The Strangest Thing We Ve Ever Done

((Loathsome,)) Raskhath muttered to himself as Myriath exited the scene, if only because she had been so agonizingly close to the one that he kept staring at. The gnawing hunger in his gut urged him to go on and greet them, but it wouldn’t do to shuffle across the sands, limbs flailing, like the other hatchlings had no doubt done.

Since Myriath /hadn’t/ picked his after all, he gave a soft sigh of relief and went back to relaxing, flicking at a stray piece of Lephiroth’s broken egg with his claw. ((What a remarkable vocabulary. At least we know your eyes work.)) But how dreadful it was now that Nalmuth’s attention was being drawn elsewhere. Of course it was.

For now, he contented himself to wait, yearning for an opportunity to seize.

Nalmuth glanced around, surprised, but no, it seemed the bronze was speaking to her. ((Er… hello Lephiroth. I’m Nalmuth, and… thank you, I guess.)) She looked for Myriath, but the other green was in the middle of Impressing, and Rashkath seemed completely uninterested. ((I’m sorry about all that tumbling. Myriath gave you a push for some reason… I don’t know why, but please don’t think we’re all like that. Are you feeling better? It didn’t make you sick, did it?))

((Not at all, and while my journey here may not have been smooth, to arrive in the warmth of your presence is reward enough.)) He leaned in, giving her what he thought was an attractive hero pose and expression of awesome, ((So, leggy green. What do you do for kicks around here? Get it? Kicks? :Leggy? Ah I tickle myself…))

((How marvelous for you. Seems your egg isn’t the only empty thing on the sands.)) Raskhath commented dryly, pulling himself up to his feet in one slow, drawn out movement. ((And if that’s what you’re into, well…how could I /possibly/ get in the way of what’s true love?))

Nalmuth missed the joke, perhaps because she felt a little preoccupied. There was still that gnawing need to do something — the thing she hadn’t found at the Stands — and it was getting harder to ignore.

((I’m sorry, Lephiroth, you seem very nice and all, but I’m on a bit of a mission, and I don’t think I really have time to talk. It was nice meeting you, though.)) She paused, considering, before finally adding, ((and you, Rashkath.))

She went around the bronze, eyes on the candidates, searching for that face without knowing for sure what she was searching for — somehow she just knew she would know it when she saw it. And then, suddenly, there it was, and she knew exactly what she had to do.

((There!)) she called to her chosen, rushing forward, dodging other candidates determinedly. ((I’ve found you! I’m sorry I’m late, but I’m here now, and I swear I won’t fail you again!))

((Oh…)) Lephiroth looked disappointed, looking after the green before turning to the only other dragon remaining, the salty brown. ((Well this is far less fun. Bit of a sausage fest now isn’t it? You’re a dude, seemingly a bit sour, not judging just observing. And I’m a ray of sunshine and light. And you scared off the girls man! This sucks.))

And the bronze flopped over his egg in a display of dramatic display, before noticing his reflection and giving a soft ‘ooh’.

((And here I am, stuck perusing the empty hallways of your brain. Perhaps you were merely /too/ bright for her, hmm? One can only handle so much…shine.)) He glanced at the dull, dark, shineless brown he had and grumbled to himself. ((Oh well.))

Again he began to prowl, lurking around the hatching sands, watching those few eggs that had yet to hatch. Noticing that Lephiroth was all too enamored with himself, Raskhath seized the opportunity he had been looking for, nudging the next nearest egg in his direction. It had been straight out of Myriath’s book, true — but he did it /better./

The Eternal Winter egg had already been rocking wildly, but the tip and roll was enough to start spidery cracks up the side of it, spreading all around. By the time it made contact with Lephiroth, it was weak enough to shatter, spilling out another bronze — this one smaller, stocky, with short wings and a dark, rich medium bronze hide.

Sitting dazed in the remnants of his egg for a second, he finally got his eyes to focus again and stood up, shaking himself off.

((Ugh!)) he said. ((Not how I wanted to do it, but it works.)) He focused on Lephiroth, and abruptly his eyes narrowed. ((And put me right where I wanted to be, too. I could hear you whining all the way over in my egg, you foppish fool!))

((Whoah, whoah…)) Lephiroth peered at the other bronze, hands lifted in pacification, ((Whoah now…that’s just rude.)) he gave him a small winning grin, ((Kay? Rude. Also hi. I’m Lephiroth…and you aaaaaaaaaare?))

((Ahh…)) Raskhath smirked. This was more like it. Quickly he strolled behind the remnants of an egg — impossible to hide behind, but enough to stay out of this new bronze’s sight.

The other bronze didn’t look the slightest bit charmed or convinced. ((Dumacth,)) he said gruffly, eye still narrowed. ((And I don’t care if you think it’s rude or not — I’m just calling you on your wherryshit, boy. I heard you over here, too lazy to come out of your own egg and then blaming your failure to keep a lady’s attention on someone else! And I don’t care, except you were doing it loud. You want something? Buck up and go get it.))

And with that, he turned around abruptly, peering around the Sands, inspecting his new surroundings.

((That’s right!)) A voice chirped in agreement. ((Just put one fooooot in front of the other and goooo!)) From its mound of sand, the Softest Hug egg began to wobble, trying to dislodge itself.

((Wow…)) Lephiroth drawled sarcastically, ((You are just the ray of sunshiniest dragon ever aren’t you.))

