How to Keep a Harper

Xanadu Weyr – Forest

This broad path that leads from the Main Clearing into the forest has been designed in such a manner so as to be not only wide enough for wagons to travel through, but also providing ample space for dragons. The path appears only worn in the center though, as the main traffic which finds itself moving through this area is that of the two-legged kind. Grass lines the path and creeps all the way up to the bases of the trees that rise upward in their aged magnificence, gargantuan limbs casting often welcome shade that frequently envelopes the entire path.
The path winds its way leisurely through the trees and a number of less traveled paths branch away. One to the west leads to the Weyrling Field while one headed further northwards leads to the river and numerous popular spots. (see +view) Northeastwards, the path straightens out to join the coastal road that leads out of Xanadu while east leads down towards the beach and the Caspian Lake. A few flowers sprout up and speckle the brown and green area with their little faces of bright saffron and cheeky rose, and the general atmosphere and scent of the path is one of freshness and wild abandon.

With dawn just a few hours away, things are finally winding down out on the meadow and the beach with tired revelers wending their way to their homes. There's still a faint glow from the beach - someone's been feeding it a few logs now and then to keep a small fire going where the roaring bonfire once was. Faint sounds, an occasional call, a sprinkle of laughter invades the stillness of night that blankets Xanadu but here in the forest, the leaves seem to muffle all that so here anyway there is naught but the sound of the occasional dew-drop pattering from the canopy above or the sigh of wing that puffs in spurts now and again. A passerby stumbles drunkenly though now and then, sometimes accompanied by a dragon, sometimes alone. All are watched.

It has been a long, but enjoyable night that's for sure. One of the voices calls out something that includes 'harper', and Matrin's voice, closer, replies with a hearty goodnight. Hearty but also a little slurred, muzzy around the edges and blurred further by the Bitran he tries to forget creeping into his syllables. He passes through this bit of forest, though it's actually the opposite direction from his cottage, which is where he thinks he is heading. The mask is long since discarded, the tie loose and askew, but there's a broad grin on his face as he pauses, squinting with a low glow basket in hand to try and get his bearings.

Keziah is up early, she's been finding it harder and harder to sleep. The area around her place has picked up new trails from her forays out and about and avoiding the heavier traveled paths. She's removed off her finery and is back into her clothing that is better suited for the woods. At the sound of voices coming closer, Kezi edges back from the way she was walking. All she needs is to deal with a drunk. Not. But she pauses and frowns as the voice sounds familiar and she sighs a little. "Where's he going?" she murmurs and then there's a thougtful look. Perhaps he's going to meet a lady friend? Not… oh dear. She start's heading towards the main path. These she has got to see.

Easily melding with the shadows is a form that seems to follow the harper, though not too closely. When that glow opens it retreats further, drawing up nioselessly beside Keziah, ot really even trying to hide from her. It's Gabit's drawl that greets her quietly, "Ya didn't stay long out there, Miss Kezi." He's got a squint at that glowlight then and a bit of a smirk. He'll just wait for the harper to head this way. He may even be nice enough to keep his staff to himself, though how tempting to- no he'll be nice.

Matrin lifts the basket, then sighs and recovers it so he doesn't totally ruin his night vision, though it's probably too late for that already. "Sharding…" his mumbling curses trail off into incomprehensibility before they get too vulgar, but he's distracted by his own frustration and lack of direction so he nearly runs right into Keziah. He pulls up just short, rubbing his hand roughly across his face. "Kezi, hey." He manages his usual grin, though more crooked than usual, and he doesn't even see Gabit.

Keziah hehs a little "For me it was long. Besides, had to check in on the girls." she notes quietly. She's still watching Matrin. "Lucky he doesn't trip and break something." she notes after a moment, observing him getting closer. At least he doesn't fall on her, that would be most uncomfortable. "Matrin." she murmurs as she arches a brow "You had a good night I take it?"

