Watching the Sunset
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Xanadu Weyr - Meadow Ridge
The meadow continues its gentle rolls and dips, grass tall and short waving in the slightest of breezes. Each hill seems to grow a bit higher, a bit steeper, as eventually, the meadow works up to a large ridge, the top flattening out at its new elevation. From the top of the ridge, the view is certainly something to be admired - higher than the majority of the trees, one can look out over the rest of Xanadu Weyr proper. The houses in the lower meadow - each roof a different color - and the clock tower peeking upwards from the its forest surroundings are all visible, as is the cliff that houses the Weyr Caverns themselves. And yet, the ridge also holds an amazing view of the night sky - horizon to horizon - unaffected by the light pollution of the more heavily traveled regions.


Night has just fallen onto Xanadu. The horizon is still painted with the colors of dusk. Hues of blues and purples and a dusting of pink that are slow in fading beneath a blanket of blue/black and stars. It's a clear night. In places around the weyr, dinner is being served, warmed by the fires of stoves. Those that run on electricity still are dormant, and it's the light of glows that illuminate most indoor places. Ka'el has watched the sun set upon the ridge that sits above the meadow, overlooking the darkening weyr. There's still time left before he needs to head back. If nothing else, he could claim to be partaking in dinner. Now that the storm has passed, the luxury of having meals brought to them has ended. He's glad for it. It gives more reason to get out and about. He stands alongside Kanekith, clad in jeans, boots, a hoodie and jacket, hands in pocket. Both pairs of eyes are watching the horizon that fights to keep its hold on the remnants of day.

Lessons, studied by the light of glows. Physical exercises, done in the snowdrifts or inside the barracks. If Soriana has to do one more set of laps around the perimeter of the couches, she'll… uh… well, she'll sigh about it, see if she doesn't. Dinners have been simpler than usual, since the storm. Basic food, hearty for the cold and requiring a minimum of cooking. A lot of meatrolls. Some of them taste frozen (i.e. set outside) and hastily thawed. Some of them aren't even entirely thawed. They're still food, at least. Soriana went to the caverns for her dinner tonight, but the crowd there… well, the extra bodies did make the space warm up, but she still found herself eager enough to leave that she gathered up a bundle of those meatrolls for her pockets and went back out to Luraoth again. The two of them are crossing the meadow when the gold dragon's eyes make out shapes up along the ridge, and a curious tendril of her thoughts, pink like the fading colors of the sky, reaches out to investigate.

Kanekith has no questions. This is the only time of day in which he has nothing to ask because the fading of a day is a joy to watch. The shifting sky. The final farewell of the sun's fingers caressing the edges of forever. It warrants no question and earns only respectful and awed silence. « It is seen easier here than the other place » Ka'el nods once and is then still again, hands pressing deeper into his pockets as his posture gently deflates with an exhale. No further words are offered by the bronze whose eyes return to the distance. Or at least, they do for a second, for it's in that second second that his attention is drawn downwards. He leans in slightly, watching through keen eyes til a familiar sensation grazes his thoughts. « Luraoth » Ka'el blinks at the given name, looking swiftly over to his own, then down to the gold that passes. Eyes sweep and it isn't long before Soriana is made out in the falling darkness. A grin. No .. maybe not. He's forgotten the contents of a previous conversation, but it lasts not long, shifting his expression back to neutral. "Get her." The please is implied. With a toss of his head, Kanekith reaches towards his clutchsibling, a secretive presence like a forgotten whisper that has taken shape, swirling around her. « Mine seeks the attention of yours. »

Luraoth's mental touch gives her the answer that the fading light of Rukbat doesn't entirely provide. Ordinarily, the lights of the buildings near here would be taking up the slack… but not tonight. « Hello, Kanekith. » There's a momentary brightening, and then a soft fade as she lets him be to his sky-watching… oh, but wait. His wants hers? « We come. » And so they do, Soriana glancing to her dragon and then turning with her, making their way up the ridge. Sori's got a smile as she comes over to Ka'el in the gathering darkness. "Hey," she says, turning her head to look out at the dusk colors still painting the sky before looking back to him.

