Two Jerks on a Ledge

Xanadu Weyr - Clock Tower
The walls of the tower are the same dark gray stones that make up the outside of the tower. The central portion of the structure is open, so that one may stand in the center of the structure and see the top. Well…almost the top. A ceiling cuts off the view to whatever it is that's at the very top of the tower. Very little light comes in, just tiny beams of light from the arrow-slits in the walls. The floor is of dark hardwood slats, thin enough to have been worked easily but thick enough to provide protection from insects and wildlife that might be trying to get in.
A wooden staircase is built along wall, one that spirals up and up around the inner wall of the structure. It leads a workshop, where along every wall there are…clocks, of course! Clocks of just about every configuration one could think of, and quite a few that are outlandish enough to escape one's consideration at first. While most of these clocks are working, there are more than a few of them that aren't. The gentle ticking sounds fill the space, the clocks almost always perfectly in sync with each other — and with the ticking from the movement of the big clock above — and the sounds mingling together to form an ordered cacophony of sounds.
Clock parts are strewn across a table in one corner. There are a couple of cabinets with parts in them like the ones downstairs—parts that are significantly smaller than those on the first floor. These are obviously for the smaller clocks that are built here. There are no less than two large grandfather clocks in this workshop, both working.
A thick support threads through a large hole in the center of the floor, extending from below to above. A chain hangs beside it too, anchored high above, and the spiral staircase continues up, past a door on the outside and on to more storage space, dedicated to piles of crates with springs and "little" parts for the clocktower's main movement. Of course, the word "little" may not be the best way to describe it; some of these springs and levers are longer than a man's arm. And some of the gears in these crates a man could actually put his arm through the middle of easily.

Spring has arrived at Xanadu and V'ayn is taking this opportunity to stay /away/ from just about everyone and everything. After all, this is what happens when one is /assaulted/ by zombie children in the woods. He's been reassured several times that he isn't diseased, but still…better safe than sorry. And of course, what better fortress of mostly-solitude than the clock tower? After finishing his duties for the day, the baker-rider has arrived with alcohol and dessert, because what better way to unwind? It takes a moment for him to eventually get out onto the ledge, but he does and finally settles down with a satisfied sigh. The leathers he was wearing this morning are long gone and once again replaced by slim-cut pants and a more simplistic v-neck shirt.

There's no relief quite like that of regaining full control over your own thoughts and feelings, and with Tineangrath's biological urges satisfied, Nessalyn finds herself finally her own woman again. Her violent streak is merely the usual level of violent, and destruction levels are… well, they're certainly better than they were while she was proddy. V'ayn isn't the only one with a mind for escape, as it's not long after his arrival that the goldrider appears.There's quiet groan as she ducks her way out onto the ledge, every part of her protesting the movement. Her arm is cradled in a sling, and it makes her approach slightly more cautious with only one limb to hold out for balance. "Do you have enough to share?" Like that has ever stopped her.

"Depends…will you burn my face off if I don't?" V'ayn glances over to Nessalyn, his tone clearly teasing. And if tone wasn't enough he'll hold out the bottle to her. "Or did you mean the cookies?" Because he does indeed have cookies, they're quite simple compared to his usual fair…chocolate chip cookies with hints of citrus and mint. There's about half a dozen so shortage doesn't seem to be a problem at all.

"Obviously, but that's always been my response to someone refusing to feed me." Nessalyn's smile is a little tight, but it settles itself upon her lips easily enough. "Wait," she commands, as she awkwardly attempts to wiggle her way down the wall without putting too much pressure on her shoulder - or really, on any part of her body at all. The forest is NOT a great place for post-flight activities. Lesson fully learnt in that regard. "Cookies, too. But definitely the alcohol." Once settled, she grabs that offered bottle and takes a long swig. "Why cookies?"

"Frankly, I'm surprised that no one died last night…though you look like you got fairly close to it." V'ayn's words are accompanied by a smirk, though he /is/ actually watching her quite closely behind that juuuuust in case she needs help. Thankfully she doesn't and the bottle of alcohol is quite willingly given up, "Didn't really have time for anything else today, and I didn't want to make any half-assed cakes…sometimes I miss the days where all I did was bake." Who knows, he may go back to those days soon enough. Or perhaps Varequoth will drag him into something different in the end.

