To Talk of Many Things

Xanadu Weyr - Beach

The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.

The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.


There has been a bit of rain, the kind with sporadic tiny droplets that tends to bring the firelizards out in droves, that makes everything damp without really doing much good. It has passed now, leaving the air crisp and clean and the breeze cool as it whispers through the vegetation at the beach's edge. As the last of the day's light begins to wane into shades of vermillion and burgundy, Enkavir is perched on a large boulder just out of the reach of high tide. His hands are shoved into the pockets of a long overcoat, his face cast into odd shadows by the open glowbasket at his feet. The faintest sound of whistling competes with the wind's tune, interrupted as he takes a drink of something but resuming as he tucks it back into the pocket along with his hand.

Thea walks the beach down by the water's edge where the sand is firm, boots dangling from her hand. The erratic breeze playing with her hair and whipping the thin clothing she's wearing. She's lost in thought, apparently, for she's staring out across the lake. An occasional note may be carried by the wind, when it cooperates, but the melody likely cannot be discerned.

Enkavir's eyes roam over the wind-tossed waves, his feet holding as much of his weight as the rock does as he's half sitting and half leaning against it. The notes, whichever of them might be carried, die off as one moment of roaming eyes comes upon the breeze tossed form of Thea. A minute passes, then two as he simply watches her, but as she draws up parallel with him he calls a soft, "Evening, weyrwoman." He is still, part of the landscape were it not for the soft glow washing up out of the basket in the sand.

Thea is at peace in this moment and for once, relaxed. Her face shows this as she turns to see who greets, cheeks pinkened by something other than the Hatching Ground sands, her pale eyes bright from the wind-induced tears. But she can't see who calls, for the wind has whipped her hair from behind and it sweeps into her eyes. With the boots in one hand, she has only the one left to deal with it and it is a loosing battle between dusk and her hair. She heads towards the voice, calling easily, "Evening."

It is a sight to see. Icy green eyes not narrowed in suspicion or widened in alarm, face pink rather than pale, the line from her head to her shoulders relaxed rather than tense. Enkavir hesitates to break the moment, silently watching her approach with his chin down and eyes watching her with an upward glance through his lashes. A smile ghosts around his mouth, here then gone then tipping his lips unevenly as her easy word reaches him against the wind. It is only when she is nearly upon him that speaks again, her proximity likely enough to make his low purr of a voice recognizable. "It's nice to see you getting a bit of a break. I haven't brought you an ice treat to relieve you from the heat in a while now."

Thea halts a few feet away as Enkavir speaks again. For a moment she looks poised to flee down the beach. The breeze dies, her hair falls and she lowers her hand slowly, eyes reflecting doubt rather than fear. "No, you… haven't." There's a slightly strained note to her voice when she says it, but also a tentative smile there. "Seryth sent me out for a walk," she adds with a bit of a laugh, "So here I am." She keeps her distance, asking lightly, "How go the records?"

Enkavir remains still as the stone that bears his weight as Thea's indecision flickers across her features. When she finally offers that bit of a smile, no matter how tenative, he seems to come to life again, nodding his head and shifting one foot to cross over the other. "I'm remiss in my duties. I will make sure to do that for you sometime soon." He pauses, eyes intent on hers as they can be in the dim light and shadows cast upward from the glow basket. "If you'd like," is added softly to the end there, before his smile creeps back. "It sounds like she takes good care of you. Nice to know they're-" he breaks off, blinking as his eyes snap back to hers and his smile fades a bit, as if just realizing she's standing there still so he should stop whatever words were going to come next. "Protective," he finishes smoothly in spite of that little hiccup. "Protective of you as you are of them, as they are of their eggs."

Thea tilts her head to one side slightly as if pondering something, but her tone remains light, bantering, "I never knew bringing ice to the sands was the responsibility of records keeper." She steps a few paces closer to peer at him more closely in the dying light. "Nice to know what?" Her tone isn't overtly suspicious, watchful might be a better word. She's noticed, "You were going to say?" A sudden, short burst of breeze pulls at her and for a moment she shies, as a filly might when startled, side-stepping quickly. "Shards." It is muttered, but full of wry self-annoyance.

