Dancing, Singing, and... Knots? (Risali is Searched!)

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. Behind it are drinks for those not inclined toward ale, as well as a door leading to the small kitchen where snacks are made and a back room that probably holds yet more ale.

Seasons come and go and this afternoon is proving to be a windy, but beautiful autumn day. Maybe… a little too windy. Okay, it’s way past blustering out there. Which explains why K’vir is bailing on any hope of killing time outside. With the wind half shoving him inside the Tavern as it is, he has to give a good hard shove with his shoulder and elbow to the door to close the damn thing. Muttering some oath under his breath about possessed weather, he’ll lift a hand up to brush back most of his hair; which is now an even worse ruffled mess and probably has a leaf (or three) stuck in there. Finishing the gesture by scrubbing tiredly at his face, he’ll stroll towards the bar and order a few drinks, paying for them and forgoing sitting there in favour of one of the more private (“private”) tables. It’s there that he’ll settle himself and begin to nurse his first beer (afternoon hour be damned too) and hope that his firelizards reached their intended target with the note written with the Change of Plans.

Oh, it definitely reached its intended target — a little late, probably, but it reached her alright. It’s the reason why Risali’s eventually stumbling through the entrance of the taverns looking more wild beast than respectable lady; all of that long, thick, curly black hair is catching at her face and her clothes, flinging itself out behind her when she turns to use her entire body to convince the door that BEING CLOSED IS A GOOD THING — a monumental effort that ends with Risali’s frustrated shriek of, “WHO EVEN MADE THIS DOOR?” before it finally shuts. This leaves Risali standing there taking a moment to breathe, hastily shoving her hair back out of her face and into some semblance of order. What shoving her hair out of her face does not accomplish is rid her of the ridiculous amount of twigs, and leaves, and possibly unmentionable things that’ve worked their way into her hair in the process; truly, the woman looks more wild than tame (which isn’t really anything new), and while one might expect that natural wildness to be accompanied by Risali’s perpetual state of fury, grey eyes actually seem to hold relief when they fall on K’vir at one of the more quiet tables among the gathering of we-refuse-to-be-blown-away-today patrons. Risali picks her way through them until she’s standing beside the bronzerider and reaching out to pluck the few tagalongs from his hair, dropping them without so much as a second glance to the floor. THAT’S WHAT BROOMS ARE FOR. Risa even runs her fingers through K’vir’s hair, to make it a little more presentable without really knowing why she’s bothering if the wind is just going to make a mess out of it when he leaves again anyway. “You look awful,” she says as way of greeting, focus momentarily on his person before she gives up on his ruffled locks and slides into a seat beside him. “And tired.” SCOOT SCOOT SCOOT and she’s pressed up against him until she shifts, legs going over his lap as she leans sideways on the table, facing him, pulling the second drink to herself and hoarding it like a small dragon with treasure. OF COURSE SHE DOESN’T ASK IF IT’S HERS. Everything he owns is hers (hahaha. ha. HA.). “What were we going to do outside anyway? Except for get blown away, of course."

‘Lo, that shrieking! Such notes to still his beating heart — probably with wariness, but it works on drawing K’vir’s attention from la la land and back into the present world. He’s about to greet her, but he’ll settle instead of chuckle in good humour when she starts to finger-comb his hair. Being the sweet cinnamon roll that he is (so much for the tough bronzerider image), he LET’S her do it! For that whole time. Without protesting! Except for that one leaf which snags a bit painfully. “Ow! Yeah, I am tired…” Not news there. He grins as she settles herself, moving to better accommodate her choice of snuggling position and looping one arm around her. You know… for extra security! That’s totally what this is! “Wind tossed is a good look on you, by the way.” Amusement AND sincerity there. Because he wants to live and won’t toss back that she looks as awful as he does. No protest on her taking the second drink and maybe it WAS for her all along! He’ll pretend it was his though, while reaching for the beer he was already nursing prior to her arrival. “Mhm?” Her question catches him off guard and he clears his throat a bit after swallowing. “Oh! Uh… Well. It was mostly just cause the forest is pretty this time of Turn but it was half surprise too. Wind ruined it.” Way to ruin plans, nature! The NERVE. “So I hope an afternoon in here isn’t too disappointing?”

