Running from Work

Xanadu Weyr -Meadow Ridge
The meadow continues its gentle rolls and dips, grass tall and short waving in the slightest of breezes. Each hill seems to grow a bit higher, a bit steeper, as eventually, the meadow works up to a large ridge, the top flattening out at its new elevation.
From the top of the ridge, the view is certainly something to be admired - higher than the majority of the trees, one can look out over the rest of Xanadu Weyr proper. The houses in the lower meadow - each roof a different color - and the clock tower peeking upwards from the its forest surroundings are all visible, as is the cliff that houses the Weyr Caverns themselves. And yet, the ridge also holds an amazing view of the night sky - horizon to horizon - unaffected by the light pollution of the more heavily traveled regions.

Settled upon the ridge is a rather distinctive looking building - nearing three stories tall, circular grey walls have carefully been erected, and a large dome is settled upon this solid foundation. Large panels make up the roof, aside from one section which remains open, and from which the telescope the struction houses peeks out. Sitting adjacent to the tower is a long, low building, meant to serve as offices, record rooms and dorms for those who man the observatory, as well as providing a handy platform for those who seek to use smaller, hand-held 'scopes.

The top of the meadow ridge is a perfect spot to look out over Xanadu Weyr or at least some of it! And at this time of the Turn, it's near perfect. Clear skies, warm but not blasting hot and a cooling breeze… who could ask for more? Not to mention it's quiet up here! It's the sort of set up that draws a sometimes-reclusive bluerider out on a stroll. That or the Weyrsecond is making a break for it! Kiena's reached her limit for the day being cooped up in that office and even if there's paperwork on her desk, if it's not important enough to warrant her immediate concern well… it's just going to have to sharding wait! If she had stayed in that office for a second longer things… would not have been pretty. So out she goes and with each step her temper recedes and she calms down enough to loose the stiff tenseness to her posture and adopt a more relaxed and flowing pace before she chooses to flop down on a dry patch of grass. Sitting cross legged, Kiena is content to just observe the land below or gaze off in the distance distractedly, maybe even dozing lightly in the early afternoon sunlight.

Office jobs are perfect for running away from, aren't they? And it seems as if the more one wants away from it, the more reasons there are to stay. Ka'el certainly could stay a few more hours behind his. There's plenty to sort through, and he has no real reason to not be sorting through them now … except for the fact that he doesn't want to. It's perfect weather! These types of days are going to be difficult to come by once the temperatures begin to decline and the weather turns towards autumn and winter. He'd might as well take advantage now, right? And it isn't as if he doesn't have plenty to think about. His brain is bursting at the seams with things to mull over and wonder about, and he knows of a perfect place to do just that. Up above, he soars with Kanekith, circling lazily over the Weyr. He hasn't been flying long, as he's not wearing much of his riding gear. Seems as if he's left things up to chance. If he falls…well, at least he'll die happily? But the bronzeriding pair begins to circle down now. Down, down towards the ridge on which he can spy someone else relaxing. He could .. should.. probably find another place to be, but he doesn't pull Kanekith up from his slow spiral. Dragonfeet land softly on the grass a distance away from the lounging Weyrsecond, whom he only recognizes as he dismounts from his mighty back. When his own feet touch the ground and his eyes gaze her way, he can't help but to grin. "Didn't I just send a stack of paperwork your way?"

It's the perfect trap! And illusion of freedom and yet when one wants to take it… nope! Denied. So is it any surprise that administration types go a little nuts after a few Turns? Perfect weather abounds… seize the day! And Ka'el better not fall from Kanekith. Sure, he'd die happy, but Kiena would be traumatized for life and… eew? Who'd be left to clean that mess up? Not her. As lost as she is in her thoughts or daydreaming state, it's hard to miss the arrival of a bronze dragon and the Weyrsecond will lift her head and shield her eyes against the sun as she squints… Aha! Figures. There's a little finger wave for Kanekith and a grin for his rider, which broadens as she lowers her hand again. "If you didn't flag it urgent, then it's likely on my desk and can stay there for a bit. Not my fault if you didn't note it proper." she fires back and then gestures for him to join her. "Out flyin'?"

