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Stalemate

Writers: Eimi, Heather
Date Posted: 11th April 2018

Characters: R'sedel, Zh'no
Description: R'sedel ponders his next move...
Location: Dragonsfall Weyr, Vintner Hall
Date: month 4, day 4 of Turn 9
Notes: Stalemate (noun); a position counting as a draw, in which a player is not in check but cannot move except into check.


R'sedel's eyes were narrowed, his brow drawn as he stared at the
bubbles slowly making their way from the bottom of his beer to the
top. It really was a boon living near the Vintner Hall, he decided. It
wasn't often that the greenrider set out to a tavern to drink alone,
but that was exactly what he was doing that evening. He had some
things to think through...

**Like my massive failures in convincing Zh'no out on a date....** He
just didn't understand why his usual tactics weren't working. He'd
never met a more stiff, closed-off bluerider... and it just served to
make him even more intrigued.

Let's see, the first time he'd asked Zh'no out....

**Flashback**

"Zh'no," R'sedel wore his best, winning smile that tended to make
other men swoon. "How about grabbing dinner with me tonight?"

The bluerider was wiping his hand on a towel as he walked out of the
stables after helping to birth a runner. He was still covered in
blood and other fluids as he looked at R'sedel in confusion. "You
hang around the stables often?"

"Sometimes," R'sedel said and then smoothly followed with, "but I'm
more inclined to do so when you're out here."

"You have a particular interest in watching me stick my arm into a
runner beast's birthing tract?" Zh'no asked with a lift of his
eyebrow.

"Sure," R'sedel said, "it's not something I see many dragonriders do."
He'd known other dragonriders who had also been beastcrafters, but
most of them had tended to leave the craft to the Weyr's beastcrafters
after they Impressed. "Do you come down here and do this a lot?"

"I assure you, only as the need arises. It's not a hobby of mine.
Now if you'll excuse me..." The bluerider wanted nothing more than to
scrub his body, change his clothes, and retreat to the peace and calm
of his room.

"Is that a 'no' to dinner then?" R'sedel called to Zh'no's retreating figure.

"It's a no," Zh'no confirmed, sighing inwardly.

**End Flashback**

R'sedel wasn't sure what was going wrong in his attempts to get Zh'no
out for a _single_ date. **Maybe he's... more into women!** the
thought came across his mind with a bit of horror. That was a
possibility, he had to admit, but there was just something in his gut
that told him that it wasn't that.

**Flashback**

Zh'no had reached the zone - that moment where his Wing, his work,
even the sounds of the Weyrlake had disappeared from his conscious
thought, and all that lay before him was that next step, that next
breath. He felt no fatigue, and lost all sense of time. His mind was
perfectly focused on the task at hand, and it felt great. That is
until something large suddenly stepped out in front of him along the
path and his concentration was broken as he snapped back into himself
with a jolt, almost knocking him from his feet as he lost the timing
in his stride.

"Morning," R'sedel said. The greenrider had already been out for a
jog, taking his usual extended path that included a lap around the
Weyrlake, and then along the perimeter of the weyrbowl as well. Then
he'd caught sight of Zh'no, and thought, why not say good morning?

"Shards and shells," he cried, screeching to an halt. The bluerider
steadied himself for a moment before turning to look at who it was who
had stepped out in front of him. **Oh, him. Of course it would be
him.** "Greenrider," he said with an acknowledging nod.

"Sorry, I thought you saw me approaching," his path had been at an
angle to intercept for quite a while. "I didn't mean to disturb you."

"Uh... no... My mind was on the path ahead of me." Zh'no put his
hands on his hips, suddenly feeling the fatigue in his body that he
had been able to ignore while running. "What was it you said?"

R'sedel smiled, "Just 'good morning' and 'mind if I join you?'"

The bluerider was a little confused. "Doing what?"

"On your jog?" R'sedel tilted his head.

"Oh." Zh'no ran a hand over his tied back hair. Well, this was
awkward. The bluerider hated awkward, and did everything he could to
avoid people for just that reason! "Uh... You see... This is _my_
time... I don't run with other people..."

"Oh." R'sedel mirrored Zh'no's initial response. He hadn't thought
that jogging would be so... personal? "Okay then, well, enjoy the rest
of your run then. I'll, um, see you around."

Zh'no cringed inwardly, feeling both guilty and cornered. "It's
nothing personal," the bluerider assured him, though he knew what the
greenrider was after and he certainly didn't like feeling like the
latest cut at the butchers. "I wouldn't run with anybody else.
It's... just... my time..."

R'sedel's generally cheery exterior bounced back and he raised his
hands with a smile, "Absolutely, I shouldn't have bothered you.
Another time, perhaps? Enjoy the rest of your run."

"Thanks. Good day to you." Zh'no shifted his feet awkwardly a moment
before moving down the path. Try as he might, though, he could not
quite find his stride.

**Back to Present Time**

**What am I doing wrong?** he asked himself as he recounted the events
in his mind. He really thought the casual request to join him in his
run had been the least forward and most likely to earn him a little of
the bluerider's attention out of all his attempts. Maybe he should ask
one of Zh'no's close friends what it took to get to know the man, but
wait... **Does he have close friends?** R'sedel strained to think of a
time when he'd seen the bluerider casually hanging out with anyone.

This would take more thought, he decided, tossing money down on the
bar for the drinks he'd had as he stood. Perhaps the key was to lay
off all together, and let fate do the rest. R'sedel wasn't sure if he
had the self-discipline to wait on fate, but he was out of other
options.

Last updated on the April 26th 2018


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