Better With Love

Xanadu Weyr - Meadow
A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.

Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a stone wall and low rolling hills can be seen to the north. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests to the southwest or ore from the mountains to the southeast are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

The morning is early yet, the fog still burning off as the sun climbs up into the sky. Despite the hour, it seems Soriana has already been out and about, and now she's making her way toward her mother's weyr from the gardens, moving with long strides but no particular rush. There's something in her hand - a single flower, long stem trimmed of leaves.

ka-el has sent Alloy off to do the things that firelizards do when they're not with their partners, because Alloy tends to be the most distracting thing ever. He's marginally less so when away, and Kale has needed his mind to himself for a while. This morning finds him out of bed and early washed, his hair still damp from a recent bath. He's heading out from the forges and heading towards .. well, it's difficult to say where. Possibly the ridge. Maybe the clearing. Either way he'll need to pass by numerous weyrs to get there, Yumeth's being one. A satchel is slung over one shoulder, bouncing slightly against his side as he goes. And he's going, til he spies another early riser emerging through the vague mist. Soriana is watched as his steps start to slow on their own, eyes drifting to the flower in her hand.

Another shape. Another shape in the fog, and… ah. Soriana's steps slow nearly to a stop as she sees who it is. There's a moment when it might be a stop, and then she takes another step, a step that brings her closer. Her eyes linger on Kale, not wanting to step away. She should-shouldn't-maybe-she doesn't know. Whatever. Should or shouldn't, she wants to, and so she starts moving again. Toward him. Only, she can't seem to convince her feet to move quite as spryly as they did before, and her fingers turns the stem of the flower in her hands, making it wobble with a nervous gesture.

He can't remember the number of days it's been since he spoke a word to her. Days that turned to sevendays that turned to multiple sevendays. Keep walking. Just keep walking. To and past and on your way. That's the plan, says his brain. But it's not the right plan, speaks something else a bit more strongly. Kale fingers the strap on his shoulder, adjusting the slight weight of books and whatever else may be within that bag of his. He's aware that she's getting nearer, albeit in some lagged sort of way. Her steps towards him, his steps towards her, til between them there are mere yards. Feet. He pauses then. "Nice flower." .. Really? Of all the words to say after weeks of saying nothing, those are the words that leave his mouth? Mental slap. What's wrong with you, Kale?

They say the first step is the hardest, but right now, Soriana thinks they're wrong. It's those last few steps that are the hardest, the ones that actually bring her into talking distance with Kale. Only then it gets harder, because then she has to think of something to say. He gets there first, and she blinks, looking down at the flower like she'd forgotten she was carrying it. Ah. That's right. "Yeah," she says, with a faint smile. "Muir thought I needed one." She glances back up to Kale, and somehow, all her words go running away again. Stupid words. Why do they desert her?

"He an' Marel must be really in to flowers," Kale remarks, his smirk vague. His eyes shift away from her then, awkwardly, glancing at anything else that may be available to look at. Like that clump of grass over there. Ugh. Why is this difficult? Talking to her has never been difficult. From the first day they met in the stables, speaking has come so easy. But even then, they were almost friends from the start. Times inbetween, they were friends and more. Now, he's not sure what they are, but together they are not. Remembering that, he clutches at his bag a little tighter, bringing his eyes back to her. "You want…to talk or something?" He did promise Idrissa he would. Like, a month ago.

Flowers. Heh. Another turn of the one in Soriana's hand, and the side of her mouth curves up. "Probably after Coldstone, they're so glad to see anything green…" she says, almost with that easy tone before it trails off into the new uncertainty. The flower wobbles in her fingers. Do what she wants. What does she want? Her gaze comes up to Kale again, and she's about to open her mouth… but he gets there first, again. So she nods. "Yeah. I… I'd like that." And she would; the tone is earnest. She may not know much, but she knows that.

Good. She'd like to talk. He needs to talk. This is … good, yes? Ah, if only Kale knew what it was he needs to say. But for a time, talking won't be necessary, for he surely doesn't want to do it here in the midst of the meadow where people will mill in and out. He glances to her hand, which a month or so prior he would've claimed without hesitation. Or asking, for that matter. For now, he only nods to her, offering a faint smile. "C'mon. I know a place," he says, gesturing with his head an invitation for her to walk along with him as he continues along the same path he was traveling before, heading towards the line of trees that marks the beginnings of Xanadu's forest.