"Note to self: Mark every paper to Kiena as urgent from this day forward," Ka'el says aloud, grinning to her. He reaches up for Kanekith, giving his cheek a rub before running his hands down the side of his neck. The spoiled dragon rumbles beneath the attention as he's checked over, and eventually he's left to go roam where he'd like. Which … isn't very far. His rider is here, besides! So the bronze only meanders off some yards before he lays his great body down, apparently ready to lounge and relax just as much as they are. Chuckling, Ka'el heads towards Kiena, not waiting for an invitation to sit next to her before he does. Bah, when has he ever needed invitation? It's just the two of them, and his relaxed posture is a good indication that all formalities can be abandoned. "Out flyin' just long enough to find a spot to hide," he answers with a smirk over to her. "Not that hiding ever works but…hey, it's worth a try. And, you?" he asks with an elevated brow. "Runnin' away from the admin hallway? I don't blame you, if you are. Sometimes, dealin' with all've it makes your head want to explode, doesn't it? … Please tell me it's not just me that feels that way."

Kiena mock glares at Ka'el for his little 'note'. "If you do that, you're a rotten …" Any guess to what the next word would have been? She doesn't say it, catching herself when she realizes she IS outdoors and while the ridge doesn't see much traffic who knows who's lurking close enough and it'd not do at all for the Weyrsecond to be heard calling the Weyrleader that. Joke or not! No invitation needed, but Kiena extends it all the same for formality sake. Legs crossed, she'll rest her arms over them as she turns her head just enough to keep her gaze focused on K'ael. Chuckling, she dips her head in an understanding nod about 'hiding'. "Worth a try and the ridge is good for it. Still in view but out of the way enough that unless folk really need ya, they won't bother." Or so she hopes! "Nope. Not just you. You nailed it." Kiena remarks with a smirk of her own. "Was starting to feel stifled and frustrated so… I walked out here. Felt better right off! So what's on your plate that has you runnin' off?" Or is that part of the reports she's… left on her desk?

"Dirtbag?" provides Ka'el to that fillb in the blank hole left behind by her unfinished statement. He grins, knowing that the word is probably on the mild end of what she could have said, and likely not at all the word she had in mind. "You're right. I would be a rotten dirtbag if I did that to you.. maybe I'll only do it every once in a while then." He grins and hooks an arm around his head as he leans back to lay flay on his back, using his arm as a cushion. Blue eyes stare up at the blue sky as he listens to her, agreeing wordlessly at the perfection that this spot is as a 'get away, but not too far away' location. "I always used to run away here," he says. "As a Weyrling. Candidate. Apprentice." A chuckle. "It's like, my go-to spot when need a minute to breathe." He turns his head, resting his cheek on his arm in order to look at her. What is he running from? A vague smirk. "Everything. It'll take me turns more to get used to the fact that every problem the Weyr has is my problem somehow. And to decide when it's okay to put my own problems first and not feel guilty about it is .. still a work in progress. You know what I mean?"

Kiena laughs heartily when Ka'el opts for the family-friendly version of the word she had almost tossed out so carelessly! "Right. Dirtbag." Why not? He got it and that's all that matters at that point. She shoots him another mock glare and may try to smack him with the back of her hand against his shoulder or arm before he's laying out on his back. "Are you trying to drive me to madness?" she quips with a grimace, teasing him further. Or is there a grain of seriousness in that too? Tilting her head, she'll peer down at him and then her head lifts to look out over the grounds below. "Really? Funny. I had never considered this a haven to turn to. Not until recently…" Granted, she used to be hermit and her 'haven' was her weyr or wherever was as far away from the public eye as possible and still be in Weyr grounds. "It's a beautiful spot. I see why you'd be drawn here, time and again." Kiena snorts and looks down at him again, brows knitted in thought but her blue eyes do reflect a quiet understanding. "Yeah, I know what you mean. It's the balance." One she struggles with to this day. "When is work and your personal life to take the lead… Rarely clear. So is that's what's got you out of the offices? Trying to sort it out?" Lifting a hand, she taps a few fingers against the side of her head.