And Gabit, who could help that tripping, kindly spares the harper's ankles his staff. Merely grunts. "Ya looked like ya had some fun dancin' with the pretty boy in the frilly shirt and the fancy pants," is all he says to Keziah though there's a telltale tease to curl at the corners of his lips in the dim starlight. He says nothing just yet to Matrin as he draws up. No, he'll wait to hear just how good a night Matrin had. Enquiring minds want to know, but he's not about to ask.

"Not too bad. Everyone loves a good party right?" Matrin eyes that arched brow, then rolls his eyes. "Oh come on, like you didn't enjoy eating and dancing with Captain Tightpants." He clears his throat and scrubs that hand again, this time through his hair with a hint of chagrin as his mouth is going faster than his brain at this point. "You looked gorgeous though. You should wear dresses more often." His eyes roam, restless, and he catches sight of Gabit's sillhouette (hard to miss as he's right there). It's enough to make him flinch and lay a hand over his chest. "Shells, man, make a noise or something."

The comment from Gabit was bad enough. Keziah's cheeks flush and she looks uncomfortable at the remarks and just tries to shrug it off a little. "It was, it was nice." she murmurs softly. However, Matrin's words just have her staring in horror and extreme embarrasement at him. There's a flash in her eyes, but she manages to bite her tongue before she says anything nasty or that she'll regret and instead she actually takes a step or two back, using Gabit as a shield.

"Boo?" Can you hear the smug in his voice as he complies with Matrin's request? Gabit actually shuffles a half-step to one side when Keziah sidles behind him, turns to peer over his shoulder at her. "S'matter with you? Ain't like ya did anything wrong." Squint. "Or did ya? Yer lookin' guilty-like." Back to Martrin. "Mishkia looked like she had an interestin' time out there. All I have t'say is, you people wear strange clothes sometimes."

Matrin should know to back off, but he's had an ale or two too many, and he reaches past Gabit to tug at Keziah's sleeve. "Oh come on, Keziah. You can't be so upset." He tries his most charming grin and arches those dark brows at her. "Are you saying you didn't notice? Gimme a break, I'm admitting that /I/ noticed." His tone is teasing but gently so, more conspiring than anything. "It is ok to have fun you know." His smirk is back, though still more amused than mean at Gabit's response. "See, even he agrees? And I hope Mishkia had an ok time. She definitely drank less than I did, and probably should have walked me home instead of the other way around." The strange clothes comment makes him chuckle but rather than explain he just nods. "That we do."

Keziah starts to seethe when Matrin grabs her. Under her breath she can be heard counting out numbers slowly. Then very slowly she says. "Let. Go. Of. Me." Yeah for Kezi. She managed to speak and not scream. The healer would be so proud of her. She does work really hard at trying to keep her cool. "I don't like being teased." she finally gets out." Hey look, she's even admitting something. She stands there. Glaring perhaps, but she's controlling it for the most part which is saying something for her. A glance at Gabit. She closes her eyes a moment and takes a deep breath. "In a way, I did." she notes quietly.

Uh oh! Woman-seething. Gabit can feel the simmer radiating from Keziah - he's usually attuned to the nuances in his environment like that and thus when Matrin snags the greenrider's sleeve, he steps back. Not getting between this! No siree. "Careful, she bites," he says to the harper with a laconic - and tardy warning. He hmms to himself for a moment after she says she did something wrong, then gives a mild nod. He's not going to argue. If she says so, who is he to dispute that? What he wants to know is, "Did ya get caught, Miss Kezi?"

