It's (Almost) Over (Warning: Mature Themes)
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Xanadu Weyr - The Firelizard Theatre
There are many different things to look at here. In the northern part of this field lies a massive fort made out of wood. About 10 feet to the right of the fort, there are wooden sit-toys carved in the likeness of dragons and even painted as such. In the middle of the field are two sets of swings suspended from a wooden beam, held up by two wooden beams on either side. To the left of the swings is a 5 by 6 rectangular box filled not quite to the top with sand from Xanadu Weyr's Beach. To the right of the swings are monkey bars, completely crafted out of wood. In front of you are two seesaws, both made out of wood. Finally, to your near left are two benches underneath a large Lemosian Ironwood tree. You find yourself standing in the Courtyard of The Firelizard.


It isn't like Kale to shirk his duties. It's most unlike him at all. But when that duty is to sweep areas that need not be swept, leaving him with very little to occupy himself with, he finds it a bit easier to abandon ship and play hooky for what could be the first time in his young life. Seriously, what little dust bunnies may collect in his absence are not going anywhere. And thus, this chilly afternoon, with the sun so high in the sky that shadows are barely cast, Kale can be found at the firelizard theater. He sits upon one of the swings, idly rocking his feet back and forth upon the woodchips, causing his swing to do the same. A few feet forward. A few feet back. Forward. Back. A slow, contemplative rhythm is set as his eyes, set downward, watches the idle shifting of loose wood pieces. Alloy is also present, laid up upon the seesaw, looking sullen and dejected. It's been a disappointing time for him, and he isn't quite done sulking.

For Soriana, this afternoon is free. No assignments. No chores. Nothing to do. Time to take off and relax. There's a game of cards going in the barracks. There's fresh-baked pastries in the caverns. Soriana is none of these places, nor with the candidates and teens enjoying them. Instead, she's walking along quiet forest trails, alone. Truly alone; Haruhi has curled herself atop a heater and is refusing to move, and Toral… he would have come along, if Soriana had invited, but… she'd rather be alone. So she is. She pauses on the path as she hears a creak of the swing. That's not the wind in the trees, is it? It isn't. She's not alone anymore. Soriana frowns, looking through the trees. She should just leave before she's noticed, but… she's curious, and so she stays, and looks. It's Kale. She bites her lip, and despite the uncertainty of her face, her feet start moving toward him.

It is no secret that Kale's least favorite season is winter, and so it may be somewhat surprising to see him out here instead of inside. There must be warmer places in which one can skip their duties, yes? As it is, the chill seems not to bother him, for once. Or it could be due to the fact that his eyes are distant and his mind is elsewhere, far away from this winter wonderland that is his home. It's Alloy that becomes aware of Soriana's arrival, and the bronze lifts his head slowly, as if the task itself is an unbearable feat. He may not know who Soriana is by name, but he does have the connection between herself and Haruhi quite memorized. When she is here, Haruhi usually shows up, and that's one gold that he is in no mood to see. And thus, with an indignant chirp, he pops off Between, leaving behind just a spot clear of a small film of snow to show that he was even there. Kale's attention snaps back to the present at the disappearance of his bronze, looking first at the seesaw, finding it empty. He blinks once, gradually gathering his wayward thoughts before his eyes scan for the bronze. Alloy he doesn't find. Soriana he does. The girl's quiet arrival has gone overlooked til now, spotting her approach towards him. His expression borderlines apprehension before he rises from his swinging seat, inclining his chin towards her. "Hey."

Yeah, Soriana's here. Haruhi… no, she's not here. Falling snow was too cold for her. She doesn't want that. She's by fires and heaters, the urges that brought her to soar against a wintery sky now transmuting themselves into a different set of urges. Alloy chased her, but he's not the one who caught her. He's not the one who tangled with her and fell. His chirp draws Soriana's gaze, and she smiles for a moment at his indignation before her eyes drift away to Kale and her smile drifts toward an uncertainty of her own. Huh. He's closer now. How'd that happen? Oh, right. She's been walking toward him. Still is, actually, there's her feet taking another step. Noticing that, she stops, but though her feet have stopped moving, her hands haven't got the memo. One of them reaches out toward him, though the distance is still too great for it to quite bridge. "Hey," she replies.

It's a war of words, and the two of them are showing just how extensive and advanced their vocabulary is. Just listen! Such poetic prowess. Dialogue worthy of royalty! Despite his own initial hesitations, that outreached hand of hers is gesture enough to have him stepping forward and toward her to claim it within his. Fingers curl around hers and grip her hand gently at first, but a squeeze is soon felt as his hold momentarily tightens, then relaxes. "It's over, isn't it?" he asks, his words spoken quietly. He's speaking of the firelizard flight, isn't he? He must be. He can still feel Alloy's pouting from here, even with the bronze nowhere in sight. He felt it the previous day. Alloy's chase. His excitement. His fiery desire and eventual frustration of haven been beaten, losing the prize he so sought. And so it is over. That must be what he refers to.