Soriana isn't sure if she wants to laugh or cry, seeing that smile directed at her, faint as it is. Somehow, she does neither of those, just smiles back. She's not sure if she could avoid smiling back, and besides, she doesn't want to. She falls into pace easily beside him - the muscles of her legs know the right stride. They haven't forgotten it - and for a time, they're silent, heading for the trees.


Xanadu Weyr - Glade
Surrounded by majestic trees with their boughs spread outward in the ovalesque clearing so as to create a gentle filtering of the light on the glade floor, this little area of paradise located in the depths of the forest that surrounds Xanadu Weyr makes its debut. Tiny flowers with their upturned pistles of yellow, pink, red and blue scatter here and there, some of them with definitive petals that glisten in what light is supplied, and others appearing like tiny balls of fuzz or fluff, with stamen so fine that to distinguish between themselves and the petals is nearly impossible. Their leaves are of all different shapes and sizes, some coming up to shield the blooms during the day and thus only allowing their beauty to be seen at night.
One thing that makes this area of the weyr so popular with the residents and riders would be the small moon pool that is situated directly center of the glade where even the longest of the tree limbs cannot reach. The water is smooth as glass, as the trees cause such a wind break that nothing ever disturbs it. The reflection of the moonlight at night confuses the flowers around it, so they sleep all day, and then their magnificent blooms open during the night. Concrete benches have been situated about the pool for people to sit and enjoy these rare occurances in relaxation.

(Just gonna note, even though it's not super important, that the image used here is not one for the glade because there is no glade picture available, but I did use one from the list of room images) <3

He wasn't aware how difficult proximity would be. Merely walking with her. He can feel the pull of his hand, wanting to gravitate towards her, drawn like a magnet towards its polar opposite, and thus his match. The hand is slid into his pocket as they break the line of trees and move within the forest, keeping to the path til Kale veers to a less traveled one. Overgrown and half forgotten by most, a semi private spot to those who have found it. A bit of crowded brush walking soon opens up to the forest glade and the crystalline pond in the center of it. The lingering mist gives the place a feeling of fantasy, and the dragonflies that zip here and there only add to it, mimicking playful pixies darting in and out of view. Kale only somewhat relaxes upon arrival, heading towards the pond in the center and the few benches that have been placed around it. He's been quiet the whole time. Either gathering thoughts or allowing his mind to merely wander. His steps begin to slow, and his eyes turn towards her. " … Have you been alright?"

For her part, Soriana keeps that flower in near-constant motion, with fits and starts and twists and turns as they make their way into the forest, to something that's close enough to private where only the insects and perhaps an avian or two will be watching them. She reaches out a hand to touch the trunk of a tree, lingering there a moment before continuing on, looking at this place. It's a nice place. A quiet place. A… romantic place? Yes, but she pushes that thought aside for now. That's not why they're here now. A quiet place. At Kale's words, the turns her attention back to him, and for a moment, she just stares. Whatever she was expecting, it wasn't that. A moment of quiet from her, and then she lets out a soft breath. "I… I guess." It would be hard to sound less certain. "I've been keeping busy. Some extra shifts. That sort of thing." Another moment's quiet, then, "What about you?"

Kale allows the shoulder strap to slip from him and his satchel is set on one of those metal benches. He notes her stare, and he vaguely grimaces, knowing that he's probably going about this the entirely wrong way! Beating around the bush. Can he afford to make any further mistakes? Probably not, else never have an opportunity like this again, and thus as she answers he keeps quiet, listening with his eyes on her with an intensity that's usually not seen. Her story sounds like his. Busy. Keeping busy is key to keeping the mind off of hurtful things. Imagined thoughts. Wild assumptions. When the question is asked of him, he opens his mouth, a breath taken, but words fail to come. Seconds tick by in bloated silence, and hand is awkwardly combed through his damp tresses. "I shardin' suck at this," he says at last. "Words. Sayin' things that I mean to say. They turn out twisted and wrong." His palm moves to the back of his neck to rub. "So .. I'll try to answer, without sayin' too much. Is that alright?"

The quiet. So much quiet. It's enough to make Soriana wonder. Did she say something wrong? Did she not say something? When Kale finally speaks, she tilts her head to him, listening, and then it's her turn to be quiet for a moment. She steps toward him - no, toward the bench, to tuck in the flower to what will hopefully be a safe spot. Her gaze still down, looking at it, she says, "You don't have to." She glances up to him. "Not say too much, I mean. It's not like… not like I haven't heard it before." Her head turns away sharply, looking out over the water. "I just… I'd like to hear. That's all. If it's okay."

