Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern
It is often whispered in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.
The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company.
Ah, evening. When dragons sleep and weyrlings can rest what's left of their day in their cots or talking to friends and not doing anything strenuous or requiring too much effort. Ka'el has stolen away once Kanekith's thoughts drifted deeper and deeper into the darkness of sleep, seeking … well, more humans, less dragons. And despite the smell of rain and the aleady moist ground, he has traveled from weyling area to tavern to do what most do after a long day. Or a hard day. Or when one's spirits seem to mirror the gloomy weather. He sits at a table that's otherwise unoccupied besides himself, and a half empty mug of ale is set before him. His eyes are on the people who mill around though, watching and listening. What better way to get caught up with the going ons and gossip of the world he seems no longer a part of?
This world that Ka'el has left behind is a busy one. At a nearby table, a group of miners talk and jest loudly - complaining about their days, mostly, and occasionally speculating about the proclivities of others. Off to the other side, a woman sits at the bar with a young man leaning close and looking for opportunities to buy her next drink, and past them… well. It's a busy night at the bar, the grey and gloom not enough to have kept the patrons away. The door has been swinging all night, making the tables near it drafty enough that some people have left their jackets on, and now it swings open again. Soriana enters.
While some are entering, Idrissa looks to be already there, sitting on her own at a table and sipping at a mug of cold cider while peering over a book that is open before her. Seems she is either studying or reading, either or she hasn't picked up on whom all has entered into the Tavern. A young bronze firelizard is perched upon her shoulder, her brown curled up between her arms happily dozing away.
Although he's not part of any of these conversations, that doesn't mean that Ka'el isn't enjoying them! Like the one going on at the table near his. Apparently, there's some scandal going on between a young woman in plastics and a rider fellow whose been stopping in quite frequently. To think! With a newborn babe already with an unknown father! And apparently, the mines are doing well, despite the complaining and bellyaching. If there was no work to be done, there'd be nothing to complain about, right? Ka'el listens to bits and pieces of these convesations and others. A good old fashioned eavesdropper, he is. It's a wonder how he hasn't noticed Idrissa with his attention as wandering as its been, unless his eyes are selectively seeing only what they want to see. His mug is brought to his lips again and he drinks while eyeing the once again opening door. Lo, a familiar face. His brows lift upon noticing Soriana, and he lifts his mug her way. Though, it being as busy as it is, his gesture may be overlooked.
Loose lips sink ships, but fortunately… this is a tavern, and in no danger of going underwater - even if some the patrons are at risk of floating away. Soriana steps aside for one such as he weaves his way out the door, then surveys the room with her gaze. Now where is… her gaze settles on Idrissa for a moment, then flicks past. Aha! A Ka'el. She lifts her hand (no mug. yet) back to him, then makes her way closer, sliding into one of those empty chairs at his table without so much as a is-this-seat-taken. "Al'cas said you'd be here."
Idrissa glances up slightly, peering aorund, and so forth well it seems she misses Ka'el, though catches sight of Soriana whom is on the trip over to see Ka'el. She watches the pair curiously a few moments, half thinking of going to join them, or well at least say hi but for the moment she stays put at her table it would seem.
He was seen! Ka'el lowers his mug down as Soriana comes his way. He glances to the side (seeking an escape route, perhaps? Just in case?) though returns his eyes to her before she claims a seat. And without asking! What if someone was sitting there and he was just waiting for that person to come back? .. Well luckily, he wasn't. But he could have been! "What's Al'cas doing, keepin' tabs on me?" he asks with a vague smirk. "Probably the best thing, you know? You all've to keep an eye on me. Make sure you know where I'm headin' and coming from so you can steer clear and make room before I wreck your dragon. On purpose, obviously. Cuz, y'know .. s'what I do."