Enkavir's tone lightens to mirror hers, his head echoing the tilt she takes on as well. "It is if I take it on, I suppose. Especially when I'm intermittently given things to search for and booted out of the room entirely." Her peer is met levelly as always, he doesn't blink or flinch or drop his eyes, and the glowlight makes his almost eerily golden. His tongue does flick out to wet his lips, but before he can answer she's acting like a wild firelizard and he reaches out as slow hand like one would do to that sort of wild thing. "Are you alright, Thea? I don't bite you know." His grin shows the barest glint of too-white teeth and he lets out a low chuckle. "Often, anyhow. Come, sit." It's gentle and he shifts sideways to make more space for her on the rock, spreads a bit of his long coat out so she doesn't have to sit on the bare cool stone.

Thea steadies with feet braced in the loose sand. "Niva on one of her records-searching-binges?" Her tone remains light, if a little breathless. Her eyes flicker from that hand Enkavir's reaching out to her, then glance at his eyes for a moment. "Not often, huh? I see." She isn't looking terribly convinced, but she steps over to sit on the coat, dropping her boots with a thunk on the sands. "Thank you," She says it softly, as she pulls her bare feet up and clasps her legs with her arms. Perhaps unaware of this self-protective movement, for all it helps her to relax, she is able to look at the man beside her, ""What were you going to say a few moment ago?" There is only curiosity in her tone.

Enkavir nods solemnly, though then the crooked grin breaks back through. "Mmm hmm, not often." As to Niva, he just shakes his head and frees a hand from a pocket to shove ineffectively at his hair. "I think so, yeah. They seem pretty common to be honest. Common enough that I'm starting to get used to it." He leaves the handbreadth of space carefully between them, eyeing her sidelong out of the corner of his eye as she curls up into the fetal position beside him. His face tips toward her when she finally looks his way, persistent in her questioning, and he takes a slow breath. "Good for something," he lets out in a flat rush. "It's good to hear they are good for something. I wasn't sure that was a sentiment you wanted to hear."

Thea forgets her own misgivings, apparently, for she leans forward slightly to see the expression in his eyes. Likely it's the first time her guard is down in her own. There is nothing in them but her earnest wish to know what he is thinking. Her ears are attuned to catch the nuances of his voice, a fact he may not know, but evidenced in that she hasn't become wary or suspicious. "Tell me…" her direct look takes in his features fleetingly, "Why you needed to hear that? Not what you're worried I might not wish to hear?" She leans back, still watching but giving the man his space.

One dark brow lifts ever so slightly as Thea shifts to look at him. Some unnamed tension in Enkavir's shoulders leaks away, and the space between them narrows a bit. He takes his time with answering, mouth going to flat seriousness as his eyebrows draw down and leave his eyes cloaked in shadows. "Do you really want to hear? I doubt it." Another beat and he drops his head, tips it to watch her from an angle. "I'm not from a Weyr. I'm hold and craftbred, and I've studied more than most people. I lived at Landing for turns, I've been to the Yokohama, and if I've learned anything it's that we never know what we think we do. Nothing is certain. So either dragons are not prepared for whatever eventualities might come, for what they were bred for…" he trials off, uncomfortable, hand clenching into fists in his pockets. "Or there are far more of them then we need to serve the few purposes they serve." His eyes are on the waves, pointedly cast away from her.

"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't." Thea assures Enkavir firmly. After he speaks, she is silent for several moments, watching. Waiting. After the silence grows she answers quietly, "I am not weyrbred, myself." She says it simply, not as though it were a great revelation nor yet a problem or even an arguement. It is fact. She shifts on the rock, turning her back to the bits of wind puffing over the waters of the lake, curling her legs under her and braces back on one arm. More comfortable now, she studies him, not able to stop a hint of tease in her voice, "Took you all that studying to figure that out, did it? I knew when my little Toby died." A slight catch trembles her voice. As to the last part of Enkavir's comments, "Their future, you mean? Of dragonkind? What of it?" Not flippant, just seeking to know.