Nessalyn may never admit that she needs help, but there's a pretty good chance she's going to need it when it comes to getting back up again. "You should see the rest of me," Nessalyn retorts with a roll of her eyes. "And him, too. I did at least try to murder him, it seems like." INJURIES ABOUND. Still, no one died, and in the end all those creepy children found their way back to the infirmary. "Sometimes I miss those days, too," she agrees with a small, wistful sigh. "I miss having constant cakes."

V'ayn can't help but chuckle, accompanying it with a quick shake of his head. "See? You've got self control…sounds like he's only /partially/ dead. And honestly, would you be you if you both /didn't/ get banged up?" Though he's full aware that statement might earn him a punch, he says it anyways and then proceeds to grab a cookie. "Cakes…parachutes…napping, seems so long ago now." There's a quick sigh as he glances out over the horizon, not long after which his lips twist into an amused smirk. "At least we aren't shoveling dragon poop anymore though." Even the thought of it is making him shudder.

"Apparently I wouldn't be," Nessalyn replies with a one-sided shrug rather than a punch. "Who knew?" V'ayn, apparently. She takes another drink before setting the bottle aside and following his cookie-grabbing example. "Not having to do paperwork…" There's a deep sigh for that, because those were the days. The magical, paperwork-free days. She snorts a laugh as he mentions dragon poop, bobbing her head in agreement as she chews a hunk of cookie. "It did occur to me how horrified you would've been to wake up on the forest floor, too."

"Doesn't exactly sound pleasant…is it really just paperwork all day? Nothing fun? Like commandeering something huge to drop from the tower?" V'ayn will pick up the bottle once it's been put down and take a quick sip from it. Perhaps alcohol isn't the /ideal/ thing to pair with cookies, but right now they taste pretty great together. There's a quick snap of his fingers however and those brows knit together just the slightest, "I would have spent /days/ in the bath. The two of you couldn't have picked somewhere indoors? The hot tubs for example? There could have been /insects/ crawling around." THE HORROR.

"Well, I'm not supposed to do anything fun…" But the way her voice trails off suggests that Nessalyn doesn't do things strictly by the book. Not that anyone ever expected her to, surely. "The actual job is really boring, though. I guess it would probably be fulfilling if you liked people, or whatever." Her shoulder sort of twitches, but she's trying not to shrug again, with too many muscles protesting movement. That first cookie is polished off, and she's already reaching for another. "Maybe I was just trying to pick your personal nightmare. I think I did pretty well. Next time…" She hums quietly as she considers, deciding, "A cave, maybe? Or maybe we can find a mud pit."

"Well, given how much you utterly enjoyed making friends with all the other candidates, I can tell that you are absolutely overjoyed with your your duties." His words are pretentious and they /sound/ pretentious, because frankly the baker knows better. It's Nessalyn's next words that earn a quick eyeball and the tip of an invisible hat (a habit courtesy of Varequoth's mind), "Well aren't you just terribly /kind/." But even though V'ayn /has/ gotten better, he can't help but shudder. "Honestly though, a mudpit? We'll all die in a cesspool of /germs/, is this really what you want to happen?" Because that's /totally/ what will happen…death.

"Yeah, I still don't have any idea why Tineangrath thought I was a good idea," Nessalyn retorts, half awkward affection for the gold's decisions, and half self-depricating. "And I don't know who you think you are, talking about making friends. You're kind of a jerk." Somehow, she almost manages to make it sound like a compliment. Maybe it's the smirk that comes along with the words. "You're welcome." She reaches for the bottle again, taking a good long drink before she responds. "No one will die. Well. You won't die, at least."

"Well, you haven't doomed the Weyr yet, so she probably chose right," V'ayn grins easily, said grin only widening when Nessalyn proceeds to call him a jerk. "Hey, I'm quite charming you know." He /is/, he's /very/ charming as he casually gives people food poisoning. Though most of Xanadu knows his tricks by now. "I /might/, but like I said you could avoid /allll/ of that if you just casually barricaded yourself in the hot springs when she's glowing. Think of how easy the clean up would be…bloody? Jump in the tub. Dirty? Jump in the tub."