Soriana's fingers are eager to have Kale's. She smiles at the touch, her hand curling against his, and that squeeze is returned. In the battle of words, perhaps that's the white flag of surrender - but which of them waved it? In the wake of grip, there's a relaxation that spreads throughout Soriana's body. A tension that was there… fades. It's not gone, not entirely… but then, her fingers are still tense enough to keep hold of Kale's. Her eyes look to his, and at his words - no longer part of the battle - she nods. The firelizard flight. That's what happened. That's what … what they were waiting for. "Yesterday," she replies, her tone as soft as his. She's quiet for a moment. "I… it's over now."

"Good.." That's .. that's good, yes? With the flight done, Soriana can go back to being Soriana. Not the flirting, sultry thing she was a few days prior. Not that that was bad. It wasn't bad in the slightest. But it wasn't Sori. Kale's smile, though slight, is warm as he pulls at her hand, guiding it to curl around his middle before he releases her fingers. "How was it? S'probably a weird thing to ask but … you're alright?" All signs pointed to 'not alright' in the springs, and although things appear fine physically, he asks anyway. As for what was discussed there within a curtain of steam, he does not bring up.

Soriana steps closer, her arm sliding around Kale's middle as she moves in toward him. Her other hand lifts up and does the same. Two hands, two sides of him, resting around his hips in something like a hug, except they're not squeezing, something like dancing, except the two of them aren't moving. They're just… holding him. She nods slightly as he calls it good, and then her mouth twists with the 'how do you even say?' expression as he asks how it was. Her fingers slide a little further around him, and then she nods. "I'm all right." Her tone is serious. Maybe it's not so weird a thing to ask after all. "I… shards. It's stupid. Even when I knew it was Haruhi in my head, I kept wanting to do things. When she was flying… I was flirting with this guy. And it's not like I like him. I barely know him. But I didn't even think of that, and I didn't want to stop."

It may be an awkward hold, but it's a hold and Kale is happy for her touch as slight as it may be at first. His own arms loop loosely around her hips, and his expression shifts to inquisitive as she speaks. She may be all right, but she doesn't sound .. entirely glad. His head faintly tips to one side as his brows furrow a bit, listening. Flirting with a guy? His expression fails to change. Brows are still furrowed, knitted together in a look that's either cross or contemplative. His loose hold remains, and his head rears back an inch as he considers her. " … Did he do somethin' to you.. that you didn't want?" he asks, words guarded. "Did he did somethin' to you that.. you did want..but don't want anymore?"

Soriana's gaze wanders Kale's features, taking them in. The wrinkle of his forehead. The shape of his mouth. The positioning of his head. Her head acquires a tilt of its own, a look of perplexity as she regards him. "What…" she begins slowly, as her mind untangles the words into their meanings. "…oh. No. Nothing happened." Her eyes stop their wandering, seeking his. "Not like that. He didn't… do anything." A pause, and she frowns a little, her words coming more slowly now. "…he offered. I dunno if he was serious. Maybe he was. I didn't… I dunno. But… I didn't do anything more than flirt. Than talk." This time. But back in that moment… she wanted it. Even when she knew - knew for a fact - that she didn't actually want it… she still, somehow, deep inside herself/not-herself… wanted it.

The loose hold of his draped arms become looser and drift from her, down to his sides. It isn't a tough realization. Not really. A flight's a flight. That's always what's said in regards to dragons, and for firelizards he assumes it's the same. She told him before it was much less. An urge to kiss or something. That's all it was. An animalistic hijacking of the brain for both whoever this guy was and himself the same. To think of it as anything more than that would be foolish. His expression remains smoothly nonchalant through it all, as guarded as his words had been. "People are saying the eggs will hatch soon," he says, words wholly unrelated to anything she's just told him. "It's all anyone talks about anywhere I go. There's no escape, y'know? But I hope they do soon so thre's no more wondering what will be. So much depends on one not so little egg. A whole life can change in a moment. Hearin' everyone talk about it made me think of that really for hte first time. .. Crazy, huh? To go through all this and not really think about any of it and what it means til the end?"

