Xanadu Weyr - Gardens
An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place. On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.
Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.
The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also eluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic. The two paths leading away from the entrance have come full circle, wrapping around to meet each other on the other side, yet still continue on to the far left and right. One path leads off deeper into the surrounding woods, while the other wider; cheerily decorated with brightly colored slabs of painted stones.

It's a faintly breezy, cool fall day. The pristine gardens look … well, pristine, as they usually do. And the only reason the place is as immaculate as they are is because the gardens has a team of gardeners that keep it this way. And, lucky them, today they have a few extra Candidate helpers to help keep the gardens as perfect as they are every season. ka-el has a rake in hand and stands near a gardener, who is pointing out all the areas that need raking. The ground is scattered with autumn colored leaves, and Kale nods in understanding. Rake the leaves. Put them in plastic bags. It isn't rocket science. He's left to do his task.

Garawan happens to be one of the Candidates that's helping the gardeners to clean the place up! He doesn't mind menial tasks, since he knows that's half of the reason there are candidates to begin with. However, he does still have his gloves on. He's helping Kale with this task of cleaning up the leaves, since the garden is so big and there are just so many leaves. One Candidate can't possibly be expected to get it all alone. Garawan has two large discs in his hands, and he's using those to pick up the leaves. He waits for Kale to rake them into a pile, then picks them up and puts them into the bag held open by another Candidate.

Kale has gloves on too, but that's because this is garden work! Garawan's gloves…well. Kale may ask about them someday. But for now, he's glad to have help with the raking and bag stuffing, and he's busy raking up another pile of multicolored leaves for Garawan to stuff. "This'll take forever," he remarks, though with a smirk. "But, of all the chores, this is one I don't mind. Not so hard, huh?" He pauses in his raking a bit, brows raise. "How're the Caravans?"

"It keeps us out of more unpleasant chores," Garawan replies with a chuckle. He is working efficiently, if not quickly, and gathers the pile in a smaller area to scoop it up between the two discs, putting the discs completely in the bag before opening them and knocking them together slightly to make sure all the leaves are in the bag before pulling the discs back. As for the Caravans? "Ah, they have been missing me, as I'm apparently one of the best salesmen they have," the trader notes wryly. He chuckles. "Joking, of course. Though my mother has been asking me about Candidacy."

"Your ma?" Kale echoes, glancing at him as he continues to rake again. "I didn't know she was part've the caravan group." He grins. "Bet that's a bit … different, huh? Havin' her around?" The metal arms of the rake grasp and pull at leaves, ushering them into a slowly growing pile, but with Garawan's diligence, the pile doesn't get too big before leaves are deposited into the trash bag. "How is it goin' for you?" he asks, sounding curious. "Same as Fort? I was just talkin' about that with Soriana the other night," he remarks thoughtfully. "Comparin' this clutch to the last time we were Candidates."

Garawan nods. "Mhm." Then he pauses at the mention that it must be 'different'. "No, not at all. I have been with the Caravan since I was born. She taught me all I know about business. And life." A fond smile lights his face here. Indeed, no, he doesn't let the pile of leaves get too big before picking some up and putting them in the bag. Though the mention of Fort draws him to shake his head. "Eastern, actually," he notes. "That was the last Candidacy that ensnared me." Though he smirks a moment later. "…I think more than 'conversation' was occurring last night. If what I heard was any indication." He speaks quietly, so only the two of them can hear. He also doesn't note if he heard someone /else/ talking about it, or heard /them/ while it was happening.

"Oh, Eastern was it?" Kale nods. "I saw the one at Fort. The dragons there were … well, I think it was the lighting. It kept goin' out, and it made the dragons look…strange. Colorless, almost," he says in remembrance before refocusing his thoughts to the present. "I don't think I could have my ma around all the time anymore. I mean, I love 'er an all, but," he smirks, "she drives me crazy." He drags the rake against the ground, then pauses, eyes flitting to him at his comment. "Uh.." He grins crookedly, a guilty look on his face. A hand rises to rub at the back of his neck. "Well…wait. You were awake?"

Garawan smirks at Kale's sudden hedging when he mentions the, er, 'conversation' with Soriana the night previous. Was he awake? "Mm, I might have been," he notes airily. Looks like he's not about to reveal anything. "I might have heard from someone who /was/. But I did hear." He looks up, with a chuckle. "You really should find a more private venue for such… conversations."