"No?" Enkavir's single word is dubious at best, but he did answer her so perhaps it is best to leave it be. "Where are you from?" Eyes still out on the water he asks the question lightly, perhaps to change the subject though it's not nearly insistent enough to be successful if that's his goal. Her shifting is what finally draws his eyes, and he shrugs out of his coat with quick, graceful motions. "I'm sorry, about Toby. Who was he?" The lines of his features are still hard, but his mouth has begun to soften as he leans to swirl the coat around her shoulders. "The studying just confirmed what I've always thought. Not a really popular opinion you know." His teeth brush his lower lip as he settles back on his portion of the rock, hands laced together in front of him. "I've just always felt that dragons and maybe their riders take more than they deserve. More supplies, more liberties, more people…" he trails off, lifting one shoulder in a lopsided shrug. "Being here has altered that in some respects but only confirmed it in others."

"Back of High Reaches. Toby was my friend, a barn feline. I was four Turns old when he died." Thea answers it diffidently as though it isn't important. Her eyes travel across the harsh lines of Enkavir's face as leans to toss his coat about her. Perhaps he is revealing more than he knows about himself? "Thanks," She pulls the coat closer around. "Who cares about popular?" Thea queries, adding "Do you think they are unnecessary parasites on Pern then?" Her lips quirk into a bit of humor, eyes still watching him carefully.

More than anything else that's been said, this revelation brings a change to Enkavir's face. His eyes slide closed and his lips press together as he turns to face her. "I'm so sorry. There's little that is so difficult, at any age but especially so young." Now that they are on her, his eyes grow searching, flickering over her features with all the intensity her diffidence lacks. "What brought you to Xanadu from so far away?" Her thanks he simply waves away, dismissing it entirely, and as for popular he just tips his head to the side. "Generally I don't, but look where it gets me. You seem popular enough." Her humor only has his eyes narrowing a bit and he carefully shrugs. "I'm not sure what I think, other than that just because something is considered common knowledge doesn't make it so. I am… not convinced. That's all."

Thea doesn't retreat this time from the intensity or the proximity of the man beside her. "Toby was… long ago. It was hard, he was my best friend. I learned that when something-" she bites her full lower lip to stop it's tremble for a moment, swallows and continues, -someone you love dies it leaves a hole that can never be filled again." She considers his question, her eyes dance briefly before going somber, "I came to sell wool. I wasn't looking for a dragon." Her tone turns wry at that. "I was just… restless. Sometimes…" Her voice trails off and she turns her head towards the water to gaze at it's dark waters, "sometimes I still am."

Enkavir's eyes don't leave Thea through all of this, and when her teeth touch her lip he winces slightly. "I…" but there's really nothing to say, is there? He reaches a hand over as if to comfort her, but when it's a few inches from her arm it stops and hovers awkwardly, his gaze flitting to watch for her suddenly typical flinch. "Death is hard. I lost my grandfather just recently," it makes him frown and he shakes his head, doesn't pursue the subject. "Wool, eh? Ovine wool?" Up go his brows, and his smile inches back, a ghost of a curl to his mouth. "Restless." He nods in seeming agreement, and that hovering hand settles to her shoulder if she'll let it.

"I'm sorry," Thea says simply. She knows how hard it is! She doesn't move when Enkavir's hand touches her shoulder and rests there, her focus is simply on something else. "Not ovine, thank Faranth! My family raised camilids. It is much softer hair." A soft snort, "And the animals far more sensible." For a beat her lips curve into a grin that fades slowly, "Look, I don't know if dragons are necessary to Pern, I don't know if they solve a persons problems - I tend to think not!" Her head turns towards where the Hatching Arena is for a brief moment, before she turns back to the man sitting with her, ice green eyes darkened with the certainty of her words, "One thing I do know: Pern may not need dragons, but dragons need Pern. Thread has ended, but they still live. One might be asking why?'