As Kale's arms drift away, Soriana's… remain. Not that she doesn't notice his moving… but… she doesn't want to let him go. Her grip is light, and she's waiting for the tug of him back, the moment when he'll step away to finish what the departure of his arms has started… even as she hopes that moment doesn't come. Her arms stay where they are. It's a little awkward, holding him when he's not holding her. Maybe it's more of the same of what she was doing in the pool, two days ago. Throwing herself at him. Pushing herself - them - toward something he doesn't want. Maybe… she frowns, but her arms stay where they are, until Kale begins to pull away. It's a struggle not to tense them, to grip him and not let him pull away… but she wins the struggle, and her grip remains loose. She nods about those eggs, her head increasing slightly in tilt. What about them? …and… what about what she said to him? Her gaze remains on him, and she listens. Afterward, she's quiet a moment… and then she speaks. "I'm tired of waiting." She's talking about the eggs, right? "I don't know what I want. If I'm hoping I impress, or… don't. I just… want to know. I want to move on."

Kale doesn't go anywhere. His arms are no longer looped, but he doesn't step away, nor does he discourage her hands from lingering upon him any longer than she wishes them to. He won't push her away, and he stubbornly refuses to be angry. He can't be angry. A part of him knows that she expects him to be. The expectation likely is for him to put up a fuss and be upset over something that cannot be helped, showing himself to merely be a sheep in wolf's clothing. Immersed in weyr life though not really grasping it. Unable to fully disregard what he's been taught and blissfully accept what is the norm here, though all the while pretending as if this has been his life for the entirety of it. He almost had it, this charade he's been playing, but this has always been the most difficult part of it. But he doesn't want to admit that defeat. He won't give her the satisfaction of knowing and seeing that he's not who she believed him to be. He won't get angry. He won't show that weakness in the category of her. "I talked with Hotaru earlier about Impressing, what she knew about weyrlinghood. She says it could last two turns. Two whole turns, can you imagine that? Did you know that if you Impress or I Impress, we couldn't be together anymore?"

Now it's Kale who's difficult to read. Soriana's eyes stay on him. Her arms stay around him. She's still not sure if he wants it. If he doesn't want it. Two days ago, she thought she could make him stay, and she chose to let him go. Now? She's not sure if she can make him, and she chooses to try to keep him. Her head inclines slightly as he mentions having spoken to Hotaru, and then… "No," she says. "I can't. I don't… I don't even know where to begin. When we were broken up… it was awful. And that's not even the same thing. There wasn't anyone stopping us. Just… us." Being stupid. Keeping themselves apart. But then they got back together. It wasn't nearly two turns. One turn. It was barely sevendays. "I don't want to lose you."

The edges of his mouth gently downturn. Just a slight curvature of a frown, but it's noticeable on the face. But with it comes the return of his touch, one arm at a time. First the left, curling around her middle, then the right, hand slipping along her hips and around to her back, drawing her to him. "I don't give a shard about your firelizard flight. I don't give a shell about who you flirted with. I don't want to think that what you said to me would be the same thing you'd say to anybody else…but in the end, it doesn't really matter." His frown tightens here, but with the continuation of his words, it may go unnoticed. "You're my girlfriend. If you didn't want me, you wouldn'tve stuck with me this long. If you didn't care what I thought, y'never would've told me what happened in the first place. I'd be an idiot to be upset about it. I'm not." Not really. But then, there's this other thing. "I don't want to break up with you because've what might happen on the sands. If you Impress, I wanna be with you still. If I Impress, same thing. I don't know if we can, but I want to try. I don't want to lose you either."

Soriana sees that frown, and her lips begin to tug to the side with concern… but then she feels Kale's arm against her, and so… whatever that frown means… it can't be so bad a thing, can it? She comes toward him readily, until her body is pressed to his. There's clothes in between, of course. A fabric shield… and yet they're pressed to each other, for all there's cloth in between. Her body is certainly aware of that. There's a reason why the rules for Weyrlings are so strict. Any touch can bring with it feelings. Urges. It's not some bright line of what is or isn't; what's romantic or arousing or… not. Her arms shift against him, curving to new positions, ones more suited to this closeness. Her eyes remain on his. The firelizard flight. The flirting. The things she said to him… her mouth shifts, not quite opening but… considering it, until his words continue on and so instead of speaking, she simply tightens her arms around him for a moment. A hug, as she listens. She's his girlfriend. Yes. She nods to that, her gaze remaining steady. She wants him. Another nod. He's not upset? She doesn't nod, but simply watches him. Considering. Listening. And then… she nods again. Slowly. "I… meant what I said," she says after a moment's silence. "I still do. I want you. I… don't want to wait, but… I can." Her lips twitch, a smile with a rueful tinge to it. "I want as much of you as I can get. If that's not very much, for a while… I still want it."

