Contraband Bronzerider

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrleaders' Office
Office and retreat, this is the domain of Xanadu's Weyrleaders. The door is in the southern wall, quite close to the western end while the northern wall is dominated by big, expansive windows, framed by sumptuous deep blue drapes edged with a brilliant gold braid and tied back with a thick rope of braided gold and blue cord. In between, the western wall is covered floor to ceiling with shelves that house all sorts of records, manuals and supplies that are used on a day-to-day basis.
The southern wall has the Weyrleader's desk — plain fellis wood, well polished and masculine. From behind his desk, the Weyrleader can look straight through the windows and out onto the main airspace of Xanadu. The eastern wall is where the Weyrwoman's desk resides: a lovely piece of furniture made of warm cherry wood. From her seat, a glance sideways gives her an equally good prospect out the window. There are a few other seats, some comfortably arranged around a low round table for small, informal meetings while there also some that can be drawn up to one of the desks.
On the west side of the door, the space is occupied by a low oblong table where refreshments can be set without someone needing to intrude. There is also an 'incoming' tray where incoming correspondence or similar items can be left.

Where Risali might linger in the post-bliss of a flight, she hasn't this time. Not today; not when everything is changing. She moved silent as a wraith, intent to disturb nobody, moving through Xanadu Weyr until she found herself here, in the leadership office, looking like the Weyrwoman's desk — her desk now - is daring to sprout arms and legs and threaten a coup. "Faranth," she breathes into the stillness of the room, the importance of this moment, the reality of changing winds and the mounting weight of responsibility. "Faranth." And Risali moves, because moving is what the goldrider does best; she's moving sedate around the furniture, dragging the tips of fingers along the tops of fabric and wood, seeing them for the first time, perceiving them in a different light with a completely different regard. Maybe there should be a rush of thrill, a giddy excitement, or the stoic formality of a person coming into newfound power, but Risali is none of those things; she's a silent witness to her own ascension, pulling herself slowly up onto the Weyrleader's desk where she sits, pulling bare feet up to rest on wood, wrapping her arms around her shins, tucking her chin in against her knees as grey eyes take in the flight space outside of the window with a furrow in her brow - and yes, she is keeping knots wrapped up in her hands, ones that'd been passed over or left for the taking.

There might be familiarity in Leirith's capture of Garouth, but there's more to this than dragons dark and bright. There's knots, and offices, and a mother-of-dragons who is invoked as oath instead of just sworn-at. Together - all together - they make the tangled knot that is this, that is… whatever it is. D'lei stops, just past the doorway, silent as he stands on the border of Weyr-outside and this place within, the crystallization of… what? His face is impassive, still as thoughts roil beneath it, and then his chin ducks as his lips curl up, an exhale through nostrils as he turns back to the door he just stepped through and sets the lock. Whatever this space may be, however they may occupy it… they will, at least for the moment, be undisturbed. That done, he crosses the room with a long stride, going to that window more directly and looking out across it, the vantage like a glass-mediated form of the cliffs from which Garouth might survey… his Weyr. Has a new meaning now, doesn't it? A new resonance to the words, a depth to them - or maybe a height. "Ha," he says after a moment, with a shake of his head and then a toss back of it, one hand assisting a tangle of hair in not getting in his eyes as he turns from the window to look back to Risali, sitting there on… his… desk. "It's simple like a hurricane."