Even a slightly (or less than slightly) inebriated Matrin can hear the growl in Keziah's voice. He blinks, then quickly steps back and tucks his hand into a pocket. "My apologies," sounds both sincere and a bit less slurred as he stands there under her glare. The idea that she did something wrong makes him frown but he doesn't press either. Instead he tips his shoulder against a near trunk and sets his covered glowbasket at his feet, crossing one ankle over the other with brows lifted. Yeah, did you get caught?"
Keziah takes a long feep breath and lets it out and forces herself to relax several notches. She then eyes Gabit and Matrin both. "You both saw me. So obviously I did." she stops a moment. Realizes she's still glaring and looks away. "Sorry." she murmurs. She's trying to be a good girl. "I shouldn't have been dancing with him." she clarifies. I was just, caught off guard." she sighs a little and then looks over at Gabit a moment and then back at Matrin "So, did you ever get a chance to dance with Mishkia?"
Gabit is clueless. "Saw ya what now? Shouldn't dance with who and why? Details, Miss Kezi!" He settles on a handy stump, aims his pole at a low-hanging branch and idly prods it. "We mighta saw but that don't count as caught does it?" Though the question regarding his cousin draws his scrutiny towards Matrin, a slow grin curling his mouth. All he says about dancing is, "Someone should show ya how it's done at Mire Hold."

Matrin lightly clears his throat and straightens a bit. He doesn't look every inch the charming harper as usual with his hand-tousled hair and his undone tie, but he still manages the tone when he speaks. "There isn't a think wrong with dancing with a friend, Keziah. Whatever rules were made were meant to keep you both safe and calm and clearly you were fine. I would argue your side any day." Solemn through that, then a grin breaks through. "Besides, it is good for you to let loose a little." As for dancing with Mishkia, it just makes his grin deepen a little and he ducks his head. "I did. And that was fun, but I'm just sorry I didn't get the chance to take you around the floor. I'll have to steal a dance another time." His eyes flicker to Gabit after his admission but he doesn't look nervous, more curious until the lad speaks. "I think that sounds like a grand idea."

Now what does one say to that? Hmm. "No. I've let loose enough for one Turn." she notes "Maybe next Turnover. Maybe." Kezi states to the bit about dancing. "Besides. My feet are still sore." She shifts a little "I don't like feeling so insecure." she colors and then looks up at the trees and where is a cloudburst when you need one. Maybe a freak storm. A blizzard?

Gabit's looking entertained by the thought: teach a fancy harper to dance. He lifts the pole and tilts it sideways. "Can ya jump? Cos if ya can't I promise it'll hurt." He just stares at Keziah when she goes on about insecure. Then he rises, steps right on over to her and leans waaaaay in. He sniffs suspiciously, then shakes his head in a baffled way. "Funny, I don't smell any fumes, but I swear ya been drinkin'. Ya ain't makin' a lick 'o sense."

Keziah is silent a moment or two. Or maybe it's ten. She lets out a breath. "I don't like dancing in front of so many people." she finally says at the moment. "And well, I umm. It's hard to explain." she murmurs "I well, umm. I dunno." she snorts a bit and shrugs.

Matrin relaxes back into his lazy trunk lounge, tipping his head to smirk at Gabit first. "Oh, I can jump. Once Mishkia settles in a bit, we should build a bonfire on the beach, and the two of you can show all of us stuffy Weyrfolk how it's done." The smirk shifts to something softer, more gentle and he shakes his head Keziah's way. "It makes sense, though. We all have our insecurities about things." Yes, even Matrin and even Gabit - the harper shoots the lad a look for confirmation. "However, dancing should not be one of yours because you looked great out there."

Insecurities? Who, Gabit? Admit to something like that? He may not nod in agreement, but he practically blanches at the mention of setting foot on such an open space as the beach. Though he swiftly covers that by popping a leaf in an idle-seeming motion with his staff. Keziah goes silent, but Gabit is going to ask anyway, "Why ya care what they think? Huh? You're great Miss Kez. Forget the outs-" he glances at Matrin and changes it to, "others."

Keziah snorts a bit "Just because one learned how to do something well, doesn't mean one takes joy in being an exhibitionist." She notes. She eyes Gabit a little "I care about how I feel and I generally feel just plain silly. Not too mention that that dress is one of the most uncomfortable things to wear and no pockets!" Yes, she must have her pockets. "And what good is dancing anyways, it leaves your feet aching and blistered and nothing to show for your efforts. It's a waste of time." Hmm, can she think up any more excuses? Give her time.