Drive her to madness? Ha! Ka'el snickers at that, giving her a quirked-brow look. "Why would I try to do that? Without you, I don't know if I'd be as sane as I am now … if you can call what I am now 'sane'." A Chuckle and his eyes return to the sky, following the lazily slow path of a puffy cloud as he elaborates. What's on his mind?" From the first day, Thea told me I could come to her about things. Speak with her about anything. We're partners and … all've that. But, I don't really think it's true." he muses in a thoughtful sort of tone. "I mean, yeah we're partners in this or whatever, but I don't really think I can speak to her as .. openly as she'd like me to. About things that don't have to do with the Weyr. It feels like what I say is used as some sort've evaluation of me or my ability to lead as a Weyrleader. How many Weyrleaders has she gone through? I'd think it'd be second-nature to her now to sort of judge us whenever we're with her whether she's meanin' to or not. So, it's hard for me to talk to her about just any old thing that's on my mind. Sometimes I just want to get things off my chest without havin' to analyze things to death."

Kiena grins. "You might not want to know my true opinion," she drawls. "But as far as sanity goes… you're sane. Or we're both insane?" Who knows! Maybe the whole world is insane but the Weyrsecond isn't about to start debating that, lighthearted as it is! There are other topics to discuss and Kiena quiets while Ka'el elaborates. She listens closely, even if her eyes drift skywards too as she absorbs what he explains. "Not sure how many Weyrleaders she's gone through…" she admits and she's trying to puzzle out why that would factor in. "So you feel like you can discuss Weyr matters with her, but when it goes beyond that… It's awkward? Like being scrutinized for all your decisions, work or personal?" Kiena grimaces, brows knitting into a heavier frown as she turns her head and looks down at him. "I… think I understand. You're partners in the sense of duty. Weyrleader and Weyrwoman. But… not friends? And that bothers you?"

"Three, maybe four I think.." Ka'el says of past Weyrleaders, sitting up now, just enough to prop himself up on his elbows. "And I think, when you've worked with so many different Weyrleaders, it'd be difficult not to compare. I mean, she chose N'shen to be Weyrleader after A'dmar. He was her son, or something like that. And then there was A'dmar. And…Xe'ter? And whoever was before him. Does she compare me to them? Were they better than me? Handle things better than I do? Does she regret Kanekith's win?" He wrinkles his nose briefly. "I wonder about things like that sometimes, but I don't dare ask her because .. yeah. Because we're not friends. Not really. Not in the way I'm friends with you or Soriana and others. And those aren't the type questions you just ask someone… Plus, she'd probably think I was a fool for asking anyway." A smirk and shrug follows. "I don't know if it bothers me that we're not friends. I think…at the start, I wanted to be. But now I think it may be better that there's distance. It's the same way with Mur'dah. We don't work as friends. I think I worry that gettin' too close to Thea would end the same way."

Kiena whistles softly under her breath but refrains from making some sarcastic remark. Such as asking Ka'el if he thinks his position as Weyrleader is cursed. No, she keeps that to herself for now and keeps her tone sobered and serious. "Maybe she does? But probably not in a bad way, y'know? Comparison is… natural. As for what Thea's thoughts are on you as Weyrleader… I've no shardin' clue. Yet she seems the type of woman that if… something were amiss she'd try to talk to you about it." Right? Kiena's not crossed paths often with the Weyrwoman and even when she has it's been strictly in passing greeting or when they're discussing Weyr business. Yet the bluerider sees her as a fair and capable goldrider and has certainly given her no reason to doubt otherwise! "Why don't you ask her? Not as a friend but as a… a… Damn it, what's the stupid term…" So much for being professional? Kiena sighs in exasperation as she wracks her brain. Common… big words! Don't fail her now! "Ask her as her Weyrleader? Like you said, you two are partners in that sense. You've a right to know, I think, what her professional opinion is?" There! IS that the word she's looking for? Kiena seems to think so, confident as she appears with her answer. "Don't think she'd think you a fool. I don't think you are. Sometimes it's just… nice to know where you stand." Shifting, she stretches her legs out and bends them at the knee, bringing them up high enough to drapee her arms over them. "You sure about that distance? That… could backfire, you know. And…" There's a slight frown then as she treads towards grounds she's never really pushed with Ka'el. "What happened to you and Mur'dah?" Why bother beating around the matter?