As she walks towards him, he can feel something in his chest tighten. His heart squeeze. How is it possible to miss someone so much when it's possible they barely miss you at all? But she isn't walking towards him. Not really. It's to the bench that her feet are carrying her, and when she passes his eyes close just briefly before he turns after her, watching her sit. Following her eyes to that flower from someone else, which sparks a feeling of irritation that he forces away. Her words refocus him, and he looks at her for long time before answering. "No. You haven't heard it before." He reclaims that satchel now, setting it on the ground as knees to open it, rummaging unnecessarily. Taking a steadying breath. From it, he retrieves a long-stemmed flower far different than the one that she's keeping now. Though shaped like sunflower, it's metallic in nature, made of steel entirely, brushed with hints of golden color on the petals. The stem is wrapped in what looks like aluminum coiling, painted green. "Whenever I see these, I think about you because.. we met in the stables in spring," he says, presenting it to her. "They were growing, an' they've reminded me of you since."

She hasn't? That makes her look back, and… Kale is right. Soriana hasn't heard it before. So, for a moment, she simply stares at the metallic sunflower. Make that two moments, before she looks up to his face. Her hands stay at her sides. "Kale…" she says, as if that means anything at all. All her words have run away again. She tries to chase after them, to come up with something, anything, to say. "I… why?" Didn't he just answer that? "You… I didn't think you'd… I mean… you didn't even want to see me. You just… pulled away." Her gaze lowers to the flower again, a message far clearer than any of the words she can manage right now, saying that he was thinking of her, and she repeats, almost too quiet to hear, "Why?" Now her voice is vanishing too. Maybe it has something to do with the damp gleam in her eyes that stubbornly won't vanish.

He'll get to that, in a moment. He promises without words that he will answer the why, but Kale isn't quite finished yet. Not by a longshot, even though she hasn't reached for the flower, a fact that doesn't go missed by him. A fact that makes his face burn and has that ever present seed of doubt sprouting. Maybe this wasn't the right way of doing things. Maybe he should've just left her alone, as was the plan. But, damn it all, it's the only way he knew how to express himself without flubbing it all up. And so he presses on, setting the sunflower down onto the grass to reach into his bag again. Next is one shaped like a tulip. One single metal piece has been forged, sculpted, and bent to make an artistic rendition of a tulip's shape, painted a royal metallic purple with a super thin stem that's been left its original steel hue. "You wore this really … amazing jacket to the dance. It looked really good on you. I think I was too shy to say it then."

Words are gone. So's the voice to say them. Soriana stares for a long moment, gaze lingering on the sunflower, then looking up to find… another flower. A tulip."…I… don't think it fits anymore…" she says, because apparently her voice can be found for brief moments for inconsequential things. Her eyes leave the tulip, and this time, it's for Kale's face. Her hand reaches out of its own accord now, not for the sculpted plant, but for his - well, halfway there, anyhow. It stops short, still hesitant. Halfway there.

It doesn't fit? Probably not. It was a while ago. Two turns now? Maybe less. Kale finds pause in that thought of length of time. Has it been so long? Has it been too long? Long enough for feelings to change. To grow old. To wither and desire something different? His eyes find hers and linger, his gaze one of question. Hope? He's halfway there. Can't stop now. From his bag, the rest of the bouquet of metal is revealed one at a time. The time at Yokohama, represented by a deep blue version of a daisy, speckled with white imprints of dotted stars. A gold flower, this one unpainted, made of bright brass that needs no alteration to shine, though within the metal are etched zigzagged cracks. The fissures of an egg. Yumeth's clutch. Then bloom of obsidian, a flower of a gloomy design by looks, but whose story is the warmest one of all. His memory of Ista. Black sands and a hesitant confession of love. All flowers are lined in a row on the grass, each with its own story. His own strong memories of moments spent with her. Memories of shared experiences. And the last? He holds a pink rose in his hand, metallic like the others, but unlike the rest, this one is enhanced with tiny jewels. Fragments of some larger project, likely, pieces too small to be of use or value. But polished and rounded, they make perfect accents of dewdrops on the rose's petals. This one he holds by the stem, standing before her with a nervousness profoundly greater than experienced in any of those aforementioned memories.

