Everything and Nothing

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Grounds
Cradled in a cup shaped bite out of the mountain, this wide, grassy flat has become home for Xanadu's weyrling dragons. It's set surprisingly high above the level of the beach, visible from the eastern side of the grounds where a long path snakes its way down the hill to the sand dunes below. All other sides to the grounds are bordered by the hard granite cliffs, two entrances clearly visible. One is merely human sized and leads deep into the mountain, to the Caverns. The other is broad and high, the entrance to the Weyrling Barracks.

The snow on the ground is littered with prints left by feet both dragon and human alike, leaving trails here and there, leading off to the beach, though most of these prints have muddled together so much due to heavy traffic that it's nearly impossible to tell which ones are coming and which are going. Ka'el's booted feet are upon those that are going. Going to the beach, or at least he was until other important things came up. And so he is here this afternoon, along with Kanekith, boy and bronze facing one another. The dragon's head is bowed, lowered down to human level to allow Ka'el's gloved hands to hold his muzzle. "What do you mean?" « I wish to know what is beyond. » is the deep reply, a thick, rich melody that lingers on the brain. "Beyond what, here? The beach." « And beyond? » Kale quirks a brow, though his hands remain affectionaly resting upon the coppery muzzle of his lifemate. "More beach. A different beach. And the sea. And a meadow.." Kanekith is quiet, eyes slowly swirling a color of curiosity. « And beyond? » -.-;

So many comings and goings. Why, just now, when Ka'el and Kanekith were going to the beach, Soriana and Luraoth are coming from there. Then again, the males were coming from the barracks, and the females are going to there. No wonder the snow is muddled and confused. Luraoth is in the lead as she and Sori come up from the beach, her golden hide gleaming wet from her swim as she skips her way over the snow, keeping the time of her prancing with a pleasant mental chime for each landing of her feet. Soriana walks beside her, but it's the dragon that notices the other pair first. « There! » Luraoth declares to Soriana, then gambols in that direction as she croons a greeting. Her mental touch wafts to Kanekith the scent of ocean breezes. « Hello! » Soriana smiles at the sight of Ka'el and bronze, though it's a smile with a touch of concern to it. Still, she comes over. "Hey."

Beyond the meadow. Ka'el does not answer. At least, not with his voice. The questions that are being asked of him, the looming presence of an inquisitive beast waiting, watching from the shadows of a rain dampened forest for its pey to walk by, or in this case, for the answers to his inquiries to be given, is a rich and heavy thing. But it's a heaviness that's strangely comforting to Ka'el, and his mind begins to think back to what does lie beyond the meadows. That place he hasn't the time to miss other than during moments like these. Fire licking at red hot coals. Banging noise. Sweat and work. « That there » interrupts Kanekith, voice eager. « That there has no word. The light that dances.. » But the flame flickers as it's pushed by a salty breeze that turns Kanekith's attention towards the arriving drippy gold, and Ka'el's hands slide from his muzzle as he raises his head. « Hello. Did you come from beyond? » Kale's arms return to his sides, though as he spies Sori, he stuffs them in his pocket. "Hey," he answers in retrn indeed returning her smile.

« Beyond what? » Luraoth asks, and the breeze teases over sands where high tide has melted away the snow; an image of the beach. « Perhaps yes. Perhaps no. I don't remember where I came from. » Well, not in an ultimate sense, anyhow. Her attention quickens, the pale hue of those sands curling upward and brightening toward orange. « Do you? » Soriana's feet bring her almost all the way to Ka'el, and then she stops. She smiles, and yet… she seems at a loss for what to say. After a moment, she looks out to the dragons again, small gold and only somewhat larger bronze. Luraoth is still now, standing with natural and unthinking elegance as she converses.

Words? Words have a pesky way of failing at times that are important. Times that are mundane. Times like now. Much like Soriana, Ka'el fails as saying anything more than that hey for a while, watching her, then not watching her. His eyes find a set of tracks that stray away from the muddle, dragon claws and boots drifting away, away, towards the beach on a less traveled path. « Beyond everything » Dripping water. The scent of soggy earth. Rich soil to match a rich voice. Shadows lurk and swirl inquisitively, darting here and there like bodiless children before melting back into dark foliage of a rain wet forest. « I remember pieces. I remember him. » A touch to Ka'el, fond and grazing the soul, causing the former smith to exhale a slow breath and faintly smile. « What is beyond, I want to know. I wish to see what he has seen. I want to see myself, with him. We will go, he and I, together. » A decisive tone, accentuated with a rumble. Kale glances towards his lifemate, though it's an unsure pitstop back towards Sori. "How is she?"