The dragon's swirling eyes have left the horizon to contemplate their new company, piercing the fallen darkness to watch as they grow larger as they ascend the hill up to the ridge. Kanekith watches, cautious eyes beneath a jungle canopy. Ka'el … oh, he can't help himself now. The smile he coaxed away has returned with Soriana's approach, and he moves from his bronze, taking a few steps to meet her before pulling to a stop. "Hey," is answered in return, eyes remaining on her as hers stray to the canvas that is the sky. And thus when she turns back to him, she still has his attention, causing a slight rippling of the air from Kanekith. A ripple he ignores. "I think I have the words for you, if you want to hear them. Hear me out?"

Luraoth comes up to the ridge and settles herself, her eyes taking in the colors of the sky. « I like sunsets. » Her thoughts echo those colors, like reflections on the surface of still water as she adds, « The sky is beautiful tonight. » And it is, but Soriana doesn't regret moving her eyes back to Ka'el. Not in the slightest. She smiles back to him, and then… she nods. The smile doesn't go away, but it gains a tinge of uncertainty. Does she really truly want to hear this? … well, yes, she does, but she's also a little scared of what it might be. Just a little. "Yeah, I do," she says, as if by saying it she'll finish convincing herself. Her eyes don't leave again. "I'll listen." To whatever it is.

« It is. Mine enjoys watching the change. It is a constant. Even if it cannot be seen, it happens. » Kanekith's attention is pulled, dragged, divided. Away from Ka'el to Luraoth and the sky that was so captivating. « It is beautiful every night. » And he shares this with her, like photographs in motion. A picturesque sky, much like tonight. Then, a grey veil of low hanging clouds above pristine snow. Then, another scene of winter's dusk with fast moving clouds. The incoming storm. Ka'el's expression remains gentle. A smile meant to be reassuring although his gut is twisting in nervous knots. "Before, we had a … It was bad between us once because've words we took the wrong way. I don't want to do that again, so.. Lemme make sure I have it." A smirk. "You said you want dibs on me. Meanin', you want first choice on me. I got that part. But I also figure that means you wouldn't mind it much if someone else wants me as their choice once you're done." Because, after all, he is only a piece of meat. But the comparison works. Easy to understand.

« It is a constant… but different every night. » Luraoth's mental tones are light, sharing visions of sunset with Kanekith and watching the colors in the sky. « That is why it is worth seeing. » The dragon's attentions are on the sky, but Soriana's stay on Ka'el, her smile lingering because how can it not, with him smiling to her? She nods about things having gone wrong before, when words got twisted around, and her gaze is attentive. The classes don't usually get this much attention paid. Dibs, yeah. And… she nods, but it's only halfway there, because… "Sorta. It's… yeah, I want first choice on you. First claim. But once I'm done… it depends who." Her lips quirk to the side. "…okay, I don't mind them wanting you at all." She outright smirks. "But some people… I'd mind if you did something. Like… with Jnelle, say." Here, Soriana frowns.

Ka'el's grin, for a moment, is devious. How could it not be? To be wanted by others. Is he even aware? .. He's seventeen. Of course he is! And pride himself he does although it is a bit self-absorbed to do so. But has he acted on any of that attraction? Has any of it been mutual? With anyone else, an imagined scenario or otherwise? With … Jnelle? He grins again, a short breath exhaled as he does so, but the frown on her face speaks volumes for her true dislike of the thought, and for a moment his eyes linger on her lips. The downward curve that her mouth makes. The touch of them that he hasn't felt in months. "Then I won't do anything with her," he says, breaking his silence as his eyes seek hers again. "You don't like it, I won't do it. … Mmm … I'll do you one better," he continues, shifting a step closer. "I won't do anything with her, or Carolin, or Reina, or … anyone because the difference between how you feel an' what I feel is that I don't want anyone else. I don't want dibs. I want you only, and I wish you'd only want me too. I wish you would mind if I did something with anyone because I do. I mind when I think of you bein' with someone who isn't me. I've tried tellin' myself I wouldn't mind and it's…whatever, but it isn't." He pauses, exhaling a breath. "Don't be upset. Don't be annoyed with me. I have a plan."