Enkavir takes a slow breath, chest lifting on the inhale and dropping on the exhale. "Thank you." It's all he says, his jaw firming as he clenches it for a beat. Camelids versus ovines makes him let out a brief little laugh, mostly just air escaping through his nose in a rush. "Thank goodness for that, hmm? Although, don't they spit?" Up goes that single brow again, but his amusement fades right along with hers. "Mmm. Well, I can't argue with that. And I think Pern does need dragons… I'm just not sure they always fill those needs." He sighs, dragging his fingers through his hair and pushing stray bits up off of his forehead. "You, not they, I suppose." A quick shake of his head. "I guess I'm not really in the position to judge though, am I?"

Thea notes that jaw clench, her eyes trace the line of it back to his eyes; hers lighten with a twist of tease back in them, "They do if they don't like you! But you wouldn't find them running through a Weyr!" An eyebrow raises as if to say, See? There's an upside. She inhales at his next words, forgetting to exhale as she digests this sentiment. Her eyes shutter, guarded, "The hostages?" Her tone sharpens just a bit, "Speak your mind?" Softening her tone, she adds, "Please?"

Enkavir just shakes his head, his hand sliding down her arm on its way into his lap. There it laces with the other one, and his gaze falls to examine them. "Maybe somewhat the hostages. I agree with the Weyr's need to do something, I'm glad they… you… we? Stepped in." It has him confused, all these pronouns, trying to reconcile Thea with 'they', to find where he fits in the mix. The minutes tick past as he tries to sort through his thoughts, his tongue sliding up over an eyetooth with a thoughtful motion. Finally he starts at a slightly unrelated place. "Did you hear about the refugees Rogawani brought in from near Rubicon? They weren't even part of the main hold, and Hannistans drove them off of their farm. No one was seriously hurt but they could have been. We say we ride sweeps and watch over people but no one stopped that from happening. Then they came here, and instead of using the unique talents dragonriders possess, X'hil sent me on a sharding /runner/ to fetch some healers when there was a man unconscious and a child injured." He shakes his head. "I just feel like dragons are a burden unless they're really utilized. And I worry that they'll be needed for something more drastic and just like now, they won't rise to the task." When his eyes turn to her they are pained for a beat before an internal darkness closes them off. Still, he whispers, "I'm sorry."

Thea shivers just a bit as Enkavir's hand slides down her arm, but her attention is caught by his words and the emotion behind them. She just listens in silence, without interrupting, without tensing or narrowing her eyes or any of the other things that would indicate anger. The night remains peacefully calm, there's no dragon bellowing coming from the Hatching Arena. When she speaks it it void of censure. "You don't need to apologize." Her voice hardens, "X'hil is-" She clamps her lips shut tightly and turns her head away as far as she can manage it. A single tear traces the profile of her cheek, catching the light from the partially-shielded glow as it moves slowly towards her jaw to gleam as it falls silently onto Enkavir's coat.

All Enkavir can do for a moment is take a deep breath. That was a lot of gut spilling, and he seems to almost regretful now, with clenched tight and eyes so blank they are flat as he awaits the explosion. When she is quiet and calm and Seryth doesn't come /eat/ him he slowly turns to look at her. There's a flicker of something in his eyes, surprise maybe, along with a hesitant optimistic yearning at her first words. Then, "X'hil is?" Finally he catches the glint of moisture, watches it fall to his jacket, and his breath catches in his throat. He utters a low curse and abruptly that bit of space between them is gone as he reaches to wrap an arm around her shoulders - assuming she doesn't slip away before he can. "I didn't mean to-" pause. "You can talk to me if you want. You don't have to trust me if you don't want to, but I swear I will keep your words safe if nothing else."