Luraoth's mind jumps with Kanekith's from one sense-memory to the next, her attention lighting on those concepts with a ribbon of bright interest that dances orange and pink as it follows along. « But where is the end of everything? » she asks, and then as she follows Kanekith to Ka'el, she adds, « Mine remembers him too. » The comment is offhanded, casual - though it makes Soriana's ears turn slightly pink, her gaze drifting off to the side and her hands seeking her pockets. "She's… good. How's he?" Words are difficult. Luraoth's attention has already moved on, her mind chasing after different questions. That ribbon of pink curls in a tight circle and then radiates out, orange light seeking in all directions. « Is it nothing? » The seeking light begins to fade, offering an image of warm darkness. « Beyond everything. »

« You believe everything has an end? » Kanekith's head tilts in a near doggish look of question, but then he snorts out a grunted sound. A dragon's scoff! « Nothing ends! There is no end. Beyond everything is everything. » He sounds so sure! Her warm calm bombarded by his hot arrogance as his wings spread and fan in the cool winter breeze. « Everything and more and I will see it together with him and it will be ours. All of everything that lies beyond and further. Like this thing there… » Gradually do his wings fold again and he lowers his head to peer closer at Ka'el, prodding, nudging his mind. Hey. Hey. Hey. «This thing that is in there that I wish to see.. » Ka'el himself feels that gentle throb of his brain, a knock on the door to his thoughts and memories, which he easily opens the door to. "He's … he asks lots of questions," he replies, grinning a bit. "He's good though. He's … shardin' amazing, actually." His grin remains, though the longer he looks at her, the mor sheepish it appears. "You uh, .. you cut your hair," he notes, unnecessarily. Obviously she knows that she did. "It looks — … That was smart. After what Kei' told us, it's probably the smart thing to do," he says instead. Paying compliments is a tricky thing. Keeping things straightforward and business related? Likely the better option.

"Yeah," Soriana says of those questions, and laughs. "She does that too. And she gets the strangest ideas, sometimes." Sori's smile is a fond one, though, and her gaze settles on the dragons, watching. « Perhaps. » The darkness in Luraoth's mind begins to cool. Warm and dark becomes cold and black. Nothing. Between. Part memory of her rider, part ancestral memory of dragonkind from the time when they were tiny firelizards. Cold. Black. Emptiness. It swallows those hot gusts easily, the golden dragon's pose unruffled despite her larger sibling's flap. Her mind is the silence of between. And then? Her thoughts explode with the laughing sound of bells, the sudden orange and pink swirl of light and heat that glows over a wide golden expanse too shining-bright to be made out clearly. « There is a great deal of everything. » Her laughter holds no trace of mockery, simply acknowledging the joy that is the everything, whether or not it ends. As Kanekith's mind delves into that of his rider, Luraoth's… follows, a small pink ribbon of curious light curling amongst the shadows without diminishing their presence. Soriana tilts her head as Kanekith's wings spread, and for a moment, she frowns… then glances back to Ka'el at the mention of her hair. "Oh. Uh. Yeah. I did. Uhm." It looks…? There's a moment of hope, and then her gaze falls for a moment as she nods. "Yeah." Better stick to practical things. Her eyes lift up again, though not without a slight disappointment that she tries to hide. "It got so tangled the first night. S'easier, now." Her hair. Not… this conversation.

Ka'el gives his lifemate what he seeks. A thing he has seen hundreds, if not thousands of times. A single flame. That of a candle, as quiet as Luraoth's stilled thought, but while hers are dark, this shared thought is bright. Brighter against that backdrop of nothingness. And eerily, the glowing light illuminates nothing but more and more blackness. A vast sea of emptiness that stretches on for eternity. Will Kanekith choose to believe it? That such a nothing exists while he dreams that there's always something. There's always something more to see and solve and conquer and claim. Then, the light of the flame suddenly seems feeble in comparison to the swirls of color that is now shared with him, and his glee (perhaps at being agreed with) is shared with Ka'el, who grins without knowing why. It's in perfect time with Sori's words though. Perhaps he's smiling at the thought of tangled hair? Maybe he doesn't notice that disappointed look after all? « I knew you would see my way. » croons the bronze as Ka'el nods to Sori, traces of that grin still remaining. "You never did cut mine. You said you would," he reminds. "I'd …" He shakes his head. "What do you think? Something like M'kal?" Buzzzzcut.