The frown is a fleeting one. Its target is nowhere near here, anyways. Soriana's eyes meet Ka'el's again, and her lips make another smile. It's a somewhat uncertain one, as he says he won't, because what if he wants it? …but it's still a smile, and she stays quiet to listen to him. Her body shifts, easing forward a step of her own, coming forward to meet him with a natural motion that's only somewhat constrained by the caution she's taught herself during those months apart. Her head tilts to the side, questioning. Thinking through words to hold herself back from taking actions - or maybe it's that holding herself back from taking actions is what lets her actually think through those words. The non-speech things that can be done with lips are … very good, but also very distracting. "I'm not upset." She reaches out one hand. "I'm not. I don't… I don't want to make you unhappy. I just…" A pause, and her lips quirk. "It's not like I've done stuff with anyone else, y'know." Or maybe he didn't, not really. Trying to avoid hearing things can be like that. "Not since we've been together. And it's not like I don't look." Because, well, she's sixteen. "I just… haven't." So why does she insist so on keeping her options open? Maybe it's that stubborn streak. "Go on. What's your plan?"

Ka'el's hand gravitates towards hers almost immediately after hers reaches for his. There is no hesitation. He has limited himself from touching her at all, succeeding in keeping his flesh from hers in every instance but perhaps one. And that incidence proved something profound: He could do this without the world exploding. A hug can be given without Kanekith going wild. And so he does not limit himself now and takes her hand within his own, fingers curling around hers. Palm to palm. She isn't upset, and Ka'el can feel that knot in his stomach beginning to loosen a smidgeon when she admits this. And then more truths are laid out. She hasn't done anything with anyone? This entire time? "..Neither have I," he admits, voice low, although it needn't be. What consists of 'anything'? Holding hands? Kissing? Touching? His smile faintly slips as he ponders this, but he isn't immediately forthcoming with details as to why. Instead, with all of what she's said lingering in his mind, he answers her question. "Two plans, now," he admits, making a last minute change in his gameplan. "One, I do everything I know to do to show you you don't need anybody else but me," he says as his fingers caress hers one-handedly. "I make you see that there's nobody else that's gonna love you more than I do. No guy that's ever gonna be better. I'll prove it to you til you thinkin' about goin' with anyone else seems…shardin' silly."

A hug can be given safely. A touch of hands? It's only after the fingers touch that Soriana has that thrill of the forbidden, and though her eyes don't leave Ka'el, her thoughts take a detour to where Luraoth is watching the stars emerge - distracted and unconcerned. Good. Soriana curls her fingers in against Ka'el's warmly, taking what she can from this touch. Neither has he? That makes her head tilt, a moment of perplexed consideration. "But Idrissa…" Now Soriana's wondering. Not that she minded when she thought the thing with Idrissa had, well, anything (whatever that actually means), but now she's confused. It's a confusion she's willing to let slide, though. Ka'el has a plan. Soriana listens to plan number one with a smile. Finding things silly already? That was fast. "I don't need any guy." Her fingers squeeze against his, affectionate… and making sure he doesn't pull away before she can finish. "But I want you. A lot."

There's much that can be gleaned from touch. Thoughts of past touches. Where her hands have caressed and lingered. Where he's fantasized them to linger and caress. For a moment, Ka'el allows his mind to wander to those off topic things, the smile on his face now one of distraction til he's brought back to the present by Idrissa's name. Any longer and Kanekith would've paid less attention to the night sky and more attention to the errant thoughts that he shares. His grin slips. "I've kissed Idrissa…but they haven't been the same type. They don't feel the same. Not as…" What's the word? Exciting? No, that sounds far too harsh however true it may be. And so he shakes his head, leaving the sentence unfinished. Want. There's that word again. A word that has come up much more now in the past few months than it ever has before. It's … an appropriate word, and it fits. "I don't want her like I want you. I've never told her I loved her." That's the truth of it, and he whispers as his hand squeezes hers in return, apparently with no intention of moving away. Not yet. Not while he can keep his thoughts somewhat muted in content. But, oh, he said he had two plans, two options, and that was just the first. "The other thing," he frowns. "I don' like this one so much. But. You said you haven't done anything with anybody else. I could… let you go. Let you do whatever it is you want to do .. because you haven't, and maybe you want to. And I wouldn't bother you, or try to stop you. And…when this is over, maybe you'll…stay where you are, or choose me." This is the less liked plan. The less thought out plan. The plan that he's only come up with a few moments before. But it is.. noble? Fair? He's trying to be, at least. Mature. Adult. Or something like that.