Now, the why. "All've my memories of Xanadu are good and happy because you're in them, Soriana. I thought… I thought … I want you to be happy too. An' thinking that you weren't happy with just me made me … angry. More angry than I ever felt, but I still wanted you to be happy, an' I knew you wouldn't be if I was mad. So, I backed off to let you do what you wanted to do with..whoever you wanted to do it with without me ruining it for you and makin' you unhappy."

Another, and another, and Soriana has lost her words again, just looking at the flowers, thinking on the memories, the moments they represent. It's too much to take in, only they're all already in her head, only… here they are, too. Symbols of thoughts. Like words. She doesn't have words. She stares at them, her half-stretched hand drifting back to her side as Kale spreads out the array of metal flowers, her gaze going down the line and then lifting up to him once more. So… why? Her first response is a smile on her lips and worry in her eyes. So it's good and happy but… her expression shifts toward confusion. Not happy? Why wouldn't she be happy? The confusion lingers as he continues. "I… I was happy," she says softly, and keeps those brown eyes on Kale's as she tries for words again. "There isn't anyone else. I mean… not like that. Not like you. Maybe there'll never be. I just… I am happy with you. Was happy with you." She frowns, just for a moment. "It's…" Words, words, she's searching for the right words. "I want to live at Xanadu. That doesn't mean I don't like visiting other places. But… they're not… home."

She was happy? … She was. Kale listens to her without interruption, eyes not leaving her face as he listens to the voice he's missed hearing. He hears, but does he understand? She was never unhappy. His foreshadowing is what caused the unhappiness between them. Assumptions made and words misconstrued. He can't afford to do so again, even if nothing comes from this but an amicable parting of ways and a broken heart. Understanding. Her latter statements help to clarify the picture, and his lips press. Will there be others? Maybe. Maybe not. The future is the greatest unknown. But he is home to her, whether or not there are others. Can he be content with that? The rose in his hand is still held, but his free hand reaches forward, towards her as he steps nearer. His arm curls to wrap around her, looping around her lower back and tightening to guide her gently against him. "I want you to be happy with me again. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I was too much've a shardin' idiot to understand what you wanted, but I'm not sorry that we were apart. If we weren't, I never would've stopped to think about what you mean to me. How much you mean to me, an' how much of a part of my life you are. I know this is heavy, but it's true. I'd do anything to keep you in it. I'm in love with you, Soriana, and I don't want to lose you again." Is it the same thing as saying I love you? Kale doesn't think so, for when the words leave his mouth they certainly have a different feeling.

Soriana takes a step, then another one, and then - ah, then she's against Kale, and he's warm and she has no words but maybe she doesn't need the words right now. Maybe she can just put her arm around him and lean in against him a little and bask in that warm and close and there. But he's talking, he has words, and so she tries to listen to those words and make sense of them. He wants her again. Still. Together again. Her arm tightens around him, clinging on like she's not going to let him go. Well, she's not, though she supposes she'll release him to his lessons sooner or later. They don't have to be tied together at knee and ankle or anything. Just… "I want to be with you, too." She smiles, even if she does have to keep blinking every so often. "I probably… I probably said it wrong, anyway. I mean…" she laughs a little, blinking again, shaking her head. "If… I didn't know… I want you to be happy." She pauses a moment, giving the serious look, before looking is once more deemed less important than hugging and she squeezes against him. "And I don't want to lose you. I want… I was just telling Muir, it's like… like everything here reminds me of you. Somehow. All of it. It's better with you." Better with love. "I love you." She turns her head, looking to him as she leans in for a kiss she's been wanting for sevendays. It only seems like turns… along with seeming impossible until now. Now that it's become possible, oh, does she want it.

Kale could think of few people he wouldn't mind being tied together to, especially now that he has the real life experience. Soriana would definitely top the list of wouldn't-minds. Just like he doesn't mind her leaning against him, reminding him of how perfectly their bodies fit against one another. Her soft chest against his hard, within which his rapid nervous heartbeat begins to gradually slow with the calm that her closeness brings. His other arm, still clutching the stem of the rose, curves around her as well, and as she clings to him he clings in return, squeezing her against him as if afraid her body will disappear in the mist of a dream. But this is no dream. The words he's longed to hear are real, as is the body whose heartbeat he can feel. He begins to grin. An honest to goodness happy grin that comes thanks to everything she has to say. And the I love you. The phrase he was sure he had lost. He looks at her with an expression that speaks volumes more than any further words he could think of, and he swoops in to meet her kiss, eyes closing. Lips press and fingers curl to grasp at the fabric of her shirt as he leans heavily into the heated touch he's been so hungry for. Such a simple concept, the meeting of lips, but the electrifying feeling that tingles his skin is anything but.