Soriana woulda said hello to Idrissa, only… there was that book there. She looked like she was busy reading! Or else studying. And who is she to interfere with dutiful studying? Nope. She's just here to interfere with non-dutiful slacking. So… hi Ka'el! She leans back in this chair she's gone and stolen from nobody in particular, starting to settle in and then quirking one brow to Ka'el. "Hardly. And even if he hadn't said, this was guess number…" She ponders a moment. "…four. So it's not like it's some huge secret." That brow lowers to a more neutral position. "Keep an eye on you, sure. On M'kal, too. And Mur'dah, that hop of Kalsuoth's could make him erratic. Oh, and Idrissa, 'cause Tahryth might push herself too hard and lose control. While I'm at it, might's well keep an eye on everyone. It'll save time."
Idrissa isn't able to hear what the pair are talking about, which maybe be a good thing because she would offer a few things to what is being said. She takes in a soft breath while she shifts and closes the book, moving that sleeping brown lizard and letting him rest upon the top o fit. Guard the book little firelizard!
"Was guess number one the forges?" asks Ka'el as he peers into his mug skeptically. "What were two and three? It'll be fun to know just where you think my usual haunts are. Just in case, y'know .. we play a game of hide 'n seek or something." Insert smirk … here. But it's a short lived thing, already seeing the beginning of the end as Soriana continues with her responsibilities, and a brow arches by the end. He glances from her, to his mug, then back to her while pressing his fingetips upon the side of the cup, pushing it towards her. "Have a drink. That sounds tiring," he remarks.
What? And give up her advantage in that future game? Soriana smirks back to Ka'el and shakes her head, refusing to enumerate her list… if it even exists. Maybe it was just a random number. Or the list was places she thought of instead of having any actual relation to places Ka'el'd be likely to go. When it's offered, she takes the mug from Ka'el and lifts it to her lips. A small sip, and when she lowers it, her expression (despite the drink) is entirely sober. "It would be. Which is why I'm not doing it."
Idrissa takes it upon herself to gather both lizard and book up and wanders on towrads the two are the bar. She clears her throat and ahs softly. "Hey guys." A faint smile seen while she peers at them. "What you two up too?"
"Didn't figure you were. You don't seem like the keepin' tabs type," answers Ka'el who does't seem to mind if she keeps that drink. He'll get anothe. In fact, another is already on his mind. "So. You're not keepin' tabs on me. What were you lookin' for me for?" he asks, bows raising questioningly. "Or is it only that you wished my company, thrilling as it is?" He smirks afterward and perhaps would say more but pauses as another joins their table. He looks up to Idrissa as she arrives and a portion of his smirk fades, though he does lift a hand in a wave to her. "Hey."
Soriana'll hand the drink back if Ka'el reaches for it… but if he doesn't, well, that saves her having to figure out what sort of drink to get. Convenient. "It is pretty thrilling," she acknowledges, with a sideways quirk of her lips followed by another sip from what now appears to be her mug. After, she sets it down and reaches into her pocket for a folded sheet of paper. "You forgot this at study group." She slides it across the table toward him. Not that his notes couldn't have waited until tomorrow. Or been left beside his cot. Or been handed to him without Soriana bothering to sit down. But, hey. She's here now. At Idrissa's approach, Soriana looks up, smiling lifting her mug. "Hey." She shrugs. "Not much. Enjoying the quiet." Of a crowded tavern?
Idrissa feels a bit strange with the two at the moment, as if she is that thired wheel so to speak. "Well, I can see just how quiet it is here. I bet your getting lots of quiet time now, hum?" She grins a bit before glancing back to Ka'el. "Ah, are you and Kaneith alright after the other day?" That should be a surprize question..