Thea allows the arm to stay, but her face remains turned as far away as she can keep it. She doesn't answer, but her throat moves as she swallows repeatedly. Save for a slight, regular shudders that only she and Enkavir can feel wracking her frame, an observer might not know she is crying. She doesn't reply, she doesn't even try as silent tears slip one by one, following each other to dampen the far collar of the coat she's borrowed. After a time the storm eases, but Thea remains still turned away. "Not your fault. I… can't-" Her voice is thick, not liking the sound of it she finishes in a whisper, "-say negative things-" a ragged indrawn breath interrupts, "-about the Leaders of the Weyr." She ends that on a tired sigh.

Out of respect for Thea's concession perhaps, Enkavir's arm stays loosely looped around her, hardly moving after it finds its place. He is silent through the storm of her crying, his breath slow and even through each shudder. When she quiets he reaches into a pocket and offers a clean if slightly rumpled hanky. "You can to me. I won't let it sway my opinion one way or another. Of all people you seem to need a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen." His voice grows lighter and he tips his head, trying to peer around to get a look at her eyes. "I have both ears and shoulders you know." Oh how the tables turn.

"Thanks," Thea takes the kerchief from and applies it, honking and mopping for a moment. She balls up the material in her hand, her neck relaxing at last as she turns back finally - at least enough to where she isn't facing totally away from him. Her hair forms a curtain over the sides of her face as she bends her head to gaze at her fist clenched around the damp ball of cloth. When she finally opens her mouth and the words pour forth. it isn't about X'hil or Niva and R'sul - she seems to speak objectively, "Dragons aren't to blame for the follies of their riders." She turns still-bright eyes to his, watching the expression in them as she asks, "I don't think you are, but I have to know. Are you with the Renegades?" She doesn't even bother to ask about Kefai's people and that is a measure of her esteem for him, if he realizes it.

Enkavir averts his eyes from the mopping up, not with an air of disgust but rather a polite offering of space for the woman at his side. He reaches to tuck a bit of the dark brown hair behind her ear, an opening in the curtain for him to peek through. Her words freeze him and his eyes narrow, but then he slowly nods. "I don't really… know any dragons. To even say that feels somehow absurd, for all that I keep hearing they have personalities. They feel like overgrown firelizards to me, and really we know now that isn't so far off. So really the fault I tend to find /is/ with the riders." He pauses, faltering. "And then I meet you." Now it's his turn to look away again, until she asks her question, which has him whirling back to face her. "Renegades? Shells, no." His mouth tips into his trademark crooked grin and he laughs, actually laughs though it's a bit dry. "No, no I'm not." Perhaps it is best that /this/ was the question she chose to ask.

Thea's eyes search Enkavir's as he speaks, measuring his response keenly. All other questions can wait, she must have this settled! His laugh, the crooked smile, all assessed carefully. Thea half-smiles, the look in her eyes unreadable. "Seryth says you aren't lying…" She seems to digest this for a moment, makes a decision,"They are nothing like firelizards. Well, they are, but they're more mature and yes they have a personality and mind about equal to their rider." She turns to face him, a question on her lips, but she stops, changes direction instead adds, "Some of the stuff you see in Riders here isn't very flattering. But Enkavir-" she reaches gentle fingers and taps him on his other forearm in her earnest appeal, "Don't judge them all by the worst."

As he almost always does, Enkavir withstands the measuring look steadfastly, meeting her eyes and remaining still beneath her scrutiny. That is until she speaks, which has him flinching away and looking out into the distance where the sands sit with eyes widening in alarm. "Was she… can she…" he trails off, shaking his head and dragging a hand through his hair. "I don't know if I really want anyone in my head, not least of all a dragon." He frowns, "Not because I'm hiding anything. I give you my word I'm not a renegade. It's just… unsettling." The tap on his arm has his eyes dropping to her hand and he wets his lips, slowly nods. "I can do that. But I can't rightly judge them all by the best, either, can I?" Slowly, slowly those hazel eyes slide upward until they meet cool green.