Words are gone again. That's okay, Soriana doesn't need them anymore. She's got far better things to do with her mouth. Her mouth, and her hands… for there's one at around the level of his waist, there's another whose fingers trace his shoulder blades (as if she could have forgotten the shapes of them, but has he gotten more of those smither's muscles in their weeks apart?), and the only problem is that she's only got the two of them and there's a whole entire Kale to touch. That's why her whole entire body presses close. Her lips are like the focus of that body, the microcosm of pressing and wanting and feeling each other, so much of each other, so familiar it feels like… well, like coming home.

So this is what it feels like. To find peace after such a time of turmoil where nothing seemed to feel right or be right, no matter how hard he tried to mask it all. Kale has yearned for her touch. For the familiar feeling of fingers gliding against skin and fabric. He's craved for the taste of her and the sound of her laugh and the sight of her smile. Even without her, he has been consumed by her. His thoughts, his dreams, his wants. His kiss remains heated because of it. Getting what he's so desired with nothing and no one, even himself, getting in the way telling him that he can't. And so the breaks for breathing are short and the lip locking long and warm and moist when lips part and his tongue finds his way within her mouth. His free hand gropes, caressing her curves and squeezing what should be squeezed and claiming all parts of her body he believes to be his, which is every part that he can reach. It's a long time before he does pull back, just enough so that their lips part but foreheads can be pressed together, a grin curving his mouth.

There's Soriana. There's Kale. There's the pressing of lips, the explorations of tongues. There's the roaming of hands, hers wandering the outlines of muscles, feeling them shift under her fingers, his finding the smoother shapes of curves and a body toned instead of buffed. His arms swing hammers. Hers thread needles. Differences, to go with all the other differences, the ones that seem to make them fit like puzzle pieces. Bumps. Curves. Shapes. Similarities, to go with those differences. They fit together. They press together, and Soriana doesn't need Kale - didn't she survive entire weeks without him? - but she most certainly wants him. At last, the kiss is enough - for now - and while she's not about to let him go, she can take a moment to catch her breath. To laugh, seeing his grin, feeling her against her. It's not that there's something funny, it's that… after all this… the shaken-up feelings have to escape somehow, and a laugh is just how they emerge, even if it means she nearly loses her breath again on the descent to giggles, catching it back again with a pant as the laugh subsides to a smile stretched across her face.

It only takes one to start laughing to get another going, and the only other person here for such laughter to infect is .. Kale! It begins with the gentle bouncing of his shoulders, then a snicker, and it isn't long before the glade is filled with the merry sound of both his and her voices, laughing at nothing. Laughing in relief. Laughing just because. He hangs onto her as she falls into her fit of giggles, causing his eyes to gleam with mirth til it does down. He kisses her smile, a soft and lingering sensual touch that whispers I love you without a voice. His grip on her loosens without falling away, and he pulls his forehead from hers, dipping to kiss her cheek. "Do you like the flowers?" Well … she never did give her opinion on them…and he worked hard on them!

Just because is a fine reason to laugh, and as Kale kisses again, Soriana lifts her hand to trail the fingers softly along his cheek, her lips curving from smile to kiss and back again to smile as if it was there all along. In a way, it was. Her arm slips to around him, the other one disentangling slightly, just enough so she can half-turn and see those flowers again. "They're beautiful," she says, letting her gaze wander over them, one at a time. "They must have taken you forever…" Or, uh, at least a few sevendays. There's kind of an upper limit on actual time spent.

"A sevenday and a half, and a few charred fingers later.." remarks Kale who gives her enough leeway to move but she may have to pry herself from him if she hopes to get any more than a few centimeters away. He grins and lifts up the dewy rose that he still holds. "This one was the most difficult, but they were all fun." Forging! Hammering! Heat! Molding! What's not to love? "Worked on them durin' breaks and on a rest day." And some days during lunch. And dinner. Which could explain some of his absences in the caverns as of late. But his voice is filled with pride, not complaint, proud that his sketched blueprints turned into metallic reality. Fingers trail through her tresses now, grazing her scalp gentle before pulling back and combing through her hair.