Risali doesn't look to D'lei when he comes through the door, she keeps her attention fixed ahead on the glass, sees past the faint hint of her own reflection to his, listens to D'lei's words and echoes his humor briefly - a quirk of her lips upwards, a flicker of eyes his way, a soft sound that might be the beginnings of laughter except that it dissipates into something more stricken as her expression falls. "What if I fail?" It's soft, lacking fragility but no less laced with emotion, one of those quiet moments of self-doubt that Risali so rarely allows herself to indulge in - and perhaps doesn't even now, not if her next words are any indication. "I guess it's too late for those thoughts now, isn't it? Come here, Dash. Please?" Already Risali is shifting to uncoil from around herself, dangling her legs over the side of the Weyrleader's — D'lei's — desk, dropping her knot-wielding hand to one side while the other extends in invitation, fingers curling in. "You know, I kind of thought that I would be like my Mother - and I was okay with that. Always the junior, never the senior…" A flicker of her lips again, this time perhaps hinting at something a little self-deprecating. "I guess I followed my father's footsteps a little more closely than I realized. Are you… do you… is this okay, Dash?" And now those grey eyes seek amber, holding as that bottom lip finds its way between her teeth to worry. Risali did ruin his PRESTIGIOUS CAREER of THRILL SEEKING, after all. "Do you want this?"

And D'lei does come over, those long strides taking him to incidentally his desk and purposefully Risali. He steps between those dangled legs as his arms slide around her, drawing her to the edge of the desk as he steps up to meet it, to press close to her with the curl of arms around, the squeeze of them to press the warmth of bodies close. His head curls in, to tuck against the curve where neck meets shoulder, and his breath is hot down along the back of Risali's neck as she speaks - and he listens. When she shifts, seeking his eyes, his arms linger in a moment's resistance before they allow it, before his head draws back enough to let her see his eyes, bright beneath the shadow of their brows, his expression a somber one despite a flicker at the corner of his mouth. "There's no such thing as failing," he says, certainty in his tone despite the fact that it's ridiculous on the surface of it. "Not at something this big. We'll make plans. We'll try. Things will happen, and sometimes they'll be what we want… and sometimes they won't." His voice softens, his gaze steady. "People will die. Xanadu people, our people, in ways that… we'll think we should have stopped." It's not all thrill-seeking in S&R, and D'lei has already collected a starter pack of regrets. "We can't succeed, either. But…" he leans in, his forehead to Risali's as if to share thoughts with her directly instead of only through spoken words and arms wrapped close around. "Will it be better, because of us?"

Risali shifts to accommodate D'lei, spreading knees as she's pulled forward, tucking her arms beneath his and around his middle; she shivers in response to the whisper of breath on her skin, talks while D'lei listens, aware of the fact that her breath hitches and catches on words because it's been turns since D'lei shook her entire life up and Risali still hasn't developed an immunity to him- not yet, probably not ever. Fingers trail through his hair, curl against his scalp, drag down along his jaw with the gentle press of fingertips when he pulls back just enough to lock gazes with her, as she hikes one of her legs up higher, hooking it around D'lei's hips and listens while he speaks. "I can't run away this time," she answers, eyes drawing in to focus on D'lei's lips seconds before her fingers touch gentle at the corners, eyes closing as she presses her forehead back against his and relaxes into him for one, two, three heartbeats. "And you're right. I know you're right. I just… See? You're already shaping up to be a pretty fantastic Weyrleader." AND HERE COMES THAT KNOT, Risali maintaining her proximity but for the relinquishing of a few scant inches between them, fingers moving to secure D'lei's NEW, SHINY KNOT IN PLACE. "There's probably something official that's supposed to happen, but for now: congratulations, Dash." Another shift forward finds Risali's fingers curling in the material of D'lei's tunic tunic as she pulls and tilts her head back - just enough to press her lips to his jaw, to his neck, to hover a breath away from his lips as she exhales and then draws away again, dropping one hand behind her while the other gently flicks the new knot. "I hope we make it better. I know it's wishful thinking, but I hope we can keep everybody alive." A beat. "And well. And I hope Xanadu thrives. I want to leave it better than we got it." Whatever that means. At least that's what her expression says.

