kabridith
Colour: Blue
Age: >1
Weyr of Origin: Ista

Appearance

People often think of blue as cool shade, something calm, something still. Looking at Kabridith’s hide however you wouldn’t think so at all. He’s a myriad of shades, all seemingly bright, eyecatching. Some patches are almost sleek, shiny, others are more textured, but all of them flow together to create a handsome, eyecatching blue. And he is handsome, all strong sleek lines, muscles and not an ounce of excess flesh. The lady greens will find him very appealing, and he knows it. Perfectly in proportion, Kabridith’s form isn’t overly large, nor is he small for a blue. And yet…he does catch your eye…and keep it.

Personality

Kabridith wants to be respected, certainly, but brute force isn't his way. Ugh, how could anyone really respect that? He certainly wouldn't. It seems to him that that's all the bronzes and browns really have on him, anyway: they're bigger. That's all. He'll never believe they have any qualities he may lack, or that the qualities they share could possibly be as good as his own. They can't possibly be smarter or more talented than he, and their colors have nothing on his, the poor big ugly beasts. Why, he'd probably pity them, if people didn't obey them anyway despite their glaring handicaps.

No, obedience is nice and all, but it's also the refuge of the small-minded. Kabridith knows better. Better to be admired — admired for his brains, his looks, his culture, his all-around savoir faire. He is rather clever when he doesn't let his own pride get in the way, though perhaps he's not as clever as he thinks he is. And he's certainly handsome, though his vanity may occasionally get the better of his good judgment as he demands to be bathed and oiled before 'Fall, because after all, when one is about to perform and everyone's eyes will be on him (he's certain), that's when ones looks matter the most, yes? As for culture, well, is it really appropriate for a dragon to have such expensive tastes? Should he have such an eye for fashion and color, even though he's rather limited in what he himself can wear? (An injustice he will often rant about.) Should he, once he realizes that the tiny script on tiny hides are much too difficult for him to even begin to learn to read, enjoy being read to so very much? It's not really a bad thing for a dragon to know all the best ballads, is it?

For all his pretentiousness, no one can deny that he can be as smooth as silk when he wants to be. He knows how to turn on the charm, how to turn a phrase, and how to turn even the worst situation to his benefit. He's not malicious at all, but he's self-centered in a way that makes him a bit unmindful of the fact that he might be unintentionally hurting others sometimes – most frequently their feelings, as he's quicker to voice his criticisms in an attempt to sound smarter and more worldly than he is to consider that his observations might be unwelcome. He'll hold his rider, his partner, to a high standard, too, and may show some childish jealousy if they focus on anyone but himself for too long.

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