The harper's grin stretches again at Gabit's quick motion with his staff and he nonchalantly adds, "Or a smaller bonfire here in the forest, or in Mishkia's cottage clearing, or whatever." A mild wink for the younger man, then he sighs at Keziah. "So don't dance. No one's forcing you. But I do it because I find it fun, and it's a great way to do something a little different with people you like, or get to know people you don't know well. And if everyone's dancing they are too busy to watch you anyway."
There's a flicker of a nicer smile hovering about Gabit's mouth for the mention of forest or clearing. They may wind up buddies yet! "Cos you're thinkin' in yer head whatcha think they must be thinkin' 'boutcha." Gabit says easily in the wake of Keziah's protest. "Y'can't read minds, Babe. Dun tell me ya can." There's a quiet chuckle from him as both he and the harper say nearly the same thing only his words aren’t said nearly so pretty. "Ya gotta think of it like a game, Miss Kez. S'more fun that way."

Keziah hmmphs at the sigh "Is it so wrong that I don't find it fun? I learned to dance, because it was required of us, not because I wanted to." she rolls her eyes. "You know what. I'm not going to argue no more." A pause. "Any more. I'm done. That's it. It's not important." She levels her gaze on Gabit. "And you know what. It doesn't matter what I think they are thinking and you can't prove anything." she hmmphs and then she states. " You should avoid the beach. You wouldn't want to see what happens there anyways." she notes. "You can build on in my clearing. I don't care." she offers.

Gabit's almost use of 'outsiders' made amusement flicker in Matrin's eyes, but the word 'babe' has him grinning outright. Buddies for sure, if he's brave enough to use that pet name, and not even a flicker of the eyes from Keziah! Rather than comment on it, because Matrin does have half a brain now and then, he just turns his gaze back to the greenrider. "We can change the subject, but we aren't arguing. We're trying to compliment you, silly girl. But since you mentioned it, what happens on the beach?" Dark brows lift and he darts a glance toward Gabit. Maybe he'd brave the sand after all if this is good enough?

Gabit sort of blinks at Keziah, sniffing a touch suspiciously again for the whiff of fumes. It's a comical 'I know you well enough that it can't be, but…' sort of move. "Aw Miss Kez. You were the one who brought it up. Have a heart on a poor downtrodden bush-fella. We need our fun. Ain't no fun alone. Who'm I gonna dance with come full moon, huh?" Pity him! So far from home and all aloooone. She's at least watched the dances when she visited. "That dress was killer critter bait, though." Hey it's a compliment! And he's standing out of swatting distance, Matrin. Otherwise he might not have been so brave. But he's allll ears, turning to hear what these odd-folk do out there. Do tell Kezi.

Keziah is just silent. She frowns a little. Did she bring it up? Hrm. Never mind that. She refrains from saying anything more. But there is a look at Gabit, and a narrowing of her eyes. "Plenty of girls around here to dance with, and I'm sure there's at least one who'd like to get to know you a little more." she notes. "As for the beach. Well All sorts of things have happened out there, depending on how much drink has flowed."

Matrin mouths 'critter bait' with a shake of his head, and idly reaches up to pluck a leaf off the low hanging branch above his head. "But he wants to dance with you, Keziah, and so do I. You shouldn't let your talents go to waste. What if we say you can wear comfortable shoes and pants if you want? Though," he pauses, twirling a hand in the air. "I think the swirly skirts are half the fun." Keziah is so vague he just narrows his eyes, squinting at her through the gloom, and then chuckles. "Oh, that leaves far too much room from my mind to make up all sorts of debaucheries. Though I haven't seen any of it and I've been to the beach more than once."