Ka'el idly plucks at a blade of grass and presses it between his thumb and forefinger, rolling it between the two. Speak to Thea … on a professional level. Ask her professional opinion. "…Maybe.." he says, still sounding slightly unconvinced. But, he knows she's right. It's been over a turn now. She obviously has an opinion of how he's doing by now, and if he wishes to know… he'll have to suck it up and ask. Surely if he'd been doing a crap job, he'd know of it by now, right? He flicks the grass blade away, watching as the breeze takes it off before depositing it in the sea of grass somewhere. "Yeah, maybe you're right," he relents after a time of stretched silence. "If I'm doing something wrong, or not doing enough of something…I want to fix it. If I'm going to be part've the string of ex-Weyrleaders of Xanadu someday, I want to at least be remembered as bein' competent." He sits forwards a little more, bending a knee upward and draping one arm over it as the question of Mur'dah is asked. There's a slight wrinkle of his nose, vague, yet visible. "Life," he answers, distantly. "I dunno. We just .. don't work. We did, once upon a time before dragons and Candidacy. But..I dunno. Something about Candidacy and Weyrlinghood opens up a person, and you learn more about them. I guess neither've us liked what we learned about each other. Something about him bothers me. The way he acted during my worst time with Sori pissed me off, because as much as he claimed he was my friend, or wanted to be my friend, the things he did and said to me after Kanekith's flights isn't what a friend would say or do." A minute shrug. "I'm his boss. Not his friend. Everything's worked better after we stopped pretending to want to like each other."

Kiena just observes Ka'el in a quiet and slightly distracted manner while he plucks at the grass and considers her previous words. No pressure, no judgment. If he's been doing poorly as a Weyrleader, someone would have spoken up by now. No news is good news? "I think you're already well ahead in that regard," she drawls in reference to his remark on being part of the string of ex-Weyrleaders. Of which he may not be a part of for some time, if luck favours him! Kiena does not shift much from the position she settled herself in, but her eyes move to follow Ka'el's movements. Not so in a wary way but quietly studying him. Watching, perhaps, for a change in mood in case her prying goes too far and she needs to back off. Frowning, she absorbs what he tells her but looks no less troubled for it. "And what was it that he said then, that was so bad? Could be he just… didn't know how to react? Or… I don't know to be honest." Too many pieces are missing for her to grasp the full image and the bluerider isn't about to go digging them up. She snorts, giving him a look for that last comment. "You're my boss too but we're friends?" she teases him in a dry tone.

Lucky for Kiena, she won't have to go digging. She's right. Ka'el's her boss and also his friend, and because of that, talking about who he hardly ever speaks of isn't all too difficult. "The difference between you and him is that I want to be your friend," he counters with a vague smirk, shrugging again. "Ah, lessee.. After Seryth's flight. We talked .. heh, not directly after the flight, of course," he clarifies with a shake of his head. "Anyhow, we speak. We're still in the 'trying to be friends' phase or whatever. Or, I thought we were. He starts on about how I never reach for him. Never hang out with him or want to do things with him. I tell him he hasn't made it any easier for me to want to, but .. shards. I was busy. Busy with Galaxy. Busy tryin' to fix everything with Sori. He was bein' such a shardin' girl about it." a pause " offense," he adds with a vague grin. "He goes on about me havin' to earn his respect as a Weyrleader, that he wasn't just going to give it because I had a knot. Don't know where that shardin' came from, but.." he waves a hand, dismissively. "It's like he looks for reasons to make things difficult with me. Like the exploding ball thing he threw in my office, as if it was the greatest joke in the world. He knew I wasn't going to take that lightly, yet he did it anyway and then acted soul-hurt when I wasn't laughing with him."