Stubborn. He's not upset. Stubborn. He's stubborn. And Kale tries to keep his expression neutral as her eyes roam his face, no doubt searching for any telltale sign that he may be lying. And then, as she hugs him, he exhales a breath and lowers his head a bit, resting it against her, feeling her warmth, listening to the inhale and exhale of her breath that soon graually configure themselves into words. "You don't have to wait … not for that. Not anymore," he says, eyes opening again but head not moving from its place on her shoulder. "I want it before the eggs hatch," his voice is low. Quiet. Words spoken at such a volume that they're meant for her ears only. "I want … to feel you, all of you, before maybe we can't. I know I might not impress an' you might not either this time, and if we do, they say there won't be time for anything. That everything will be about our lifemates' needs, and they probably will be. But .. I can't believe that no moment've my day won't be spent thinkin' of you or wanting to be with you." A kiss to her neck. "I want to know what I'm missing, if I have to miss it for a turn."

Soriana leans in against Kale, her arms warm around him; his body warm against hers. Their breathing, puffs of warmth in the cold winter air. Her head tilts toward his, and her lips touch softly to his jaw, to the little place near the back of it where it comes together with neck. Just a brush of lips, and her eyes half-close… but only half. Any more than half, and she wouldn't be able to see him anymore. Perhaps she won't get to see him anymore. Not see him see him, anyhow; not for two turns. It's not as though Weyrlings are locked away forever. It's not as though they're gone, even. She's had friends who were Weyrlings. They're just… busy. Focused on what's in those barracks with them, emerging to the rest of the Weyr as… guests, almost. Visitors. Their attention is on something else. Right now, Soriana's attention is on Kale. Her head leans close to his, and at his words, she smiles. She nods. "Then we'll do it," she says, her voice quiet. "Soon." A thoughtful look - a brief frown. "I've got evening shift in the Annex tonight. But… tomorrow? After dinner?" There's a certain urgency to her words, though they stay soft. Everyone's talking about the hatching - the other candidates, the dragonhealers - and what they're saying, all of them, is that it's getting close. Another sevenday is what Deterik's claiming, but what does he know? He's just a grade one like Sori. Before, she was hoping he was wrong, that they'd get it over with sooner. Now? She almost hopes he's right. That'd give them time. Time to find out for certain, to truly know what it is they might have to give up. "All of you. All of me. Together. Even if we have to be apart… we'll have been together. And… we can remember that. Remember that…" her head tilts toward his, a soft kiss to just below his ear and a whisper. "I love you."

With these small touches; the press of her lips to his jaw, enough to lift goosebumps to the surface of his skin, the graze of her body against his. Yes, the fabric is there. Shirts and jackets and whatever else that forms a barrier that's becoming progressively more unwanted with each passing moment. The puff of her breath against his chilled skin. Even the urgency laced beneath her words. All of it has Kale forgetting this faceless boy or man that had her brief attention during the rapturous flight of a proddy gold. Every imagined giggle and flirtatious caress of fingertips to a stranger's jaw fades away as once again his thoughts are turned to himself and her. The rest of the word disappears as unimportant background noise, and her body is given a squeeze. An eager gesture. "Tonight?" is his hopeful suggestion but, alas it isn't meant to be. Not tonight, but there is little doubt of where his mind will be tonight as he lays in his cot and stares at the dark ceiling. Tomorrow. So far. Much too far away, but it'll have to do. He nods once in agreement, hands sliding lower on her back, following the curve of her spine, then the curve lower than that. "Tomorrow," he confirms verbally, groping palms falling still, lingering upon her bottom. He inhales a breath, deep and heavy with longing, and it's exhaled with her final phrase. He won't forget. He promises with a kiss to her lips, swooping and hard, the eagerness of his hands felt upon his lips as well along with the heavy touch of his tongue that accompanies. Rough, hungry, and .. brief. He pulls back after mere seconds, and his eyes lower from face to chest, as if already visualizing what lies beneath .. without the obstruction of a pool of water. His gaze returns to hers now, and a gentler kiss is offered, no less brief. "I'm always goin' to love you.. Nothin' can change that." Time. Weyrlinghood. The combination of both. His arms uncurl from her unwillingly, and the step away is just as difficult to do. Tomorrow. Tomorrow, he'll have her. Today … he'll have to get through as if it were any other. With a little space between them now, his eyes have the luxury of looking her up and down from head to toe, slowly, as if savoring a sight he's yet to see. The pink of his tongue slips between his lips, wetting them predatorily, before he finally looks back to her face. "See you tomorrow." And he slips off.


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