He forgot something? Ka'el's eyes are back on Soriana, brows knitted in curiosity. He forgot… Oh! His notes! Recognition flashes upon his face upon seeing the folded paper, and he eaches acoss the table for it, unfolding it to skim ove the scribble notes. "Shards, thanks. Can't believe I left this. I need another notebook.." His trunk must be filled with nothing but notebooks stacked high, considering hos much he goes through them. An appreciative smile is offered to the goldrider. "Thanks. I owe you." His attention shifts back to Idrissa, and he chortles at the quiet comment. "Considering the dragon snores, this is quiet." He rises fom his seat now, not protesting Idrissa sitting if she wishes to do so, though he has his mind set on getting another drink. That is, until Idrissa asks of Kanekith. He eyes her a moment, searchingly. "He's .. we're alright," he says carefully. "Learned a lesson, the both've us. And .. uh, Tahryth's not hurt or anything, right?"
"Y'r welcome," Soriana says to Ka'el with a smile, and at the mention of the notebook, she goes hmm for just a moment. Mental note: Ka'el needs notebooks for physical notes. Of course, the fragility of mental notes is why the bronzerider uses physical notebooks in the first place, so… who knows if anything will come of this? Especially since the place is full of distractions. And… quiet. "Is it just me, or have some of 'em been snoring worse since they started chewing firestone?" Okay, so maybe it's not actually quieter here, but… it's a change of pace, and sometimes, that's what's desired. "Oh, sure. Plenty of quiet time. Just like all that free time." Aaaaall that free time that … they don't have. Soriana smirks, and then the expression fades to neutral as she hears Idrissa's question to Ka'el. She stays quiet, lifting her mug for another sip.
"Maybe it's a … reaction or somethin'. Firestone and the nose and throat. There's probably a book written. Or a thesis. Or something." Or the two of them are just gossly exaggerating this whole snoring thing! Ka'el lingers long enough to hear Idrissa's answer to him before the greenrider excuses herself. Perhaps feeling too much like that aforementioned third wheel? Or maybe Tahryth woke up. The world may never know. Ka'el eyes the bar, but then, on second thought, reclaims his chair opposite Soriana without claiming a second (or possibly third) mug. Besides, he could always snag a waitress … which is exactly what he does as one passes by. "You want something?" is asked of Sori before the waitress moves off to place the orders. "Hey, I didn't get a chance to tell you, but Luraoth looked good the other day."
"…or something." And if there is, Soriana will probably find it as part of her assigned reading at some point, once she gets back to actually being a dragonhealer. Whenever that is. She waves a farewell to Idrissa, and makes a quick mental check that her own dragon is still slumbering peacefully. Fortunately, Luraoth is, so Soriana adds on an order for a soft pretzel with cheese sauce. Just because she's had dinner doesn't mean she can't appreciate a snack. Her head tilts to the side, and she smiles. "She did, didn't she?" There's pride in her expression, and affection for her dragon, and the relief of a great many worries lifted by those three wingbeats and that glide.
"Uh huh," reiterates Ka'el, watching her with a lingering grin. She deseves that happy feeling after so many months of worry and insecurity. She did have that weird lopsided wing, after all, and even though it looked as though it evened out, who could really be sure it'd work the way it's supposed to until they tried? "Soon they'll be flyin' all over the place, or at least wantin' to. And that's gonna be a headache." A grin. "Til we get on their backs anyway." Then they'll be no stopping them! "Shards. It feels like they just hatched last week, an' here they are flying." He shakes his head, leaning back in his chair a little, threatening the two front feet of his seat to come off of the floor. "I'm gonna blink an' the next thing I know it's gonna be graduation. It's .. goin' by faster than what I thought. Do you feel that, too?"
"Oh, it'll still be a headache," Soriana says with a grin of her own. "For V'dim." Weyrlings on dragonback! Wings beating the sky and going… who knows where? Just how young did the weyrlingmaster get those gray hairs of his? The first turn after he got this job? Maybe! Sori takes another sip of ale. "Hatching. Huh." She gives her head a little shake. "I thought I was going to be left behind, y'know. I saw everyone else leaving, and you with Kanekith, and there were practically no eggs left, and I figured… that was it." She's silent for a moment, then hehs. "And then there was Luraoth." A smile, for remembering that moment. "Like it was yesterday. It's… ages ago and yesterday."