“Suck it up,” is Risali’s sweet-little-nothing retort, a response to K’vir’s leaf-snagging grievances that’s more bark than bite. When K’vir’s arm goes around her, Risali shifts to lean more into him, cheek pressing into his arm while she takes him in with grey eyes that speak of adoration despite her casually given insults — and then she laughs, pushing at his face when he compliments her windblown look to force his attention away from her. “Faranth, Kyzen. That might work on your other girlfriends, but it doesn’t work on me.” Though she’s got a pretty little blush on her cheeks that says otherwise, and a smile that she’s quick to hide behind a quick sip of her stolen (or possibly NOT SO STOLEN) booze and a (gentle) elbow to K’vir’s ribs his trouble. Poor man. WHY HE WANTS TO STAY IN THIS RELATIONSHIP IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION, FOLKS. Still, she smiles around the rim of her drink, grey eyes flicking K’vir’s direction for a brief moment before she exhales, “I missed you, stupid bronzerider.” And back into him she leans, this time nursing her drink against her chest and between her hands so that she can just study his face, delineating every line and perfect imperfection that makes K’vir… well… K’vir. “I’m spending it with you. It’s bound to be disappointing,” she informs him, though it’s delivered with good humor, a wiggle of her shoulders, and the accompanying wiggling of her feet. “Unless you dance with me,” she whispers around her drink again, all conspirator tones and secret smiles. “If you can keep up, of course. You look like you’d sooner fall over.” But the last is said with genuine concern, as Risali reaches out to gently run fingers over K’vir’s brow and then drops her hand back to her drink again. “Are you okay? And half surprise?"

“What other girlfriends?” K’vir scoffs around her pushing him. He’s going to aim to really make her blush! It’s just too much fun not to tease her. And he’s learned over time just how far he can push Risali before he should either stop or… start running. FAR. He grins, “You know you’re the only woman I want, Risali! Want me to start praising you and listing the heartfelt reasons why?” Oh, he’s going to die, isn’t he? By the time this day ends? He laughs when she elbows him and continues to chuckle right into another sip of his beer. He’s staying because he really DOES love her. Even if he’s still too much of a dolt to JUST SAY IT. Instead he’ll settle for just beaming like a fool when she leans against him and claims to have missed him. “Missed you too.” Not that he’s been gone but his duties here in Xanadu keep him busy enough. So does Zekath. Her delivered comeback is met with feigned hurt. “Oooh. Good one! Another point.” They had a game going, right? If not, there’s ONE NOW! K’vir chuckles, tilting her head down to look at her as she wiggles (think non-sexy thoughts, man!) and quirks a brow at her challenge. Now his grin is positively mischievous, as he leans in to murmur in a near whisper by her ear. It’ll probably tickle, given he hasn’t shaved in awhile and is looking too close to a much younger copy of near-Th’ero. “I could keep up to you all night,” he tosses back. Complete with not-so subtle innuendo. He leans a little into her touch, his expression and mood sobering under her genuine concern. “I’m fine. Honest! And yeah… but it wouldn’t be a surprise now if I told you, would it? Don’t worry about it.”

