Icy Cold
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Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Beach
With a gentler slope to the water from the main beach and the way it is cut in like a cove, this is the most sheltered spot for bathing. The sand is the same white hue, there are just as many — or perhaps more — scattered shells. From here, one has a beautiful view across the lake, a scene more often tranquil than not.


Snow and sand is not the best of combinations, but it's a combination that must be tolerated more often than not by at least the weyrlings of Xanadu. While Isyriath sleeps off both meal and morning classes safe in the (relative) comfort of the barracks, his girl has wandered past the grounds and to the beach beyond, a shadowy scarf drawn high and tucked just beneath the collar of her loose leather jacket. Stood at the far end of the beach, where she might find the most peace and quiet, Marel stares out across the sluggishly-moving water, gloved hands jammed into her pockets. Heels dug right into the sand suggest that she may well have been there for some time; perhaps has no intention of moving for the foreseeable future.

At least when the snow blows into the barracks, it melts. As opposed to out here, where… well, snow. For some of the young dragons, it's fun - it's not like they've really known anything except the cold of winter - and so Luraoth was late to her lunch because she had to go for a romp first, and has only just fallen asleep. This means Soriana's only just getting herself a break to go get a lunch of her own. What this doesn't explain is why, when she sees a lone figure, further down the beach, she pauses to take a closer look, then puts her own hands into her own pockets and heads closer to Marel instead of the caverns and their supply of human-food.

The sting of a sudden rush of icy air has Marel ducking her and closing her eyes to try and avoid the not so lovely sandpapering-the-face chill, left hand leaving its pocket to tug her scarf a little higher. When she opens her eyes, her altered line of vision brings Soriana into view, any displeasure at having her solitude interrupted well-hidden by the eerie, unreadable serenity that she finds so easy to adopt. She doesn't speak; not yet, not until her fellow weyrling is close enough to warrant emerging from her scarf to answer the call of manners.

Soriana doesn't look quite so serene, but then, she's never been so good at hiding things. Most prominent is a sort of hesitation - reluctant, perhaps, to intrude on Marel's solitude? Perhaps. Regardless of the reason, she's walking more slowly now on her detour than she did when she was just going to get something to eat. As Marel's gaze falls on her, Soriana offers a smile - but it's a brief one, and it fades back to a thoughtful (maybe kinda worried?) expression before long. Before she reaches conversational distance, anyhow, though when she arrives, she goes looking for it to put it on her face as she says, "Hey."

"Hey," Marel returns, digging her hands deeper into her pockets, as if she might somehow seal them completely from the cold. "They're not starting up another class already, are they?" she assumes. "Isyriath hasn't been asleep all that long." She stares back out across the ice-strewn waters, green eyes narrowed slightly against the ever-present breeze. "I always thought there were 'rules' about waking sleeping babies. I guess baby dragons don't really count." Feet settle more firmly into the sand, toes now sinking to the same level as her heels.

Soriana shakes her head to that question. "No. Not yet, anyway." Her gaze follows Marel's out over the icy waters, and she sighs, warm breath turning to fog in the cold air before the wind steals it away. "Are there?" she asks after a moment. "Rules, I mean." She frowns. "About… well. I guess there are rules about everything." Another sigh, and she brings a foot back, nudging her toe against the sand and dragging it forward to dig a small furrow. "And about what counts. Or what's right. Or what we should care about."

Marel shrugs, the gesture smothered somewhat by the layers of jacket and scarf. "They might just be mothers' tales. Don't wake sleeping babies; sleep when the baby is sleeping…" And just to make it clear that she doesn't have one of her own stashed anywhere: "I used to babysit my niece." Her shoulders twitch again, less energy or enthusiasm involved this time. "I don't have time to care about much more than Isyriath. And, well, he knows what's right, or thinks he does. I know you hear all those stories about weyrlings who rebelled and created havoc, but I don't know where they found the energy to."

See, if Marel hadn't made it clear, Soriana would… have assumed it was something Marel's mother said. Though, niece, yeah, that works too. She nods. "Kinda sounds more like wishful thinking than anything," she suggests. "Like the sort of thing you'd say to like… a five year old when you don't want them to wake the baby." Who only just got to sleep, and who (while maybe not objecting to being woken up) is going to be tired later if they don't get a good nap. Not that Luraoth ever does that, or falls asleep with her head on Soriana's leg. Nope. Soriana nods about the lack of time, then gives a crooked smile. "Luraoth's always wondering about other people. She puts her nose into everything…" and here Soriana trails off for a moment and frowns. "But she means well."