Those legs around him might suggest that Risali is quite capable of running, and yet. D'lei smiles as Risali says she can't run - not from this - and there's a faint shift of his head, a small nod that might be missed by anyone not right up against him - but Risali is there, continues to be there, stays there for as long as she ever remains still before she moves again. "Heh," D'lei says, his arms shifting to let her own move but otherwise remaining still to let her place that knot on him. The weight of responsibility! Or at least… of some string and ribbon, signifying a title that comes with responsibility for those who actually shoulder the burden of it. "We say what's offical now," he says, with a sort of amusement in his tone, and his head turns to nuzzle in against her hair as she kisses along toward - but not quite to - his lips. A smile lingers, and one arm shifts up, trailing along her arm before it brushes her cheek, tracing along the jaw to tuck beneath the chin. "We'll make it more like us. Which, well… some people are going to hate that." His grin is quick, sharp. "Me, though… I think it'll be for the better." D'lei leans in, his fingers sliding away even as his lips brush to hers, completing the kiss that she didn't quite with a brief, warm press before he speaks again, lips curved upward and eyes dancing-bright. "Does Leirith still want to ride sweeps?" Because hey, GUESS WHO MAKES THE RULES NOW?

Or they might suggest that she's QUITE CAPABLE OF TRAPPING D'LEI IN THIS HOT MESS WITH HER. FOREVER. Landed him with TWO MORE BABIES and ONE EXTRA WERYMATE, now she's landing him with an entire weyr to look after - no holds bar. IT'S ALL OR NOTHING WITH THIS ONE. Regardless, the gentle correction has Risali giving in to soft laughter, a hint of her usual deviant wickedness in the curl of her lips and the set of her eyes as she leans back and breathes out, "You're right, we do." And then, more somber: "Faranth, I don't think I'm ever going to get used to that. We have a lot of power over Xanadu Weyr, Dash — and I know we can't make everybody happy, but I want to try." But it doesn't matter, because there are more words, and a kiss that renders even those temporarily unimportant as she presses back into D'lei's warmth, emits a soft sound, curls fingers even tighter into his shirt as if she might capture D'lei here in this moment forever. She can't, so she drops her chin and leans forward, bonking her head in against Dash's shoulder while he speaks. There's another laugh, a gentle punch to his sternum and then - "I can actually do that now, can't I? Well…" A beat as she leans back to find D'lei's eyes with her own again. "Probably not while she's gravid, or while there are eggs on the sands, but…" Delight. It manifests in another bite of that bottom lip and a smile, grey eyes dropping to D'lei's knot so that she might fuss over it in lieu of clinging to his clothing, LIKE IT NEEDS FIXING. "I'm pretty sure wings and their everything falls to you, Mister Weyrleader. So with your permission, someday we will be there." And Risali's joy mutes again, still there but less. "Do you think Kyzen will be okay?"

If D'lei sticks around, he might end up the Emperor Of All Pern with his own harem! But that's just the kind of risk he's willing to take, on account of being so noble. Or… something. There's a more somber shift to his own expression as he nods about power and responsibility, and maybe a bit of memory that he casts aside because there are kisses to be had and also it's not important because they're looking to the future now. He tucks his head in to hers, then draws it back to meet her gaze with another nod, an expectant grin that grows wider. "Well then, Wey- Senior Weyrwoman," oh yes, he is asking for it and he knows it… but at least from him the title is teasing and play, unlike how it's going to be from all those others who're going to want to use it no matter how hard they try to change minds, "I think that can be arranged. Just because we can't be out there every day… doesn't mean we can't be out there." And he's talking about himself and Garouth as well, the everyday adventure replaced with… a sometimes thing. One wing of several, one element of Weyrleading among… how many, exactly? A good question, and one that - for now - can be set aside for another one. D'lei exhales at Risali's question, his gaze shifting up toward the ceiling as a blank space on which to cast his thoughts and picture the third (adult) face in the lower-cased version of their weyr. "…he might be upset," D'lei acknowledges. "Left out again…" It trails off on a exhale, and an inward tug of one corner of his mouth.