Praising her and listing the heartfelt reasons why? “Don’t you dare,” Risali hisses at K'vir, managing to make the words a threat (assuredly a playful one) as she presses one hand over his mouth and narrows grey eyes. She loves him too, you see, but she hasn’t just MANNED UP (or WOMANED UP) and said the words either — surprise! Ahh, what a couple these two make, exchanging affection through insults and the gentle cinnamon roll version of teasing. Speaking of teasing, right after Risali’s finished looking entirely too pleased (and smug) at the knowledge of being missed and scoring another point for their game (SHE’S TOTALLY WINNING), she’s flushing at the bronzerider’s proximity and hushed words, stifling the shiver that runs down her spine in response to the tickling of an unshaven face and the implications he conjures with clarity. Risali’s heart does that funny thing it always does where K’vir’s concerned, jumping from her chest to her throat in a move that makes it almost impossible to breathe — let alone speak — and then she’s pushing at his face again with a whispered, “Yes, yes, okay. Point, bronzerider,” and then slightly louder, when she remembers both how to breathe, and speak, “Point! You get a point! Faranth, Kyzen, you get a sharding point.” Pushpushpush, and she’s too busy pushing him to really appreciate the fact that he’s okay and has a surprise for her. Her arms are covered in gooseflesh, and she rubs at them when she finally stops pushing at that face she loves too much with an accusing look for K’vir, a look that softens considerably despite the blush still lingering about her cheeks when she starts to take his presence in once again. This is where she catches his face between her hands, thumbs ghosting over his stubble before she pulls him in to plant a kiss right on the tip of his nose. “Keep up the teasing and you’re going to be the exact opposite of fine, Kyzenviro.” And then she lets him go, to curl in against him again, to retrieve her drink as she bumps him with a shoulder and then gives him a long-suffering sigh. She’ll forget about surprises — for now. “Fine. But you’re going to have get me really, really drunk or dance with me to make me forget. Those are your options.” And oh, but look at that deviant smile, punctuated by her whisper of, “I can drink a lot of booze. I’m not sure you have the marks, bronzerider,” after several beats of silence.

Oh, see? Risali’s just digging a deeper hole now. The moment she puts her hand over his mouth, she’ll feel his grin beneath… and then his lips as he kisses the inside. Terrible man that he is, K’vir may also nibble, but THAT game ends the moment he’s freed. A new one starts when he catches on to the effect he’s had by his words and close proximity. Smugness knows no bounds, but he’s careful to keep most of it under wrap! “Yes!” he exclaims (mildly), snickering. “One more point for me!” Compared to the fifty plus Risali probably has on him! He won’t move an inch either in her pushing him, rocking a little with the motion as he grins down at her. What? K’vir’s expression softens too, when she catches his face between her hands and, in another lesson learned, keeps quiet while she explores. The kiss brings about another smile and he doesn’t hide the fondness lingering there. “Mhm? I don’t know, Risali. That sounds an awful lot like the threat you always use…” Yep. He’s going to die~ Leaning back against her, he’ll slip his arm around her once more but in a more openly intimate fashion. K’vir’s not like his father and doesn’t shy away from (some) affection in public. He laughs again, tipping his drink to her. “Fair enough. Dancing it is, then! Though the tavern is not the… place for dancing, is it? Do you have something in mind?”

K’vir is going to be the death of her. Or Risali is going to be the death of him. Either way, one of them will be dead at this rate — and don’t think for a moment that just because Risali (blushingly) chooses to ignore K’vir’s mouth (and teeth!) on her hand that she hasn't made a mental tally for revenge. “Point,” Risali hisses at him again, when he teases her about her threats and then tips her drink to gentle toast his DEVIOUSNESS — and willingness to dance. She takes another sip of her drink around a smug little smile, and then shoots K’vir a rather incredulous look when he says that the tavern is no place for a dance. “No place for a dance?” Utter disbelief. “K’vir, sometimes I think you have no faith in me.” And then she’s setting her drink down, wiggling out of his arms to stand on her chair, and then taking a step up onto the table. “Oi!” she shouts, to get the attention of the patrons who all, to some degree, pause their conversations or self-pity to shoot the woman an incredulous look for her interruption. “I want to dance, and I need music,” she explains, willing to make herself look like a complete fool if this doesn’t go as planned. “So help me out.” And there Risali goes, clapping her hands together, one, two, three, four in a beat that some unwillingly oblige. And then she starts to sing a jaunty little drinking song, one that’s upbeat, bawdy, and a LOCAL FAVORITE (FIGHT ME!), one that seems to draw others into the song with stomping feet and clapping hands, until they too are enjoying themselves; men and women shouting the lyrics until even Risali’s being drowned out by the noise. And then she’s turning to look at K’vir with hands on her hips, one brow raised, and an expectant smile on her lips. “You owe me a dance, bronzerider!” she shouts to be heard over the din — and to be sure, this will be more of a heel-to-toe quick paced dance than an intimate one. She holds out her hand for his and, if he takes it well… she will hop from table, to chair, to floor, and then pull him out for a dance amid much whooping, and singing, and wind-drowning-out noise with just the right amount of laughter from Risali as she enjoys K’vir’s company. If he doesn’t take the bait? Well, let’s just say she’ll stare at him until he does.