A good way to put it. Ages ago and yesterday. "I think all've us had the same feeling. Worrying about being left behind, and if we were…where we would be now. Now that I know what bein' a weyrling means, I don't see how it would've worked. I hardly see any've my friends that aren't weyrlings. If you impressed and I hadn't, I think I'd've gone crazy by now." A snicker follows just as their order arrives. That was quick service! An ale for Ka'el, and a large and warm soft pretzel for Soriana … which Ka'el is eeeeying. Mmm those smell good! The sauce is in a little bowl, ready for dipping. "I wonder how dragons know" he says, speaking of the pretzel, since his eyes are still on that during that sentence but flip back to hers after. "Y'know? Everyone's dragon is … they match us, you know what I mean? Like, I couldn't imagine anybody else with Luraoth."
Oh yes it does smell good. Soriana thanks the waitress and slides that pretzel to between her and Ka'el. He did give her his (previous) drink, after all! She smirks. "That, or you'd've made journeyman." What with throwing every moment into his work in an attempt at distraction. "Or maybe…" Her eyes trace the path Idrissa took, to the door she vanished through, and then… a shrug. "Oh, who knows." Not her! She tears a piece off the pretzel and dunks it in the sauce, then lifts it up - halfway, and then she pauses. "How does anyone know anything?" The tone of the words is mostly serious, though she's smiling. "I mean… how do you know you want to be with me?" And not anyone else? "They just… know. And… maybe part of why they match us is that they change. They make themselves fit, once they've chosen someone they want to fit with. It's not like we know what they were like before. What they would have been like, if there was someone else on the sands and not us." Hot cheese drips onto Soriana's fingers, and she acks and pops the bit of pretzel into her mouth.
Alright, pretzel share! Ka'el grins his thanks at the gesture, and he tears off a piece of the warm bread to hold between his fingers while listening. How does anyone know anything? Through studying and learning, for one. He surely did study Soriana long and hard and learned much about her before starting to date. But he knows what she means by the question, even though his answer is a light-hearted one. "Because you're sexy." Uh, nuff said? He grins at her, dipping his pretzel into the cheese and allowing it to drip before he deposits it into his mouth. Yuummm! Cheesy. Bready. Warm! Chew chew chew. "You think they change?" he says curiously. "See, I don't. I always figured some…how, the universe knows where you are and who you are and your dragon is hatched just for you exactly as they are." He pauses, eyeing the cheese in thought. "They'll change because they grow and learn, but I think personalities stay the same."
Such a deep and thoughtful answer. Soriana laughs, and nibbles the stray cheese dip off her finger. That particular question is not pursued further, though it does leave her with a grin. "Maybe they do. I dunno for sure." How would you even go about testing it? "But if they're hatched just perfect for you… what if you aren't there? What if… you break your leg, or whatever, and so you're not on the sands? If a dragon doesn't find someone, it'll go between." She snags another piece of the pretzel, dipping and chewing before she continues. "I'm not saying they change completely, but back when they were eggs, they were a lot… vaguer. Maybe it's like, in the shells, they know they're looking for someone strong and smart with a sense of humor, and then they come out and that's when they figure out they like dark hair and blue eyes." For instance.
"I don't think the world would let that happen," muses Ka'el, mulling over things with a thoughtful look to match. Aww, look at him being insightful and carrying on a conversation that doesn't involve thoughts of not keeping his hands to himself! "If your dragon was out on the sands, then you wouldn't break a leg or get sick or fall into a hole in the forest or somethin'. … Think of us," he says, brows raising in sudden remembrance. "We had…plans that day." A vague smirk here. "If the eggs had started cracking a half hour later, we wouldnt've been in the barracks. Who knows where we would've been. Maybe somewhere we couldn't hear the humming well. Or, we could've been too… distracted to hear them if we were far off." Lord knows he hadn't thought far enough ahead to actually, you know, think of a place to go. "I've always thought things happen for a reason. And who wouldn't like dark hair an' blue eyes?" He gives his short hair an imaginary flick. "I heard it's the uh, in thing on Ista." Or something. Hair dye and contacts! Crazy Ista folk.