D'lei is asking for it - and he gets it. Risali's fingers stray back up to his cheek, where she tugs with a hush of breathy laughter. "I'm never going to get used to that, either." A beat, and then, "Maybe I can escape it if I wear my knot as little as possible." You know, that thing that she already does? Yeah. That. But Risali pulls herself in tight against D'lei, hugs him close to her body, soaks up his warmth, and his strength, and his presence for one, two, three… "It's a date then, and if it goes spectacularly south because Leirith can't restrain her Leirith-ness, then we'll watch from the sidelines next time. Either way, I still get to oogle you men in those suits. In fact, that's my new decree as weyrwoman: men in hot suits all the damn time." A fiendish (and not at all serious) promise that doesn't help at all with the uncertainty of K'vir's feelings - feelings that D'lei gives definition to, that make Risali drop her gaze away from D'lei, back towards the window. "I can't tell if it was cruel or kind for them to give us a view that looks so much like freedom." A soft whisper around a muted pull of the lips, perhaps Risali's attempts to catalog and sort out her own feelings on… well… everything, really. "I honestly thought that Risabeth would rise, that Bethari would be our Senior and maybe K'vir…" Risali doesn't finish the thought; she doesn't have to. Instead she pulls D'lei back in for another kiss - this one more heated, a touch more provocative, over too quick despite the way she lingers with a gentle bite and pull of that lower lip. "We should go find him," comes out on another whisper. "I want to make sure he's okay."

D'lei grins as Risali pulls that expression more lopsided with her tug, nuzzles in to her as he squeezes her in against him. "But we can try," he says in answer to her. "You never know how hot that suit might be until you give it an attempt. Or how well a gold dragon might fly rescue, either." Because really, these are equally important concepts… at least for these five minutes, which is to say, neither of them is the first of the many things to be dealt with. Leirith's just begun her parade toward the sands, and suits… well, they take time to be made. D'lei traces his fingers up Risali's back, splaying them to tangle lightly in her hair. His lips quirk, words that he might have answered to her about Bethari, about Risabeth - about K'vir - instead turned to the press of lips, the part of them and the way his mouth shifts against hers as his fingers tangle deeper in those scarce moments before the draw away of a kiss that - by simple dint of having an ending - is already too quick. "Yeah," he agrees, a nod of head even as he doesn't step back from the desk quite yet - or move the arms around Risali's shoulder and waist. "Before the rest catch up." His lips press to hers again, firm and hard as his arms tighten - as he leans in toward her, the weight of his body angling hers back toward the desk even as his arm behind keeps her from falling all the way. His other arm shifts down, underneath the curve of thigh to slide and… support, as he lifts her - stands up with her, turning toward the door before he lowers her with a bend down for a kiss to make knees wobble even as legs touch ground and need to actually stand with no more support than a lean and his hand shifting to twine fingers with hers. His lips are close to hers, and it would be easy for them to shift and press again - and they do shift, but it's to form words instead of passion-sounds. "To Kyzen."

RUDE. DISRESPECTFUL. SABOTAGE. Risali submits in so much as Risali is capable, pressing into physical contact, demanding more with her body, with a soft, persistent sound and — nope. Despite the fact that one arm wraps around D'lei's shoulders, despite the fact that fingers tangle in hair and pull while, back arching, legs hook more soundly around his hips, there are important things that see D'lei setting her back down on unsteady feet. Risali presses up to the tips of her toes despite the fact that knees wobble and threaten to give, catches D'lei's fingers between hers and tangles them, uses them as leverage for her pursuit of - Risali blinks open grey eyes to find amber, flush, lips parted as she draws in breath already gone ragged. "Contraband bronzerider, my second decree is that you're not allowed," comes on a whisper, humor lost to heat, and need, and something illicit. She pursues one last kiss, one more slow burn, one more exchange of lips, and teeth, and the hint of tongue before she wills herself back and forces her spine straight, eyes forward. "But okay. To Kyzen," Risa says, aiming for confident and falling painfully shy of the mark. All of her is shaking, all of her wants to drag D'lei backwards and up and in… but she moves forward instead, to unlock the door and step back over the threshold, to hunt down their missing counterpart and confirm that he's okay.

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