"I'm not sure that I could deal with that," Marel admits, shifting her weight to favour one hip, one boot digging into the sand more deeply than the other, walls of the foot-shaped hollow beginning to collapse in on her toes. "I don't need to know everyone's secrets. Or want to know. Isyriath tends to keep himself to himself." She wrinkles her nose as she amends, with faint befuddlement, "Or us to us. Him to me. Me to him. Something like that."

"Neither do I," Soriana says with a twitch of her lips, then sighs. She glances down, and kicks the mounded up sand back down again. It doesn't quite go back, of course, and so she pokes and nudges at it a bit before looking up over the water again. "It's like, sometimes… you find something out, and then it's like… what do you do? Do you treat someone different? And… shards, half the time I don't even know what I'm doing with my life. How am I supposed to know what to do about anyone else's?"

"She can't have found out something so terrible already?" Marel questions, angling a quick look over at Soriana, even if all that's visible of her face by now is her eyes, the coils of her scarf being hunkered down into more and more against the wind. "You know, something Weyr-ending? Surely she's not poked about at many people beyond the lot of us?" She shivers, gaze swinging back out to the water. "I don't know that I've got anything that would interest her. Isyriath wouldn't go blabbing what I had for lunch one day unless he thought it was vitally important."

Soriana tilts her head back toward Marel for a moment, and hehs. She's only just starting to turn blue in the face. Nothing to worry about yet. "Nah," she says with a shake of her head, and looks away again, out over the water. As Marel says she's nothing that'd be of interest to Luraoth, Soriana nods, and after a moment of quiet like she might be done with the topic, she says, "It's mostly my own fault for asking, anyway." So maybe this isn't entirely about the dragons. "Luraoth doesn't pry, anyways. She just… asks." Totally different, right? Soriana looks down again, giving the sand another toe-nudge. Still not back where it was. It never will be, exactly, but it's more or less level. "So," Soriana says, not looking up. "Just so you know. Jnelle's saying some crap about you." Not that Marel asked.

Marel frowns, yet doesn't look back at Soriana again, her features sinking back into that nice, calm, unreadable blankness again. She's silent for a few moments, focus fixed on some distant spot on the horizon. "So…" she eventually utters, "you're basically here to figure out whether whatever she's saying is true? Because whatever it is means something to you?" Asked very pointedly of the murky waves, not the weyrling goldrider beside her. "You're asking me how I'd treat…. me? Waiting for me to confess something. To see if I will confess." She shakes her head slightly. "Would." All said without much inflection at all, an absent lilt carrying the weight from her voice.

Soriana glances back to Marel, and this time her gaze stays there. She's got a look of surprise on her face, a widening of her eyes - and, after a moment, a frown. "No. I'm here because it's crap. Because you wouldn't do it, and if you did…" she trails off a moment, frown deepening, then shrugs. "If you did, you still don't have to answer to me about it." Another shrug, a lift of her shoulders and then a settling of them as her hands dig for her pockets.

"I wouldn't do it, but if I did… I don't have to answer to you about it," Marel echoes, splicing all those little pieces together. "Present tense. You don't sound so sure," she murmurs. "And I still don't even have any idea what you're talking about. I don't know what I have or haven't done; all I know is that I'm trying to do my best by my dragon. That's what I care about." Booted feet lifting from their shallow sand-nests, she starts to turn away from the snowy, gloomy view to retrace her steps back across the beach. "But I appreciate your candor. Or the lack of it." Is that sarcasm? It's about as much emotion as she can summon, whatever it is, her footsteps measured and unhurried. She is not in retreat, or so she'd have it seem.

Don't. Wouldn't. Didn't. Soriana frowns. "I…" But Marel didn't ask. She's still not asking, or is she? Soriana frowns, uncertain, and as Marel starts to walk away, she speaks up. "Do you want to?" The words come out a little louder than she means, and she bites on the inside of her lip. "I'd tell you. You didn't ask." Her eyes follow Marel, but her feet don't. They stay right where they are. "I… don't know." She looks away, to those sunk points in the sand. Where Marel was. Where Soriana came, with her opinions and trying to make the world… trying to treat the world like it was her. Turns out, it isn't. "Sorry," she says to those prints in the sand.


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