K’vir knows the very moment when he’s said the wrong (RIGHT!) thing to get under RIsali’s skin. Maybe it was all part of The Plan, in the end. Who knows? He’ll watch as she steps up onto the table and pulls everyone into joining in on that bawdy, drinking song. Which, FOR SHAME, K’vir knows! Or knows enough to join in, when he isn’t too busy grinning and laughing. He’ll meet her gaze when she turns to look at him, shouting over the din and he grins all the more to show that he’s heard her. He’d be a damned, stupid fool, not to take her hand! So he does, in a firm grip, and allows Risali to haul him out for that dance, to which he does justice too despite the lack of complexity to it. When the dance finally winds down and folk are still distracted by the charged atmosphere and lively conversation, K’vir draws Risali aside for a moment. Conveniently, he’s all but come close to backing her into the wall but unintentionally he almost pins her there, as he leans in close. He’s just wanting to speak privately to her! Honest~ “You really know how to rally the people, don’t you?” he teases, skin flushed from their dance and eyes bright with mischief and… something else. He lowers his head down a little further, treading farther into crossing personal boundary lines, silent all the while. It’s almost the perfect setup for a kiss. Except that hope goes skittering off as abrupt as a record skipping off track. “… have you gone to see Meirath’s eggs yet?” Wait, what?

Let’s face it: K’vir is probably well studied in the subject of Risali with respect to all but one topic (and even that, he’s probably got a fairly decent handle on). So nobody, not even Risali, is surprised at the bronzerider's ability to push all the right buttons at all the right times. It’s probably part of what keeps Risali beside him — well, that and the dancing, of course. K’vir’s a fantastic dancer, if you ask the harper, and Risali doesn’t mind his singing voice either, which is probably why she’s looking delightedly captivated for the duration of their impromptu dance. By the time it’s done, she’s laughing with her head back, holding to K’vir like he’s an anchor and she’s had one too many drinks (she hasn’t), all while catching her breath and allowing the bronzerider to lead her away, away, away from the prying eyes of the crowd and against a wall. Against a wall. “I couldn’t have done it without your help,” she breathes. And just like that, reality is back with abrupt clarity, the flush to Risali’s cheeks holding an entirely new meaning as grey eyes take in the mischief and the something she can’t quite place being focused back on her. Her heart does that funny thing K’vir always makes it do, and while she leans back into the wall and away from the man (with invitingly parted lips and her attention focused on his mouth), her fingers curl into the fabric of his shirt near his shoulders, pulling him in with an expression that’s both tentative and electric. Closer, closer, closer — “Uh.” Risali blinks, attention jumping from K’vir’s mouth (damn!) to his eyes, confusion creasing her brow as her brain tries to free itself of the K’vir-induced haze and reformulate the question he’s just asked her so it makes sense. “Eggs,” she repeats, licking her lips as she slowly wills her hands to let go of K’vir’s tunic, smoothing out the fabric in an attempt to pretend she TOTALLY WASN’T JUST WAITING FOR HIM TO KISS HER. “I. Yes? No. I mean no. No I haven’t been to see the eggs. Why do you ask? Were you going to take me to see them?” IN THE FOREST, RISALI? Don’t mind her; she’s trying to reorganize her thoughts in directions far, far away from kissmekissmek’virk’virk’vir.

Oh, K’vir will pay for this later and maybe some part of him is already slapping him HARD upside the head. IDIOT! Don’t blame him, though. Half (okay, most) of this is Zekath’s fault. Too late, that little moment has past, but that isn’t to say things won’t… gradually swing back to that point again. If he somehow doesn’t manage to royally fuck things up along the way. He hasn’t eased up on being close to Risali, which either makes it all the easier or a hell of a lot more awkward. There’s the potential for both, really! He chuckles low, blue eyes fixing on hers as his grin settles more to an openly fond smile. His gaze, however, shows the truth: he’s conflicted over something. Which might send ALL THE WRONG SIGNALS. Until he explains. “No, I wasn’t. Autumn happens to be a favourite season of mine. It reminds me of home and the time I used to spend in the forests there.” he murmurs. “Thought it be nice if we could have our own little… I dunno. Thing.” So eloquent! He scoffs, nervously. “It’s silly, I know but — I had reasons. And why I asked you about the eggs. You, uh… ever thought of Standing? Zekath’s in favour.” Oh is he ever! The bronze has probably been HOUNDING K’vir the moment those eggs clutched. Non stop.

