Gardening in the Afternoon

Xanadu Weyr - Garden


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.

The sun has just finished cresting from its peak in the sky, marking the clear day just past the noon hour. Most people would be eating now, or finishing with a lunch, but Phylicia herself is in a tawny colored tank top, and a pair of well-loved pants. Most people might be wearing gloves as they do this, and there is indeed a pair hanging out of the pouch strapped to her thigh, but she works at pulling the weeds - currently in the herbal portion - with care without them. Apparently she's been at this awhile because there's dirt both on her hands and on her pants, while a light sheen of sweat has collected on her face. Not to mention the pile of weeds that's forming off to the side, on the path.

M'nol wanders into the garden, ever one of his favorite thinking spots, clipboard in hand. Graphite stick tapping lightly on the edge of the paper as he moves through the garden to his favorite bench. After a few moments, he nods, "Yes… if I do my last delivery first, I can avoid another flight at Fort… I hope…" He sighs, scribbles something on the paper, then finally spots Phy's bent over form. His eyes widen a bit, then he blinks twice, swallowing against that lump that just manifested in his throat, "Uhm… afternoon?"

It's afternoon, a sunny afternoon at that and K'vin is out, sunning himself and enjoying its warmth on his cold bones. He's not looking old though, but he feels it.

Don't mind the fellow meandering through the gardens and muttering a little to himself. Really. That's just Rished on his rest day, turning a bit of wood around in his hands with an intense look of concentration on his face. For other candidates, this might be a normal sight — him with a block of wood and muttering, that is, not him in the garden per se. Slung cross-wise over his form is a wide-strapped leather bag of sorts, perhaps filled with more wood or other things besides; in either case, he's absently looking for something or another but is in no particular rush to find it.

Rio is also finding the gardens a decent place to hang out at this time of day too, apparently. He has a small ball of yarn with a hook poked in it in his hands. From the looks of the yarn itself, it looks like he's ripped crocheting several times, as the yarn itself is all kinked up. He's tossing the ball of undyed yarn from one hand to the other, like it was a regular ball that he might play with.

Phylicia appears to have come across a particularily stubborn weed just now, enough so where she picks up a handheld rake next to her, and digs at the dirt around it for a moment, before tugging on the weed at it's base again. There are a few choice words about packing the earth too tight that drift from her mouth until M'nol's greeting grabs her attention. She leans back, sitting on her heels and swipes a hand across her forehead without thinking about the smudge it'll leave. By the smudge across her nose, it looks like that wasn't the first time either. "Mor-Afternoon, sir." She corrects her greeting as she realizes no, it's no longer morning. Her eyes briefly scan the garden, noting the other people here that … weren't there when she started, and she sighs to herself. Hopefully none of them tried talking to her before. "A good day, isn't it?" She asks, a bright little grin on her face. She's outside and she's playing in the dirt. She's blissful.

M'nol manages a portion of a smile, eyes glancing at the others briefly, but since they make no move to conversate, he focuses on Phy for now, "It's quite nice, though I wish it were as warm up north where my deliveries are. How are you doing, Phy? Gotten to touch the eggs yet?"

K'vin waves at M'nol and Phy. "Hey there, having fun?" He asks, eyeing Phylicia with the dirt on her face. "It is a bright and lovely day, indeed."

Rished gives the wood a final turn in his hands before he heaves a sigh, moving to unclip the flap of his bag and then to wedge the bit of wood inside the bag. At least the muttering has stopped? His attention snags a bit on those others in the gardens — were they there a few moments ago? — and then his brow furrows a little. "Hey," is offered as a general greeting to those he probably should recognize … and to those he probably doesn't, as well. Rio is briefly glanced at, but his feet seem inclined to drag him along to where the others appear clustered if only for the sake of furthering conversation.