Kiena smirks when he counters her but nods her head to show that she understands and while so many questions rise up, she bites them all back and keeps herself silent while Ka'el elaborates. Her frown deepens, but there is no scowl or angry glares or pointed fingers. If anything, the Weyrsecond just looks puzzled and at a loss. "Maybe he felt slighted, for whatever reason…" Then that pause and she rolls her eyes. "None taken, but I see your point." Sighing, she can only shrug and lean back, using her arms to prop herself up on her hands as they rest behind her and she carefully stretches out her legs. "Not sure what sparked that. It seems… so unlike Mur'dah to say something like that. And I can't speak for him either." So the answers may never be known and Kiena leaves it at that. When Ka'el brings up that exploding light ball, Kiena starts a little and her sidelong glance to Ka'el is almost… guilty. "I think he actually was hurt by that. And… well… I may or may not have uh… encouraged it." Oops? "So I'm not exactly innocent in that regard either."

"I think we know two different Mur'dahs, Kiena," says Ka'el, tilting his head a bit so that his cheek rests upon his shoulder as he watches her. "The Mur'dah you see is not the one that I know. But … a long time ago I came to terms with the fact that I'm not goin' to be friends with every person that I meet. I'm fine with whatever it is we are." He flops down upon his back. *floomph!* "As long as he doesn't pull that 'earn my respect' crap again." But. Wait a second. He glances at her, giving her a quirked-brow look. "Encouraged it? Wait, you knew about that stupid ball?" He snorts, rolling his eyes. "You heard how he went about it, right? Middle've the shardin' night. I'm workin' on a crapload've papers, wishin' I was home again. He and that idiot girl of his sneak in like shardin' thieves and throws it in. Scares Alloy out've his wits and he goes stark crazy. My papers get ruined. There's a mess everywhere. He thinks it's the funniest thing ever, makin' a fool out of me in front of some girl I've never met. Common sense should've told him we're already on the rocks, doin' something so stupid isn't going to make anything any better. He knew where he and I stood with one another. You didn't. He should've known better." He scowls at the memory.

Kiena frowns and tilts her head as she turns her body to rest more on her side, propped up by her hip and elbow and facing Ka'el after he flops back onto the grass. "I guess we do know two different Mur'dah's." Very different and for some reason she sounds almost disappointed by that. Not that she has long to reflect and at first she flinches from that quirked-brow look before his snorting and rolling eyes have her bristling a bit and she lifts her chin up. Defiant. Or is it defensive? "I knew about the 'stupid' ball, yeah. I was with him on his Turnday when he got it as a gift. We'd all been having drinks and talkin' and I dunno. We joked about it. And I heard about some of it. At least, I saw the results." Now it's her turn to snort but her eyes take on a conflicted look. Oh, damn. "Alright, so he sucks at timing and execution to a joke. But that's what it was, Ka'el. A joke. Maybe bad in taste for all the mess it created but… common sense would say that." she agrees and then gives him a look. "Ever think that he was trying to… I dunno. Have fun?" Wrong way entirely to go about that and Kiena knows this but at the same time she's trying to tread a fine line between defending her friend without alienating her other friend. Not an easy task! "Had I known you'd react as you did and that he had planned to go about it as he did, I may not have been so encouraging. So yeah." Guilty.

"Hopefully it wasn't a gift from you," says Ka'el. "And sorry if it was." For calling it stupid. Even though .. he still thinks it is. Or rather, the way in which it was used. It's probably a very fun toy! When used in a different setting other than a newly 'appointed' Weyrleader's office, unexpectedly, in the middle of the night. He closes his eyes as he listens to her speak, feeling a tension rise in his face that he tries to fight back by splitting his attention. Mostly on Kiena still, though partially on the feel of the breeze on his face, or the cool presence of Kanekith in his mind. Eyes open at the word 'joke', and after a moment, he sits up again. "He and I obviously have different opinions on what a joke is. As for fun?" He wrinkles his nose. "I can't remember the last time I had fun with him, and I don't have any plans on trying. I'm over it, Kiena. Mur'dah is possibly one of the last things on my mind in my days, and that's if he happens to cross my mind any day. Faranth, why is this a thing? He isn't my friend. I don't care for his company. The world isn't ending because of it." Another shrug, and now he rises, brushing off his trousers. "I should get back to work."