Plans. Yeah. They definitely did have… plans. Soriana's grin turns shades of rueful, though she can't exactly make herself regret things entirely. "Yeah, but if they'd gone and cracked a day later…" then their plans could have happened and they could have still made it onto the sands! But that's just not how things worked out. "Oh well." She reaches out to brush her fingers against the backs of his briefly, then has a sip of ale to go with her pretzel. "I dunno. The world's a big place. How's it supposed to keep track of everything and everyone and stuff that hasn't even happened yet?" And what's doing the keeping track, anyhow? "Even the clocktower needs fixing now and then." She ponders for a moment, then laughs. The in thing on Ista? "Must be."
If only! But, alas, things happened as they did and .. well, it hasn't exactly turned out badly, now has it? But still, if only. His lips curve at the touch of her fingers, and Ka'el follows suit with taking a drink. One that he seems to have forgotten about with their conversation. "That I don't have an answer for, but somehow…it does." That, or his theory is complete junk and mumbo jumbo! Which is always a possibility. "Important thing is that all've us got matched up with who we were meant to be with. We were all on the sands for a reason, and I'm glad. Even with the headaches he gives me, I wouldn't trade Kanekith in for everything. And, even .. maybe, it's a good thing the eggs didn't hatch a day later, because if our .. plans had gone as planned, I think all've this would be harder for me." You can't really miss something one has never had, right? His grin stays on his face as his eyes unfocus a little, peering at an area on her nose without really seeing it. But it lasts not long. "Kanekith needs oiling," he provides, giving his mug of ale a wistful look. "Is it just me, or has oiling been something they've been needng a lot more lately?"
It's not like they'll ever know for sure. Profound truth or mumbo jumbo… Soriana shrugs, smiling. "Maybe." She doesn't know. To a certain extent, she doesn't care. "I'm glad for Luraoth, too." Her smile gets crooked. "And for Kanekith." Despite all the trouble he causes! "We'll get there. Graduation seems like tomorrow, right?" She grins crookedly, because seeming like tomorrow and actually being tomorrow are different things… but they'll get there. Her head tilts to the side at the unfocused look, and then she nods. "Well… they have been growing a lot… more to oil. And the oil helps with the sore muscles and strained skin from hunting and flying, too." So… yes. Yes they have.
"Yeah. Here before we even know it. Then.." Then they'll all be on to the next thing! Whatever the next thing is. Ka'el isn't even sure anymore, but there's some time before then. Tomorrow is months and months away. He rises now and takes a few long swallows of his ale so it all doesn't go wasted and sets the mug back down with a dull thunk. "That's true, an' it's no wonder Kanekith's always sore." Silly dragon! But aw, at least he's liked by at least one other in his weyrling class circle of friends, and Soriana gets a warm look for that. He reaches for her hand to give a squeeze to before snagging one last piece of pretzel. "I'll see you back at the barracks. Send word to Kanekith if y'need something." Like an escort back through the night (ha! as if she'd ever ask for that!) or if things start feeling creepy. It is night and overcast, afterall. His fingers slip from hers now as he waves and heads out.
"Will do," Soriana says with a smile, though she won't actually. It's just the weyr at night. She'll be fine. Her fingers squeeze his back, and after he's gone, she'll linger a bit to finish the pretzel and her mug of ale (and his, which is now, once again, hers), and talk to a few other people before making her own way back to the barracks and bed before another tomorrow of weyrling chores and weyrling study and weyrling work that'll bring them one day closer to weyrling graduation and The Next Thing.