"I think the key word is yet in that sentence." GIVE HER TIME. Just wait until the day that Risali steps down, and Nessalyn gets to make the real decisions. She reaches for another cookie, which is probably more than her share, but that never stops her. "You're okay," she decides, her tone begrudging, attempting to sound as though her pains her to even say that much. "How about, if you want to keep me barricaded in the hot springs, you have to do it yourself? I take no responsibility for my actions when she's proddy. You want something, you have to do it yourself. Otherwise, it's a mud bath for you."

"Well, life around here would be pretty boring if there wasn't a possibility of doom." Or at least, that's V'ayn seems to believe. He seems more than happy to let her take more cookies because that leaves extra alcohol for him, and he's definitely taking another sip. But those words that might sound apathetic coming from anyone else earn a wide smile from the baker, "Thanks." See? He won't make a big deal of it. As for the self-made barricade…V'ayn's brows knit together for a brief moment, lips pulling downwards for a brief moment as he considers this. "Well, I guess I can risk the physical labor if it means mud wrestling isn't featured in your future flights."

"I'm not sure how life around here would function if there weren't the possiblity of doom." This is admitted with a faint laugh, as Nessalyn tilts a crooked smile in his direction. "Maybe that's why our golds have terrible taste." It may look like she's taking reasonably-sized bites, and yet that cookie disappears within mere seconds. She's a dessert-consuming machine. "Sounds like a deal to me. You keep me locked in the hot springs, I won't make you mud-wrestle with other bronzeriders. Or me." Which one is worse? Her smirk fades for a moment, expression turning almost bashful as she reaches for another cookie to hide behind. "You'll be there next time though, right?" The cookie is practically SHOVED into her mouth after that question.

"Their taste isn't /that/ bad. Besides, everyone around here would be /very/ weak without you and Risali running the show," says the man that was shrieking in the woods due to diseased children. V'ayn swirls the alcohol around in the bottle a bit, raising it briefly to that promise before taking a sip. It's as he's drinking that her next words reach his ears and he /definitely/ uses drinking to casually hide how much he's thinking about the answer. Right now he thinks there's about a 50% chance that anything he says gets him pushed off the tower. But eventually, the bottle is set down and he nods, "I will be. Frankly, I don't think Varequoth would let me stay away even if I tried." And his dark gaze is /very/ quickly flicking to her because broken arm or not, she could definitely end him right here and now!

"I mean, Leirith does attempt to turn everyone into badasses." Unlike Tineangrath, who is just interested in seeing the good in the world - whether it's there or not. "So you're probably right." To be fair, anyone would shriek when confronted with diseased children in the woods in the dark, so V'ayn probably gets a pass on that one. "Okay." Nessalyn's voice squeaks a little, and she tries to disguise that by fake coughing… only she has the cookie in her mouth and it goes down the wrong pipe, which swiftly turns her fake coughing into real coughing. Her shoulder is only sprained, so she could definitely end him right now if she wanted to endure a little pain. Instead she mutters, "If you could not try to stay away that would be better. Or whatever. Give me the alcohol."

V'ayn is attempting to keep that other vein of conversation going, but it seems that even he's reached his limit. There's far too much else happening at the moment. Before she even asks for the alcohol, the bottle is held out towards her. "I could manage not trying, but…" here he trails off momentarily, considering her for a second longer before continuing, "…am I allowed to ask why? There are three scenarios in my head right now, and I don't know which one is right." He could probably escape death if he's thrown off the ledge, right? Totally. "Not that you have to answer but…" Well, curiosity.

It's between shoving him off the ledge or just tossing herself off of it to avoid explaining herself, and Nessalyn isn't quite sure which one seems better. In her indecision (thankfully), she does neither. With that bottle now in hand, it's her turn to hide behind the pretense of drinking. Oh, look at that super interesting vein of rock in the tower! She stares quite intently at the stone, watching it as though it's about to reveal the secrets of the universe. "What are your three scenarios?" she blurts out after a moment, hesitating in her own answer. "Tell me that and I'll tell you which one it is."