« Did I? » Luraoth replies, and the bright ribbons of her attention dance away. They circle that flame Ka'el has offered, and peek around the edges of it back at Kanekith. « I don't know. Everything is… big. » Sandy beaches, stretched to the horizon. Rolling hills and valleys. Grassy plains, the heavy stalks swaying in a gentle wind. « Too big to see past. » And so her bright mote hides behind a candle's flame. Soriana's expression, as she looks to Ka'el, shares some of her dragon's contemplative mood. "I did," she says, and tilts her head at him, looking up at that shaggy hair. It's easier than trying to look in his eyes… though not by all that much. "I will. I still will." She takes a breath, then smiles, only somewhat crookedly. "If you want. Advantage of that, you won't need it cut again for a while. Well. I suppose that's only an advantage if it doesn't suck."

Kanekith rumbles a little in his chest, mood shifting to shadow once more. But these are deeper ones than the playful sprites that shifted in and out of view. These that bully their way forward seem more solid with a definite girth to them, as does the possessive feeling he has for that flame. The thing he has not seen more than through the mind, yet it is his to have, not hers! That small, flickering flame. « Not too big for me. I will see them all. » Kale rubs a hand against his head, messing through his shaggy hair and .. yes, he needs a haircut. But that's been said before and already. He was hoping she'd offer it again, and he can't help the grin and spike of his heart as she indeed offers her hand at barbering. Such a simple offer! And such a simple thing. But a clipping of his hair would require necessary closeness. Necessary, not actively sought out. Accidental touches. .. Accidental, not flirtatious. "Yeah. How bad could y'possibly be?" he asks, his grin broadening a little. "An if you are, maybe I'll hack it all off like the girl Kei spoke of. Have a head as shiny as Luraoth's hide." Kanekith's head turns, brought out of his own gloating by that abrupt jump of emotion. Slight, yet noticed. « Mine … feels strange things for yours. » A rumble of something below. A vague shudder in the earth. He's not quite sure about those strange things.

Luraoth's brightness spreads, drifting away and becoming more diffuse. She yields the flame to Kanekith, scattering before his burly strength like water around a diving dragon. There's no resistance, and yet her glow is undiminished, spread out in the soft and rosy pink of the sky before dawn. « I will start with something, » she says, and the glow begins to increase, spreading out tendrils of pre-dawn light. « Then, another something. » The glow brightens and gains an orange center. « And another. » That glow increases, blazing as bright as the candle-flame, just for a moment - then fading, to the distant horizon over the lake. « If you find Beyond first, will you tell me? » Soriana smiles to Ka'el. Hair-cutting touches would certainly be necessary, and never mind that he could ask someone else to do it. "Hah," she says, then pauses. "…yeah, okay, not that bad," she acknowledges, and gives him an entire grin. "You couldn't-" look bad. There's the stir of her emotions, looking at him. How could her Ka'el ever look bad? "Besides, it's not like anyone has time to think about how you look." Lies. Soriana certainly has time. Not much of it, but then, she doesn't need much. Luraoth's head turns, looking at the pair of humans. « Mine does too. » Her thoughts come with a faint musky scent. « She dreamed about yours. She was … lonely. » The gold's perplexity is clear. How could Soriana be lonely, surrounded by her friends? And… is that feeling even loneliness… exactly?

That gradually growing light, beginning so softly yet edging brighter and brighter, brighter than even that imagined flame.. It's Ka'el that feels it. Though, perhaps 'feel' isn't the right word here. It's through Kanekith that he becomes aware of the glow, and it's a glow that seems to come from within himself. Growing and growing. Stronger still as his eyes unintentionally linger on Sori longer than the sweeping glances he's been allowing himself. And not just here. Anywhere. In the barracks. During baths. Through all of it there's always been enough space and enough people between them to act as barriers against too much contact. There's always an activity to do, or meat to prepare, or oil to get, or sleep to be had. Prolonged moments like this? Nonexistent. Til now. Now, his mind wanders back to steam. To a playground. To a lost moment. Kanekith … doesn't get it. This jumble of sudden things that are sneaking their way into his existence, like a slow drip at first, though quickly does that drip turn to at trickle, then stream. A steady stream of unknown that raises anxiety and questions. « Dreams? » Eyes swirl an unnamed color, as if trying to search for the appropriate feeling to feel. « With her, his mind is different. I do not understand it. » His head is tossed and a heavy snort escapes, and Ka'el blinks two, three times rapidly, brows furrowing. "I … no, it isn't.. that was…er, oh that? I.." Heat rises to his face as he refocuses a vaguely wayward gaze to Sori. "..This is what they meant, isn't it?" Assistants. Those in charge. Those who've been there, done that, and know everything.