Not the same. Soriana nods to that. It's easy to accept, in a way. She's had the same thought recently, in hearing Idrissa talk about how things are with Ka'el. Things are different. Sori's fingers shift, her thumb tracing slowly along the back of Ka'el's hand. It'd be more practical to keep the touch more constrained, but it's too hard to resist that just for the sake of nebulous consequence, and so her fingers move in slow caresses as she listens to his second plan. Option two. She considers it… then shakes her head. "I'm not going to go find someone just to see what it's like." She gives a rueful smile. "I had enough of that with Harlin." Back in that time pre-Ka'el. "But… how about…" She takes a moment, gathering her thoughts as her fingers curl in close once again. "If I find someone where I want to try it… I ask you. And if I don't ask, you know there isn't anything. That it's just you. I won't do anything," not that the meaning of that has been precisely established, "without asking you… but if I ask you, you'll try to say yes." She said try. Trying doesn't always mean succeeding, does it?

But didn't she hear him? How could he say yes? Ka'el's lips faintly part only to press together again, closing off initial words in favor of new ones, brows furrowing in a brief look of defeat. "Why are you so afraid to be with me? Why's there always the thought of somebody else?" His hand, as nice as it feels to be held and to hold hers in return, is pulled back and away with intentions of slipping from his pockets. "I'll try." He'll give her that at least, although he doesn't believe either word that leaves his mouth. His eyes hold her gaze, that troubled look still within. Why is he not enough? It's the question he should ask. Everything seems to claim the opposite. That he is enough. That he is what she wants. But if that's true, then why not do this the proper way? One girl. One boy. His hand still tingles where her finger grazed, and if he's successful in pulling it away, he slips it into his pocket. "Should go.." he says with a slight head jerk down the hill. "Tired an' haven't gotten anything to eat." Kanekith rises, receiving the wordless clue from his rider.

Why can't Ka'el believe she wants him? Soriana finds that hand fleeing hers, and she bites at the inside of her lip. Her own hand remains out, a position that looks awkward now that his is gone. "There isn't," she says, though her voice holds an edge of matching defeat. If he hasn't believed it yet, why should he now? "I'm not afraid. If you don't want me with anyone else, I won't be." But there's a certain defiance to her gaze, the one that says to think of the consequences. She won't be, but if the situation comes when it's important enough to her… well. The situation isn't here. Maybe it won't ever be. Who knows? Not her. How can she say what the future holds, when right now she can't even kiss the boy she's been with for turns? Soriana nods slightly as Ka'el's hand reaches for his pocket, her gaze lowering. "Yeah. Y'should," she agrees… and then her eyes lift abruptly, and she leans in with a quick, sudden motion, trying to kiss Ka'el. Just a brush of lips, if she can. One quick touch. So much for following the rules; apparently can't was won't… and just turned into did and shouldn't have. Soriana turns, just as quickly, and walks away down the ridge as Luraoth turns surprised eyes to her rider, then follows.

He believes it. How he believes it, but…. oh, how could there be a but? And how could she say now that she's changed her mind? His brows dip…even though that is what he wanted. But it isn't believable. None of it is and the excuse to leave couldnt've have come at a more opportune time. Yeah. He should go. He and Kanekith. Off to the caverns, or somewhere where there is no food and no Soriana either. Just him and snow and cold and wondered thoughts that have no answer and no Soriana with whom he finds any reason to talk to just to hear her voice and see her expressions, good or bad, perplexed or defiant. It's better for him to just leave…though not first without being kissed. It's quick. Perhaps nothing longer than a second, but it's a second that stops in Ka'el's mind. A second that stops with his heart, that stops with his breath. It's a beat in which he feels an hour's worth of emotions more intensely than he's felt…than he's allowed himself to feel for a long time. And in that second, he wants to reach for her and pull her close and not let go for hours and hours. Kanekith is startled. Startled by the sudden flare of heat and lights that course through him. Through Ka'el in that second that lips meet. And then, after a second that's an hour, the warmth is gone. Lips part ways. She turns and, with her gold, goes. He turns automatically after, and moves in the opposite direction with his bronze.


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