V'ayn begins to tap his fingers on the ledge, mostly because he's trying to figure out how to word this. "First scenario…it'd be incredibly frustrating if Varequoth /were/ to win and I was off wandering around in another part of the Weyr." That could be problematic. "Second scenario…I'm a familiar face, which isn't a bad thing to have around when you're surrounded by strange men." And then there is a /very/ long pause before he speaks again, "Third scenario, to put it simply….feelings…in general." Eloquent at this time he is not, but he's looking over at her quiet expectantly.

This first suggestion is met with a faint nod, the passive agreement that yes, this is absolutely true. The second causes her grip to tighten on the bottle, but her expression doesn't waver from that determined focus on the stone. It's only the third option which causes her nose to wrinkle up, discomfort in her expression at the very mention of the word 'feelings'. "Feelings are stupid." At least he's equally matched in eloquence. "Maybe we should throw this bottle off the edge."

V'ayn watches her reaction and as soon as tossing the bottle is mentioned he is /more/ than happy to agree, "But…only after the alcohol is finished. Wouldn't want to waste it, right?" In fact he's already scooting her towards the ledge and looking down to see if anyone's in the danger zone. "Should have brought more bottles, shouldn't I?" At this point he'll turn back to look at her, a grin appearing on his face once again. Awkward? What awkward? Totally never existed.

For a moment, Nessalyn looks halfway surprised that the awkward moment is so easily dismissed by her shift in subject, but that expression quickly slides into a grateful grin. "Of course not. But I could have this finished in seconds." Despite those selfish words, the bottle is held out in his direction - he probably deserves it, after that near-miss. "You should always bring extra bottles. I could appear at any time, and we always need something to throw." She reaches out with her leg to push at him, careful in her roughness so that she doesn't accidentally send him tumbling.

DOWN HE GOES. Not actually, though for a split seconds he /pretends/ like he might…which might actually get him pushed off on principle. "Good point…honestly, we should just build a secret hatch in the wall and keep a stash up here." There's a wink shot back towards Nessalyn though and he takes the bottle, he'll finish most of what's left but leave a little bit to hand back to her. He holds it out like one might hold a very fine bottle of wine, and /then/ just because he /is/ a little bit of an ass, "I'll let my wife do the honors." This is why he doesn't have a lot of friends!

Nessalyn lurches forward, just enough alcohol and residual panic in her system that the trick actually sends her heart-rate spiking. "WHAT THE FUCK." This is blurted out of frightened relief when she realizes he's actually nowhere near to falling. "You're the worst. Literally, the worst. Worse than me." Burnnnn. This sentiment is solidified as he hands the bottle back to her with almost nothing left. She squints down the neck, trying to eye the contents before uttering, "And this is why you're the only husband I'll ever have."

V'ayn can't help himself, he laughs. It's a good laugh, a /very/ good laugh. His head is thrown back, his mouth is split wide with a smile and it lasts for a few moments. "I really am, aren't I? Sorry…" He'll probably deliver a sevenday's worth of desserts to try and make it up to her. "Some man in the future is probably cursing me right now, he had your entire honeymoon planned and I promptly ruined it in thirty seconds."

Nessalyn isn't quite so free with her mirth, still guarded after a near-miss, but she does grin widely at his laughter. "No question," she affirms with a smirk that's more amused than acerbic. If it gets her desserts, though, she'll suffer through. "It's okay, I was going to leave him for your cakes, anyway. He never stood a chance."

"Good, honestly he was hideous anyways, and he thought vanilla pudding was a /good/ dessert." How barbaric, plain vanilla pudding! Of course, V'ayn is just a terrible elitist when it comes desserts and such. "Now…I believe it's time to smash that lovely bottle into oblivion." And hope no random person gets a shard embedded in their eye!

Nessalyn's expresion twists into one of mocking disgust. "What was I doing marrying him in the first place when I have you? I'm sorry my taste went so far astray for some unknown reason." They can figure out just why she was marrying this hideous, tasteless man at a later date. For now, there are bottles to smash! And emotions to avoid! "Three, two, one…" And down goes the bottle, to smash upon the ground below. Far up above, there's a completely innocent goldrider and bronzerider, who can enjoy each other's comparably destructive company until duties call them away.

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