Kale is quiet for a while, the look of guilt shifting to a sort of half grin. He gives his neck another rub before dropping his hand back down to the rake. "No joke," he remarks in response to finding more private places. "We don't usually…y'know…talk… like that in front've everyone, asleep or not. But, she's my girlfriend," he says, leaning on the rake a bit, voice kept low. "Can you blame me?" He grins at that, though exhales a breath. "Hope it was you that heard an' not someone else. Last thing we need is an assistant weyrlingmaster gettin' word."

With the honest response, Garawan nods. "As far as I know, it was only me," he confirms. "Though others might have — the noises you heard that broke it up was a Candidate leaving the barracks and falling over on the way out." His hearing's pretty good, it sounds like. "Though from what I understand, you may only be reprimanded that such a 'talk' took place in the barracks, not that it took place at all. So I've heard."

"Is that what is was?" Kale lifts his brows as Garawan speaks of the thudding noise. "Huh. Wonder who it was that left. Maybe someone else was lookin' for somethin' to eat," he remarks with a smirk, though the curiosity remains. "Well, I haven't heard anything from anyone. Maybe we're all off the hook." At least, he hopes, though in truth, a verbal reprimand wouldn't be the worst thing that's ever happened to him. He eyes the other guy. "You've got a girl?"

Garawan nods. "I believe so," he confirms. "That I don't know, why they left." He just chuckles when Kale expresses his hope that he and Soriana won't be getting in trouble for their little 'conversation'. However, the question of if he has a girl? He shakes his head. "Sadly, no. Between business, travel, and these candidacies waylaying me, I've little time for such things. There have been 'fraternizations', of course. But never anything serious."

Kale idly rakes as he listens, feigning looking busy. He smirks at his words regarding candidacy. "I heard you could say no," he points out. "Not that I think y'should have," he says. "But … I think that's the only thing I'm not liking about Candidacy, you know? I barely have time for her now. An' if she Impresses? Or me? Or both of us?" he snickers. "I guess there'd be even less. I dunno what a Weyrling can and can't do." He gazes at the foliage, then begins raking again. "What have you thought of the egg touches so far?"

"Very true," Garawan replies. "But it's an opportunity for business, and I can't, in good conscience, pass that up." A smirk. "Who knows what the candidates need better than the candidates?" he inquires. Besides that, what if his dragon /is/ in one of these clutches? It would Between immediately if he wasn't there! Or so he likes to think. To the mention of Impressing, "More to the point, if her dragon is green, you will not be the only one to… 'converse' with her. She will have such 'conversations' with the rider of whomever catches her green when she rises. Moreso yet, if her dragon is gold, she will be expected to serve in a leadership capacity, on top of the flights." A wry look to Kale. "Few people think this through when accepting the knot, I have noticed…."

As for the eggs? "THAT is a hard thing to describe," he notes. "I've yet to… I supposed you'd call it 'meeting' them. I've yet to meet them all, but those I have met are a varied lot. I have conflicting feelings about many of them. A couple have been invasive enough to make me want to clutch my shirt around me tighter." A chuckle. "And you? What has your experience been like?"

"I don't worry about that," Kale says, speaking only a half truth on that. "I mean, I know what it'd mean if either one've us Impressed. But … she told me about flights once. Course, she hasn't like, experienced it herself or anything but her mom's a gold rider. Flights are different. It's not the same. And plus, it'd be the same for her if I Impressed. I don't like really thinking of goin' after some girl I don't know, but…I think.. I'd get used to it?" Or something. He doesn't sound too sure, but who could be? Turning his thoughts to the eggs is a bit easier. "I didn't like some of them," he admits. "Some were cold feelin' to me. Some were … yeah, evasive. But then there were some that I really liked. It was weird, havin' something go through me like that."

Garawan nods. "That is very true, you would be in the same straights, if your dragon chased a female." A pause. "Or if /you/ ended up on a green," he teases lightly. "But, yes. Flights are indeed just flights. As my mother knows. You see, my father was a rider. My mother spoke little of him." He smirks. And those eggs! "Indeed. I was a bit more prepared for it this time, as I'd felt it before. But I was still unprepared for exactly how different these were from Eastern's last."

Kale shudders at the thought of riding a green. Worst. Nightmare. He doesn't have to say it for it to be seen on his face! "Right. Let's .. hope that a green isn't waitin' for me," he says with a wry smirk. "The way I'm figurin', there are plenty riders with weyrmates or girlfriends. Soriana wasn't born here, but she grew up here. I figure, she's not gonna have issue. Me?" He smirks. "It'll take gettin' used to." He gestures to him to look busy as one of those gardeners start heading their ways, perhaps sensing too much chit chat and not enough raking! "Hey, after this," he says as he rakes, "wanna grab lunch?"

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