((Yes.)) Dumacth looked over the broken eggs, the remaining unhatched few, around at the spectators and to the Weyrlingmasters waiting near the scent of food, over the candidates — hrm, he felt a twinge of interest there — and then finally at the Softest Hug egg. ((Now you’ve got the right idea. Keep on pushing ‘til you get out — that’s how you get what you want in life!))

((I think life will give you things,…or you take them. Sometimes from people who don’t deserve nice shiny things.)) Lephiroth edged away from the intense bronze, privately thinking there was something very wrong with a few of his siblings, this one included, ((Hey sunshine? You think you’re gonna come out here anytime soon?))

A buffer would be great.

((I don’t know about a ray of sunshine,)) the chirpy voice continued, its egg rocking more vigorously, ((but I’m sure that we’re bright indeed!)) Finally, the strange blue shell gave way, revealing a small, freckled green lying on her back, which she seemed to be enjoying from the happy chirps she gave. Her little feet kicked in the air.

((Just keep going, just keep going — hey, it’s you guys! I’m Elleth. Isn’t it just wonderful out here? I heard all of you playing, but I just thought to myself, you know, I don’t want to ruin the party, so maybe I’ll wait until someone really needs a hug. And now!))

Immediately she pranced on over to Dumacth, draping her still-goopy wing around him. ((Is that better, Mister Tantrum-tail?)) There was not a hint of malice in the way she asked, her expression every bit as bright and chirpy as she.

((Ugh, no,)) said Dumacth, ducking away from her. ((Why don’t you go hug Lephiroth there? He’s the one looking for the attention of a green.))

He shook the goop off and looked back at the candidates, considering them, determined not to let his siblings distract him. He hadn’t missed Lephiroth’s casual mention of taking things, and somehow he doubted the other bronze meant “take” in a “seize the day” sort of way. Dumacth was all for seizing the day, but if Lephiroth was a “seize other dragons’ stuff” type, he wasn’t about to let him get the drop on him.

((Oh sure I’m all about the impromptu hugs, thanks Dumbco.)) Lephiroth muttered dryly, but gave the happy green a smile of his own, ((I think you’re right. I think Mr Grumpy Guts here just doesn’t like admitting that you’re warming his cold hard heart. You just keep hugging him, and if he complains, hug him tighter!))

Smirk.

((Come onnnn.)) The green smiled like a fool, stepping closer to Dumacth as he slipped away. ((Don’t be a grumpy-guts. What’s the harm in a hug, huh?)) Again she tried, wings spread, desperately wiggling and shuffling her way at him to get /one/ limb around the bronze.

Dumacth pulled away, irritated that she was still interrupting his business. ((Are you daft, green, or just deaf? I said no, and I mean no! If you want to hug something, then either hug him or go hug one of them!))

He flipped a wing out sharply to gesture towards the candidates.

((Oh he is sour isn’t he.)) Lephiroth was enjoying this, far too much judging by his wicked chuckles. His fellow bronze’s troubles were his own fault really, or so Lephiroth thought. Being so broody, of course someone would want to cheer him up, ((What’s wrong with sharing a hug Dumacky? It’s bonding. She’s your sister. Bond…))

((Indeed. What could be more important than the bonds of a family?)) Raskhath chimed in. He had drawn eerily quiet during this exchange, content to watch, but now the hunger of being freshly hatched was starting to really grate on him. While they continued to banter, he strolled away from the trio, but not before giving them a parting, ((Try it with your arms, dear. Hugging is better with the arms.))

Elleth, inspired by Raskhath’s suggestion, squealed delightfully and rose up on her hindfeet to hug Dumacth. Her plan might have worked had she any ounce of grace to her name. As it was, she merely floundered and then flopped to her side, where she laid on the sands giggling.

A perfect distraction, Raskhath thought. He strolled through the semi-circle of candidates, snarling at any hand unfortunate enough to reach for him, until he found that very face at whom he had been staring this whole time. ((You. I grow weary of these fools. Surely there must be something more outside? Food, perhaps?))

((I’m not obligated to let someone throw themselves all over me just to make them happy,)) Dumacth growled. ((Besides, Elleth,)) he said, and something in his voice altered — just a little, ((Lephiroth is the one who’s going to need a hug more. I might be grumpy, but he’s about to be all alone. Why don’t you keep him company?))

And with that, he turned and raced for the candidates, cackling. This standing around getting assaulted and mocked wasn’t getting him anywhere, so as far as Dumacth was concerned, only an idiot would stand around and continue to take it.

((Eh hehehehe!)) Dumacth laughed gleefully, a rough chuckling sound, as he swaggered his way decisively towards his chosen candidate — clearly the gem of the crop, to his mind. ((Now that’s the way to do it! Standing around never got anybody anywhere — if you want to win, you’ve got to be sharp enough to see opportunity when it knocks, ambitious enough to seize it, tough enough to fight your way to it, and smart enough to out-fox your competition! Now that I’ve won you, we’ll always come out on top together!))

((Hey! No!)) Lephiroth watched the two other male dragons go and made to follow them, but hesitated, lingering. Elleth would be alone if he left…and he wasn’t sure that that was the right thing to do. I mean, look at her! She was hopeless… ((This is so…not fair.)) he muttered before turning back to the flopping green, ((Elleth, pumpkin-pips, would you mind focusing here for just the teeeeeeeeeeeeensiest of moments? Come on, I know you can do it.))

So intent was he on his coaching of the green that he didn’t notice the All Too Fragile Egg roll slowly and gracefully off its bump and over to sit behind him, seemingly listening.

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