"From me? No. Shards, no. I'm clueless with those sort of things." Kiena admits with a smirk. Even a ball that lights up is too much technology for this bluerider. "No, I gave him a knife. Utility. Since he was a transport rider at the time." she shrugs a little at this, only to blink as Ka'el sits up again. Her brows knit in a heavy frown, mouth drawn back in a tense line and she sits up too though her eyes never quite leave the Weyrleader. "It isn't a thing? I'm not trying to say you HAVE to be his friend. I was just curious! I wanted to know what happened. Didn't mean to push or pry. You're right. Past is past and you don't have to like everyone you meet. Shells, I'm a walking and breathing example of that!" Exhaling heavily, she scrubs at her face and then runs her hands through her hair and the grim edge to her expression has faded to an uneasy one. "I'm sorry, Ka'el. If I pried too much or seemed like I was pushing. Wasn't meaning too. I get curious sometimes and… don't think before I ask or ramble off or whatever." When he mentions returning to work, Kiena starts a bit and glances over her shoulder and back to where she knows her office and works away. Rebellion has her hesitating and then reluctantly she is pushing to her feet as well. "Guess we can't put it off forever, huh?" Kiena mutters, trying to lighten the mood again with some light humour. Which doesn't last for long as she seems to hesitate, fidgeting by brushing first at her pants and then her arms though nothing clings to them. "You… weren't entirely serious about having left reports on my desk, were you?"

A knife. A good gift. Probably well made, and he'd tell her this if he wasn't so busy being…. Hm. What is he? Angry? Not really. He has no reason to be mad. Annoyed? … That's a better term. A more fitting term. He's annoyed, though it isn't exactly at her. Maybe just a little of it is directed at her, though the bulk of it is the topic. The topic always gets to him, as much as he tries to fight it or deny that it does. And Ka'el isn't sure why it does. But he can feel the annoyance in his chest, prickling the surface of his skin like tiny pinpricks. It's stupid, and he knows it is, to allow something so stale to continue to bother him as much as it does. He waves off her apology, at least able to feign nonchalance. "Nah, don't worry about it. Talk about him just .. gets under my skin," he admits with a headshake. He's glad to let the topic drop and leave it behind in favor of work. Ha! He's actually glad to be thinking of work and getting back to it? Kanekith rises to his paws, giving his wings a stretch, though it's obvious that Ka'el has no intention of riding him back to the Caverns. He'll walk. He gives Kiena a sidelong look at her question, then chuckles. "Guess you'll have to wait and see, huh? I don't want to ruin the surprise. .. Just remember. You can't strike a Weyrleader." Light-humor is easily fallen back into. That's easier to do than what they were doing. A not-quite-argument. He starts down the ridge, aiming to walk with her as they head back to work.

As well made as a Senior Apprentice's work can be. It was approved and checked, she made sure of that. Kiena isn't fishing for compliments in that regard. If anything, the Weyrsecond does feel some of that annoyance coming from Ka'el and part of her regrets having dug as deep as she did and allows the topic to drift away. Though in her mind, she is thinking the annoyance is directed to her, which explains her unsettled behaviour. "It's alright." She gets it and she won't bring it up again. Lifting her head a bit, Kiena's eyes drift to Kanekith as the bronze stretches and her mouth quirks a bit at the corner before her attention focuses back on Ka'el. Her posture relaxes when he waves off her apology, even if in feigned nonchalance and he picks up on her light humoured comment. She'll follow along beside him and then smirks, tilting her head a bit as she shifts her gaze from him and to the path ahead. "Surprise? Oh, now you have me worried, Ka'el…" she drawls sarcastically, only to drift into silence. A few seconds later, a faint grin curves her lips as they start down the ridge. "Mhm. You're right, I can't strike a Weyrleader. But…" Provided he doesn't dodge her or block and she winds up failing miserably, Kiena will attempt to shove his shoulder with her fingertips. Poke. A full handed poke but a poke all the same! Poke-shove? "Never said anything about everything else before a strike?" she laughs softly. Much easier than a not-quite-argument she had no intentions of sparking.

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