…no. It really wasn't loneliness, that feeling. Perhaps it's the closest word that a young dragon can (should) have, though. Luraoth steps to the side, circling Soriana as if that will make the thoughts and feelings clearer. A new perspective, though her thoughts remain touching Kanekith's, sharing that dream. Ka'el, standing there with a distant look. Soriana-self. Running toward him - or trying to. There's an unknown resistance, one that makes every step seem to bring her further away instead of closer… and he doesn't look at her. She calls, and he says nothing. He's… not there. The emotions that come with it are a tangle, not entirely understood by the golden dragon but passed along regardless. Desire and wanting. Loneliness and missing. A wistful urge for what was and almost was. Soriana's cheeks turn pink, and she looks to Luraoth. "That's not…" Something she wanted to share? But Luraoth doesn't believe that. She can feel just how much Sori wants… something. It's just the what that's confusing her. « What does it mean? » The question's meant for her rider, more than Kanekith. Her rider's eyes go to Ka'el, and she swallows. "…yeah. It must be." Her gaze holds longing, taking him in for a moment - as long a moment as she can manage, and it's not nearly long enough, because she turns back to Luraoth, looking to her dragon's eyes instead. "It means…" What? How does she explain to those young and innocent eyes that can feel everything she feels?

Now this is strange. Startling almost, to one whose mind for seventeen turns has been his and his alone. The thoughts of others? Mysteries deciphered only through body language and tone. A guessing game of what is a lie and what truly is sincere. Sharing his mind with Kanekith is only now beginning to be something he's getting used to. Fully used to it? Not by a long shot, and the probing feel of his lifemate sometimes still worries him. What will he find? What has he himself forgotten? But … this? These thoughts aren't even his own. These are Kanekith's…but not. These are Luraoth's .. no. These are Sori's. He exhales a curse too quiet to be heard as blue eyes widen and stare through everything and towards this dream that isn't his. He says nothing throughout, aware of Kanekith's curiosity and nipped questions that continue even when the dream fades. They're the same questions that Luraoth has. What does that mean? And there are others, far more invasive that Ka'el cannot bring himself to answer, and the words that he does speak are not meant for the dragon. "I'll hear you, always Sori." The nudge that he receives from Kanekith is physical instead of mental this time, a press of his muzzle to his chest, demanding his attention. "Alright… alright," he relents, chest lifting with a deep inhale. Exhale. "It's better that we go. We're running late." For lessons. For bathing. He doesn't specify, but the specifics don't matter. The look that's given to Soriana, one that betrays his desire to stay and waste time and inch nearer and dare fingertips to graze and throw fuel on the flame of attraction that's sparked itself just through conversation, gives every indication that departing is the best course of action he could wish to take. One hand is drawn from the copper muzzle, but the other lingers as he begins to move, guiding his lifemate towards the beaten trail to the beach. "See you in the barracks, Sori. Luraoth."

How can Soriana explain? She can't. She doesn't have the words. Her gaze meets Luraoth's, staring into those eyes, trying to pull her thoughts together. She wants to answer Luraoth. She wants… want. Yes, want might be a word for that feeling, a better one than loneliness. Or at least… for a part of it. Soriana reaches out her hand, brushing fingers affectionately along …Luraoth's muzzle. "It's…" she repeats, but with no better explanation this time. As Kale speaks, she looks up to him again, and her lips twitch. "I know." Her words are soft, but her gaze to him is earnest. Now, her eyes don't hide away from his - it's too late to hide, after all. The dragons - both their dragons - have discovered the feelings that the humans were trying to keep hidden. Her gaze to his holds the same desire as his to her… and yet her fingers linger against Luraoth, not Ka'el. "I do. It's just…" hard, waiting. Lonely. To be so close, and yet not dare to become closer. A moment more Soriana's gaze lingers on Ka'el, and then she forces herself to pull it away, back to Luraoth. "C'mon," she tells her gold. "You need oiling." Not that it couldn't wait a little longer. It did wait, through this conversation. « But… » "I know." The words are spoken to her dragon, now, and she doesn't look away, not even as she speaks to Ka'el again. "See you, Ka'el. Kanekith." Her Kale is Kanekith's as well, now. Ka'el, now… but he's still hers, even if she can't… quite… have him… yet. She will, though. She'll have him… "Later."

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