Gabit just wide-eyes Keziah back for her glaring at him. One hand lifts to his chest, "Ya cut me to the quick, Miss Kez. Ain't here fer other girls. You n' Mishkia, you'n the only family I got here." Oh there's a laughing quality to it, but there's a puzzled, almost hurt light that flashes behind it in those dark eyes of his as if he doesn't quite know the woman anymore. He shoves his hands deep into his pockets. "Try dancin' on moss," he mutters on the heels of Matrin's comments, flickering the harper a look of accord. There's a subtle affinity blooming despite his taciturn tendencies. "Maybe so," he agrees with Matrin about the beach, easing away from the trunk he's leaned against. "Think I'll go watch…" and he nods to Matrin, bows slightly, if stiffly to Keziah and fades off into the shadows. Watching over his cousin, goes without saying.

Keziah ignores anything and everything about skirts and dancing. Well, maybe not completely ignore. There's a bit of a baleful look and then she snorts at Matrin "You just haven't been there at that right times." she notes and then she sighs a little "Course, perhaps we should invite Cenlia to come visit. It's been too long and well. She is someone you just have to meet. There is no describing her. But the things I've seen, from a game of truth and dare in the tavern that ended up with almost everyone stripping and running to the beach, and well people getting painted while passed out. Though, dragon diving as always been fun. Haven't done that in awhile." There's a pause. "Not that I'll be able to do it for awhile yet." That is said without hardly any expression. "Then of course there was swimming down to the cave." She looks thoughful "I wonder if Ysa's old place still has the tunnel down to it. She used to have one." She then frowns as she watches Gabit walk away and then she just sighs. Again. She's been sighing a lot of late. "I can't win. No matter what. I still upset people. And I've been trying not too." there's silence "Shards."

The list of details has Matrin's brows slowly climbing, and in the end he blinks and shakes his head. "I obviously need to visit it more often. And yes, invite Cenlia, great idea." His grin lingers through an upward chin tip - a silent Man Farewell (tm) to the silhouette of Gabit as it melts into the darkness. Then he just gives Keziah a long level look. Well, mostly level with a tiny bit of blurry around the edges as he's still moderately in his proverbial cups. "Maybe you shouldn't try so hard. The folks that are your friends got that way for a reason." He shrugs, adding a bit of nonchalance to his serious words. "Everyone gets upset now and again, but friendship means you work through it, right?" He nods firmly, agreeing with himself even if he's the only one, and pushes up off the trunk before bending to fetch his little basket of glows. "Would you like me to walk you home, Miss Kezi?" He adopts Gabit's phrase smooth as can be, offering her a bent arm.

And that, my friends, is how to KEEP a harper posted to Xanadu! And you wondered why they were all begging back at the 'Hall to come in your place, Matrin!

The list of details has Matrin's brows slowly climbing, and in the end he blinks and shakes his head. "I obviously need to visit it more often. And yes, invite Cenlia, great idea." His grin lingers through an upward chin tip - a silent Man Farewell (tm) to the silhouette of Gabit as it melts into the darkness. Then he just gives Keziah a long level look. Well, mostly level with a tiny bit of blurry around the edges as he's still moderately in his proverbial cups. "Maybe you shouldn't try so hard. The folks that are your friends got that way for a reason." He shrugs, adding a bit of nonchalance to his serious words. "Everyone gets upset now and again, but friendship means you work through it, right?" He nods firmly, agreeing with himself even if he's the only one, and pushes up off the trunk before bending to fetch his little basket of glows. "Would you like me to walk you home, Miss Kezi?" He adopts Gabit's phrase smooth as can be, offering her a bent arm.

Keziah mutters "You mean I shoulda just snapped at you all and had it done and over with? I ain't supposed ta be takin' me aggression's out on others. I tried ta state my boundaries, like she said I should but no.. you all still had to go on about frilly skirts and dancing." She snorts. "Stupid mindhealer blow it up yer…" She eyes the arm. She's silent "Oh bloody bollacks. I supposed I'm supposed to say thank you and take it and not snaps that I'm more than capable of walking myself home, which is more than I can say for you. Right?" She sighs. Again. She must have an air leak or something. Still she stares at the arm. It might bite you know and then she slowly takes it. "If you trip and cause me to fall…" she threatens.