Phylicia bobs her head in a nod, not bothering to shift her position which might get bothersome for others in a short period of time. "I've touched all of them but one." She supplies to M'nol, merely offering a grin and a shrug to his problem of climates. "It's…" She pauses, looking for the right word, and Rished might remember this conversation from the kitchens. "Interesting, mostly." K'vin is looked at, and the older man gets another smile. "A blast, sir. I like gardening." Well, that might mean she never gets this chore again.

M'nol nods slowly as he listens to Phy, raising a hand in greeting to Rished, whom he may or may not have met before, "That's great, Phy. Any extra-special ones out there for you?" He glances out past the garden's fence where his brown slumbers peacefully, a faint glimmer in his eyes perhaps showing his memory of the first time he'd touched the brown's egg.

Of course, no sooner than he manages to get within conversational range of the others that Rished's miniature fair blips out of Between, chattering quickly amongst themselves. Even among 'lizards, it's not hard to imagine that those chitters and chirps are a sign of /some/ kind of guilt. The scraps of paper that they're all carrying is just icing on the cake, really … or a smoking gun. Either-or. The young man grimaces, shakes his head, and offers some passing apology as he makes his way out of the garden. Where he goes, nobody knows … but it's a fair guess that he's off to deliver apologies to /someone/.

K'vin nods his head. "Egg touching is definitely interesting." He says simply. "There's always something…entrancing at touching this shell and feeling the life pulsing inside."

M'nol nods again, perhaps acquiring a small amount of whiplash from all the nodding, "I remember that. There were some that felt… almost evil…" He shakes his head quickly, dispelling the bad memories that linger there, then he nods, being more than able to think of a few memories of his own that he wouldn't want a half-formed dragon bring back to mind. After a moment, he nods again, "I remember Faraeth's… it had me crying on the sands…"

K'vin sighs softly and looks up thoughtfully. "I remember when I got to touch Khirsath's egg too." He says simply. "It was just so fantastic." He adds in a nostalgic sigh.

While M'nol may have whiplash from nodding so much, Phylicia may get her own from looking between the two riders. Back and forth, back and forth. The girl blinks at the expression that takes over their faces as they speak about touching their dragons' eggs. She didn't have any reactions like that. … Did she? Their looks set the girl to pondering for a moment. "Did you know then…?" She asks the pair of them, not singling one out. "That you'd be chosen by that egg?"

M'nol shakes his head again, "I didn't… I was terrified I wouldn't be chosen… that I'd be left behind. But when he hatched… when he hatched it was like I knew he was all mine even before he did… he looked just like home."

K'vin hmms. "I can't recall really." He says simply. "It has been such a long time ago but I think most of us are terrified when we get onto the sands, it's such a frightening experience."

Phylicia's lips purse together in thought as she looks between one and the other. "Well at least I know I get to look forward to being afraid…" She half-mumbles, more to herself than to either of the riders. M'nol gets a slightly longer look. After all, his impression is much more recent than K'vin's. "… Huh." Is all else that's drawn from her, taking his expression more to heart this time as she raises her hand to rub at the side of her nose, furthering the smudge that caused the itch in the first place.

M'nol smiles at Phy, softly, though not necessarily lovingly, that part of them has passed, it seems, "It's not a bad afraid… it's not terror… more like…" He pauses for a moment, searching for just the right word, "Like your whole world is going to change, one way or another."

K'vin nods his head at M'nol. "It's true, it's not really terrified, like the fear of dying. It's more…a sense of nervousness." He says simply. "You know something is going to happen and you are edgy and nervous at the same time." He hmms. "It's difficult to explain really."

Phylicia's hands idly go to one of the weeds in that pile she's been creating, fingering the leaves as if she's trying to decide whether this is a useful weed, or one that could be shredded by idle fingers. A few long moments are spent in a sort of quiet contemplation before she shakes her head and grins. "No use in working myself up to that state now. I don't think the eggs are hard enough to hatch any time soon." But there's a bit of understanding in the back of her eyes. How well she knows that a single event can drastically change a life. "Right?" It's a perky question, directed with a bit of a false grin to M'nol.