Thea watches the man's response, now it's her turn for her eyes to narrow until he speaks. At his words, her tense, wariness wanes. When he is finished, she meets Enkavir's look without speaking. She doesn't hasten to reassure or even question his response just yet. "It is unsettling - at first," she agrees solemnly, but without apology for Seryth's fleeting mindtouch. Her eyes grow puzzled, "The best?" She has no idea where that goes, by the baffled expression she wears. "No but they-" and her arm swings to include the entire Weyr population, "-why would they even matter on what you think about it, anyway?" Her head tilts to one side, impish lights flicker, "It is different for everyone who Impresses. It is the strength of your character that steers the course of the pairing, not the other way around. You-" a finger lifts to press the center of his chest, again gently, "-find the dragon's strengths and make them your own." she leaves the finger there, lost in thought, her lips grow sad, "Far too many allow the weakness within to reign instead." She raises her eyes to once again meet his and in hers are quiet despair.

Enkavir covers the finger on his chest with his hand, cupping hers to him as he nods, just as solemn as she was to begin with. "The best." His eyes remain intent through her puzzlement, and if it lingers he takes his free hand to lightly cup her cheek. "The sadness in your eyes, it makes you one of the best." Whether or not that touch succeeds, he drops his hand again soon after, eyes sliding out to follow her expansive sweep of the Weyr. "They're all I know of dragons and their riders, all I really know for myself. And I won't take anyone's word for things so what else am I to base my opinions on?" He blinks then, glancing down at the finger that still touches his chest. "Maybe the weyr can help with that? Help to make stronger candidates or weyrlings or… they're paired with enormous beasts and are looked on to protect all of us. There's got to be some way to make sure they're… worthy. Beyond the whim of a newly hatched babe of a flying lizard." His eyes are as pained as hers even if his reason is slightly different.

Thea grows very still, her eyes drawn by the words as well as the touch on her hand. When he cups her cheek she leans into it just a bit, perhaps not aware of her own movement. His words stir her the most and she just listens as if mesmerized for a moment, "No one here has ever spoken to my heart as you just did, Enkavir, thank you for that." She doesn't address the answer to the problem. Instead her voice is husky with sorrow, "You know what I think? I think it is too late. Fighting Thread made us better dragonfolk. Gave us a common enemy." Her lips tremble, but she swallows and finishes through a tight throat, with a whisper, "And now it is gone."

Enkavir is equally still, though her first words part his lips and make his eyes flicker, lashes dropping over them as he blinks. "You are… welcome," he offers with a hint of question in the words as well as in his gaze. "I'm sorry so few agree with you. Or maybe it's that they don't really see you?" He shrugs, almost sheepish as he drops her eyes while she sums up her thoughts. "I couldn't have put it better myself. Though…" he trails off again, eyeing her with a narrowed gaze, assessingly looking over her mouth, her eyes as if somehow he could find some answers there. "Well, nothing can ever really be known for sure. Even the ancients who we credit as being practically all-knowing would never have chosen Pern if they knew about Thread. We can't /know/." He pauses, shaking his head. "Regardless, shouldn't you be able to find some other uniting cause?"

"There were many things I learned to adjust to when I came to live here. Many more when I Impressed Seryth. Much clashed with my upbringing," Thea's tone is without regret, for all that the next words slightly bitter, "The hardest was to know I am weyrwoman first, person second, if at all. But I accept if for Seryth's sake. She is a far better, closer friend than Toby ever was. She fills that hole he left." She watches as his eyes move over her face, taking in the pain in his own, but his words cause a twitch of her mouth into a smile that reaches her eyes, partially erasing the sadness, "Did you hear yourself? 'Nothing can ever really be known for sure'? The opinions of others won't really help you find your answers to dragonkind. They are in here." Again she taps his chest over where his heart would be. "There's simply no other way to know until after impression, but you will never be sure unless you allow the chance." She exhales slowly, spent. And as if indifferent to his future decision (and who knows, she may well be), she shrugs, "Or…you can spend your life always wondering…if you could have known."