Matrin is trying to keep a straight face, but that crooked curve just keeps on tugging at one side of his mouth. He can't help it any more than she can stop sighing. Finally he clears his throat and shrugs. "I am not saying you should have, just that you could have. It would have made you feel better, probably." He eyes her eyeing him and then the grin breaks free, all white teeth in the darkness. "You can just say no thank you, y'know. How about you walk me home instead?"

"Thea would never forgive me if I let her Harper die from exposure." Keziah notes "Did ya ever get a cottage or are you still back in the craft dorms?" she asks as she sighs as she thinks about the length to there. "Ah sweet Faranth. Ya can sleep on my couch." She shakes her head and mutters under her breath about drunks "Come one, it's just down the path a little ways and then down one more path. It's off the main a little ways, so it's quiet."

"Her harper, am I?" The elbow under Keziah's hand is steady in spite of drink, but the sprawl of his grin is less so. "I do have a cottage but to be perfectly honest, I have no idea whatsoever where it is at this point." So Matrin will take her up on the offer, and he'll even be a perfect gentleman about the whole thing. Couch. Fully dressed (minus vest and tie), and no flirty comments. Which means he might survive the night.

Yeah.. if he got naked in front of a Mirai. That old elastrator may be put to use. Course there's no telling if it'll be a quiet night either. A teenager, a toddler and a Kezi? Not to mention Mirai's assortment of animals. Keziah is silent as she leads teh way for a little while "Well, it's her Weyr." There's a pause and then there's a smile "Or maybe I should call you Mishkia's harper?" she suggests sweetly. "It's a good thing that Gabit seems to like you." As they draw nearer the clearing "Don't mind any looks from Alo. I don't typically have many people out this way."

It's not like /naked/ was an option. Shirt and boxers or something? But anyway, luckily the elastrator bit was meta and not out loud or he might be floundering drunk and lost through the forest right about now. Instead he responds to what he did say, "And I do what she tells me, so maybe it counts." When she mentions Mishkia he draws to a halt, flipping his arm so he can lightly catch her wrist if she tries to keep walking. "Hey, you seemed… odd about that earlier today too. She's a friend, and now a student. I like her, and Gabit, and all of them, but it's not like she's… my girl." For once words don't serve him and he fumbles lamely over the last. "But even if she was, or is someday, is that alright? If you're upset for some reason I wish you'd just say it. The super sweet mask doesn't sit well." As for Alo, he just nods briefly, but his attention is on the green's rider.

Keziah hmms as she leads the way into the clearing and seems to relax a little within it's area. This is home, this is her refuge. "Well, I guess I'm just a little protective too. I don't want to see her hurt. And I don't mean that I think you'll hurt her. She pauses by the pool a moment. "I know she's your student, but it wouldn't be the first time something like that happened." she goes silent again and then she sighs "Do you like her?" she asks quietly as she looks over at him. "I'm not upset if you do like her. I think, I think you two look good." she mrrs a little and then heads on up to the cottage where she briskly gets things set up, perhaps a little embarrassed about discussing her friend like that.

Matrin pauses to give Alosynth a respectful nod on his way past, then follows easily in Keziah's wake. "No, it wouldn't be," he murmurs thoughtfully. Then he's quick to lend a hand getting a place on the couch settled for himself, even if he's missing some of his usual grace. "I…" He sighs, undoing his tie the rest of the way and laying it over the back of the couch. "She's pretty, and smart and funny. Sure I like her. But that doesn't mean anything will necessarily happen between us. For now I hope we can be friends." He unbuttons his vest next and it joins the tie, then he steps out of his shiny shoes. "But thank you for your concern. You keep watching out for her."

Keziah will keep looking out for her friends, after all Xanadu is a far cry from Mire. "Umm, sleep well." she murmurs and then slips off into her room. Firmly shutting the door. Alosynth for her part just quietly watched as they went by and then went back to sleep.

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