MAYBE. Maybe they WILL, maybe they WON’T — who knows? The only thing certain is that the moment is decidedly gone, but K’vir is not. For once, Risali seems to realize just how intimidating the bronzerider can be — even if he’s not trying. Or maybe it’s just her. Or maybe it’s just the fact that despite his talking about eggs instead of just SHUTTING UP AND KISSING HER, her body feels so very alive when she’s so very close to him. These are the things Risali is thinking about, Potato, her attention forced back to the here and now when K’vir LOOKS CONFLICTED — which of course means Risali does what any sane girl would do: assumes the worst. She’s sobering up quickly, straightening from the wall as if trying to brace herself for emotional impact, pressing her body almost uncomfortably tight against his — and then K’vir zigs when she was expecting him to zag, leaving her dizzy, and giddy, and more captivated by him now than any kiss surely would have made her then. She clutches at his tunic when her head dips into his chest, letting out a shaky exhale before giving him a gentle two-fisted thwack below the sternum. “Faranth, Kyzenviro. You can’t do that to me.” But if the expression in her eyes is anything to base reactions on, then she’s far from angry when she turns them back up and onto the bronzerider’s face; in fact, she’s giddy, ecstatic, brimming with an emotion that’s profoundly endless and left unspoken. Their own thing. Like a family. Like they are a family. And then K'vir does it again, and Risali is letting him go once more as she blinks up at him with brows furrowed in confusion while her brain tries to catch up. “Standing. Zekath?” A pause, and then an incredulous, almost-shriek of, “Me?!” Risali looks simultaneously taken aback and delighted, one hand coming over her mouth as tears inexplicably clamor for release at the corner of her eyes while the other pats at his arm in excitement, Risali whispering the word again as if unsure she heard him the first time, “Me?” There are clearly a thousand things going through the harper's mind, her expression changing from one extreme to the next until there’s resolve and, dismissing the surprise-happy tears from her grey eyes with a swipe of her hand, Risali straightens her spine. “Ask me again in one — no, two… three — ask me again in three hours.” And then she’s doing what K’vir should have done a long time ago: she’s curling her fingers back in the creases she previously made in his tunic with her hands and pulling him in for a kiss. It’s a far cry from public-appropriate, but short-lived, her teeth finding his bottom lip to pull once she finally draws away and whispers a breathy, “Before I say yes, there’s something I need to do, and I need you to come home with me so that I can be brave and do it. Okay? Please?” Excuse the shaking. Risali’s nervous. SHE HAS A DAD TO TELL, AFTER ALL.

K’vir grunts in response to getting smacked like that from Risali, but it doesn’t stop him from grinning at her or entirely ruin the moment. He’s really getting used to these outbursts of hers! There’s only the smallest wince when she shrieks in response to his news, but that fades swift enough to the rest of her reaction. Tears were half expected but no less alarming, but he nods his head in reassurance all the same. “Yeah, you. Definitely you! He’s been insistent. And don’t bring up whether or not he was biased… That tends to rub him the wrong way.” Zekath? Has a temper? WHO KNEW. “Risali,” he begins to laugh. “There’s no ruh—“ K’vir never finishes his sentence, as she’s hauling him down into a kiss and he’s smart enough not to resist it. Not that he ever would want to! And he doesn’t in this case, returning it with as much non-appropriate passion despite it being short lived. Given his dazed look, Risali could’ve asked for the moons and K’vir would’ve gone to get them for her. “I’ll come with you,” he agrees and, before Risali can completely lose her nerve, he will take her hand in a firm grip and lead her from the Tavern. The few patrons there probably get the wrong idea, but K’vir’s mind is far, far from the gossip that’ll arise. He’s learned to ignore it long before now.

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