Enkavir shakes his head hard, denying her words. "No, you are /you/ first. Even the MasterHarper is still a woman. It isn't fair that chance deny you of your own identity, even if it did more than fill the hole you were left." His hand finds her cheek again, strokes down it with the back of his knuckles. "To me you can just be Thea, yeah?" Her smile draws one to his lips as well, his bringing a bit of a sparkle to his eyes. "I doubt the option will ever be mine though. I've stood in front of plenty of search dragons and none has so much as batted an eye… lid. If I'm asked, I'll tell you what. For the sake of no regrets, I'll agree. But I can't imagine a dragon choosing the likes of me."

Thea closes her eyes briefly as her cheek is lightly touched. When they open ice has melted into green pools, but there is a little bit of cautious reserve there as well. "I can be Thea to you," the tranquil tone in her promise dismisses as unimportant any others who make demands upon her title and rank, yet leave her spirit dry. To the rest of what he says dryly, "They could do much worse. At least you think about the future. And what might be." Her eyes travel across the features of his face, always returning to his eyes, for it is there that a person's character is most visible. "Yes, they could do much worse."

Enkavir just nods his acceptance of her promise, his smile lingering gently across his lips. His eyes never lose their intensity but there is a softness to them now, as he slides his hands back into his pockets. "That, I think, is enough for me," he offers lightly. He shakes his head at her appraisal though, snorting a dry little laugh. "I don't know about that. I think if anything I should be the least common denominator. At least it seems the golds have good taste in a partner from what I have seen." Still her compliment has deepend his grin and he drops his eyes away almost sheepishly. It's enough to allow him to notice how very dark the night has gotten, and the position of the moon in the sky. "I should get you back to the sands, or your weyr or wherever it is you sleep. Seryth will be anxious and you need your rest. I didn't mean to keep you so." Standing, he reaches one hand down to snag the glowbasket and offers the other to help her up.

Thea swivels round, takes the offered hand and slides off the stone, half-stooping to retrieve her boots. "Lost total track of time! I sleep with Seryth at the Hatching Arena." She pauses, silent for a moment as they walk, "She knows where I am and," a bit of daring tinges her words, "She says she won't eat you for awhile yet-" her eyes twinkle bits if emerald in the near-darkness as they catch the moving glowlight. She laughs up at him finishing, "-for touching me without her permission."

"It's easy to do sometimes," Enkavir allows with a grin. He keeps his hand loosely entwined with hers, sliding his fingers between hers if she'll let him. "I suppose… in some ways it might be nice to never be alone. If you liked the dragon." Her words suddenly bring his eyes down, surprise melting into amusement as he catches her twinkling gaze. "Ah, very funny. You can tell her I would be stringy and sour and not at all pleasant to eat. A sense of humor-" he trails off in near disbelief, shaking his head. "I guess I better not do anything more daring without asking her first, mmm? I didn't realize she was partner, friend /and/ mother."

As Thea curls her fingers around Enkavir's gently, her laugh ripples low in her throat, "Her words exactly, I swear!" She softly chuckles adding, "She says it is more like guardian than mother, otherwise she'd be out here hovering and telling you to turn up that glowlight." A short giggle later she adds, "She says step inside the Arena and she'll have a little nibble to taste for herself."

Enkavir lets their hands swing aimlessly as they walk, his head down again and eyes drifting to their paired clasp now and again. "Is that so? Well that's a glimpse into dragon psyche I haven't had yet. You can thank her for the offer I suppose," he quips, casting that angled upward glance from beneath his brows. "My glowlight is perfectly appropriate, I assure you both," he says, lifting it to better illuminate her face, her eyes, the shadow of lashes on her pale cheeks. "I think for tonight I will skip being dessert for a dragon," he decides as they arrive at the hatching caverns. "Which means I should take my leave now." He gives her hand a little squeeze, pauses looking down at her, then just smiles a slow smile. "Goodnight, Thea."

"Goodnight Enkavir," Thea releases his hand, allowing her fingers to linger as they slip through his. She starts into the Hatching arena looking much like a guilty holder gal sneaking back into her mama's cottage, carrying her boots as she is and walking barefoot. She turns her head to peek back over her shoulder with a bemused smile at the man, then disappears into the shadows.

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