M'nol shakes his head, "Shouldn't be for a little while longer, I don't think. You have plenty of time to get to know all of the eggs and see how they work for you. Sometimes they say more when they're harder, too." He smiles, "You do seem more chipper, though. Are you feeling better?"

K'vin nods his head. "Not before some time Phylicia, you have some time to get used to it still." He says simply. "And to get used to the eggs and all around the weyr life."

"Some days are better than others." Phylicia admits, neither confirming nor denying M'nol's question. "This is good for me." She says with a slightly more honest smile this time, guesturing towards the garden, and the weeding. Her name out of K'vin's mouth draws a bit of a start from her, though she offers the older man another grin. "I've been around the Weyr for a turn or two. Is there something that I might be missing, sir?" It's not meant to be an impudent question and the tone says its definitely not, but it's of no doubt occasionally that mouth gets her into trouble.

M'nol inclines his head ever so slightly, "I think you've got a pretty good grasp on it… better than I did when I was searched…" He glances at K'vin, then shrugs, "I have been worried about you, you know." His whole face says it, too, "I'm glad you're getting at least some happiness here."

K'vin shrugs. "I'm not saying that, it just takes a couple of years to get used to everything, I know that." He says calmly. "But so far, no, you're getting along quite well."

Phylicia nods her head, again with a bit of a smile. "That's good to hear, from another person." And her gaze tracks back to M'nol. "Please don't worry. I'll be fine. Honest." That one sounds more like a plea from friend to friend, than a candidate to a wingrider.

M'nol nods again, "I'll try, Phy, but I do still worry about you for other reasons, too." He grins a little, showing that it's not a stressful worry, just the usual one, "I'm not certain now if you'd be happier if you impressed or not, but I just hope you're happy." He glances over at K'vin, then back to Phy with a raised eyebrow. Yup. She's doin' fine in the weyrlife department.

K'vin smiles happily. "And well, if you have dragonhealing questions, you know where I am." He says gently. "Promise, I don't pounce on every girls who come in my weyr."

Phylicia blushes slightly at K'vin's last remark, and her smile is a bit tentative. "I'm not sure I will, unless I should impress, sir." She says politely. "Botany and herb-lore was more my area of study." Which is why she's so blissful in the garden. She smiles to M'nol then, not protesting his worry any further. "Things'll work out, however they do." She'll adapt, after a time, to whatever the change may be.

M'nol nods at Phy, "They always do." The look he casts at K'vin is… hard to define. Somewhere between laughing and warning. Then he blinks, "I'd actually forgotten that… what herbs are these, anyway?" He motions towards the garden's collection, "Are they good for anything?"

K'vin chuckles and eyes M'nol. "I know I have…a kind of reputation in this weyr, not totally true though." He says with a smile. "So I prefer to warn you that it isn't a reputation I deserve." He says simply.

"Reputations are a hard thing to correct…" Phylicia says quietly, before she's happily shifting topics. "Well, this.. this is just a weed. It's not good for anything besides choking the life out of other plants." She's shifting on the ground, carefully kneeling and checking the plants. "It's more a garden for the kitchens, than anything else. Basil, rosemary… thyme. A lot of seasonings."

M'nol nods at Phy even as he shrugs, "They can be… but I honestly hadn't heard… bronzeriders in general tend to get a lecherous reputation, though." He shrugs again, then pulls a thermos out of his jacket pocket and takes a swig of its clear, odorless contents, "Not that I ever much listened to that reputation." He glances over as Phy starts pointing out herbs and nods, "Good to know… in case I ever decide to try cooking again…"

M'nol stands, then, "I should start my deliveries, though… I… it was good to see you again Phy… uh… K'vin." K'vin seems a bit more tacked on, after all, Morl doesn't know him as well, "If nothing else, I'll see you on the sands." Then he's gone, clipboard in hand.

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