Away? What is this 'away'? Soriana has no intention of actually leaving Kale's side, she just wants to change the angles a little, the better to appreciate his handiwork. She nods at his explanation, then tilts her head, looking back at him. "You didn't have to, you know," she says. "I mean. They are beautiful. But…" She reaches up to brush her fingers along the back of his hand that holds the rose, and maybe surreptitiously check for scorch marks. "You could have just written a letter. Or, uh… maybe gotten a team of Harpers to sing in five part harmony." Ah, she can't help but to be teasing, though there's a hint of serious in the gaze she turns on him before lowering her head to rest lightly against his chest as he strokes through her hair.

The back of his hands sports nothing new. Well … nothing new to him, though in the past month apart the scrapes and marks that come with work perhaps weren't there before. It's rough palms that tell the story of hands unused to intricate work and detail and small parts. Hints of slight burns and a blister or two. He smirks at the thought of letter writing. "That'd've been a waste of paper," he says, head tipping down to brush his lips against her hair as fingers continue their lazy combing. "Wads of unfinished letters thrown in the fire. But, a song….huh…" he ponders this as if it were a possibility. An opportunity missed. "I have been told I've the voice of a harper." By whom? "I could've sung one myself. But … I think it would've been far too much. See, likely, you would've swooned, my voice is so great. Then, I would have had to carry you to the infirmary. There, they would've asked what happened and ask for a demonstration, which I would've given them. Then they would've swooned and … " he trails off, shaking his head. "Yes, far too much." Apparently!

Nothing new and significant, at least. Things haven't changed so much in a month that Soriana can't recognize them. Kale certainly hasn't, scrapes and scorches aside. Sori starts with a smile, and then it turns into a grin, and then a laugh as the saga of the song he did not sing continues. "It's probably for the best. Before you know it, the entire Weyr'd be swooned out on their backs," or rolling around on them and laughing, "and then nothing would ever get done. Best to stick with the safer part of your talents." She smirks, and her arm gives a tight squeeze because, "Faranth, I've missed this."

Kale solemnly nods in agreement with her. It's best for the whole weyr! The poor, poor would've been swooned souls! But, ah even he has to laugh at a point, still gleeful that he's here with her and able to laugh at all at silliness. "I know what you mean," he says, once his laugher has calmed, sneaking a kiss to her neck. "No one on Xanadu is as funny as me, huh? M'sure you've been starved for my wit. Don't worry. I'll happily give you all that you've missed and more." And she surely won't tire of it. Surely! The hand that holds the rose, seemingly tired of holding onto it now, carefully lets it slide from his fingers and drop to the grass. With both hand free, he slides them down her waist, to her hips, and slips them into her pockets. "You have dragonhealin' stuff to do today?"

"There is," Soriana says in a tone of certainty, "Nobody at all at Xanadu like you." She grins, and leans back against his shoulder, gazing up at the sky for a moment before tilting her head to kiss at his jaw. "Besides, I know how you must have missed a good audience. Imagine it, trying to jest before Shahani. Why'd they even let her in the honorable order of clownsmiths, anyhow?" She follows the fall of the rose with her eyes, then trails her fingers up his cheek until they comb back through his hair. As her body arches against his, she shakes her head. "I had late shift last night. I've got today off." To, y'know, sleep. Like she hasn't done and isn't doing. Surely she doesn't actually need it, right?

"Ah, they thought she could use a transplant of a funnybone with us. But, alas," sighs Kale. "Not even our best knock-knock jokes would do the trick. She's so…." Pause. Wait for it… "Shahani," he finishes heavily, as if that says it all. Which it really does. "Lucky she's decent with a hammer, though I don't think she'll be with us much longer. She's been cryin' to her father for a transfer to Telgar. You know. So she can be with others of her caliber," said with a pompous air and humored grin. The news of a late shift and day off decodes as 'rest' day. For important things like rest, and he tightens his arms around her while inhaling a deep breath of her scent. "So I'd have you all day if I wasn't working," he exhales wistfully. "Shells and shards. At least I can think about you an' grin like an idiot til dinner." He glances up. The mist has mostly cleared by now. The sun is strong. The day has started without them. "Use your rest day to rest because when I'm off, I'm not gonna let you rest." They have a lot of missed make out time to make up for! It takes some doing, but eventually he does untangle from her long enough to pack up her flowers and reshoulder his bag. And when they leave their private little glade, this time it is hand in hand, fingers laced and spirits high.

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