Storm Watching

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.

A storm gaily interrupted the evening, drenching the whole Weyr with a good hour of rain that subsided just before most folks got down to the caverns. Most folks not including one ex-stablehand with a brain to get emptied a little. So as the thunderous thunderstorm drifts offshore, Tali is flopped down in the wet sand and not seeming to mind a bit. She's propped up against a boulder and munching contentedly on some sort of roasted avian leg, occasionally absently flicking bits at a trio of watching firelizards. The beach is mostly deserted, since rough, stormy water and wet sand do not usually a good beach trip make, but all the better for mind-clearing!

In the distance, out across the water, a bolt of lightning shoots down out of the sky. A moment later, there is a crackle of thunder that ripples as far as the beach, causing the smallest of rumbles in the sands. Only after the sound dies away can other sounds be heard, including footsteps in the sands. Riyontali is not alone. Rogawani walks, with his hands shoved into his open riding jacket. His face is a bit less purple, and not nearly as swollen as before, allowing his other clear gray-blue eye to open onto the sight of the distant, fading storm. "Nice day at the beach." He comments with wry sarcasm, keeping his voice low as to not attract too much additional attention. For now, he stays a few steps back, respecting the girl's privacy, it seems, his own eyes searching the horizon, thoughtfully.

Riyontali can't help but smile at the lightning, eyes widening appreciatively. However, for the firelizards it's a cue to scamper behind the boulder with many a squeal and squawk. Tali, however, notes them with only a snort, watching Ro approach with a little smile. "Should see the storms out over azov at home. Shardin' great at night. Had a little cliff-ledge I'd sit on and watch 'em." Never mind that lightning likes to strike cliffs in a storm. An eyebrow is lifted as he keeps his distance, and she smirks faintly, patting the sand. "C'mon, siddown, silly. Wet sand's not gonna hurt ya too much." The storm is then eyed with a faint smile. "I kinda like these, too, though. They just kind've sweep in and then go away just as quickly. Cliffs were a little slick for climbing though." Le sigh.

There is something as distant as the storm that lingers in Rogawani's eyes, not looking away from the churning clouds for a moment, not until she speaks and his gaze turns, returning her smile with a soft expression on his face. "I'm not worried about the wet. Just didn't want to bother you." He says simply, his voice quieter than normal. Whatever is on his mind, he seems to keep it to himself, settling onto the wet sand with a small squishing sound beneath him. He draws one knee up towards him, the other extending outward so his boot digs a small trench there. "Must have been nice back home." He comments, and watches her, propping his head slightly on one hand. "This, well… it's all I've ever known. Even so, it's pretty amazing what nature can do." His voice trails off, and his eyes follow back to the dark clouds, only to have his expression replaced with a smirk. "Not so good for climbing, but pretty good for cliffdiving."

Riyontali peers up at Ro quietly, noting the expression with a curious tilt of her head and a smile. "Aw, Ro," She giggles. "You won't. Promise. Just trying to clear my head a little. Nothin' better than a storm, but sometimes a friend's good too." There's a little smile as she sets the gnawed bone of the wherry on a little bag next to her, dusting her hands off. "Not too bad, I guess." Murmured with a shrug. "I spent most've my time outside. So yeah." The faintest of wry grins quirks for a moment, before settling back to the happy little smile. "It is, isn't it? It's even a little chilly out, now. Guess it's nice, we won't sweat quite so much if it starts cooling down!" The girl snickers, then glances over at the cliffs with a lifted eyebrow. "Cliffdiving! I…actually hadn't thought of that. Huh."

Rogawani's eyebrow twitches upward, and his head tilts ever so slightly towards her. "Well, guess you get both then. Double-feature." He muses, the smile returning to his face as he watches her for a moment with those cool gray eyes of his. "I pretty much lived outdoors up until recently, it's a bit of a change having to pull myself in every night. Used to be just Rider and I, out on the trails. Not so much fun after the storms though, plodding through mud is never fun." He chuckles, and props his chin on one hand, brows momentarily looking cautious. "You cold?" He asks, a hint of concern leeking into his voice. It doens't last long, however, as her own lifted eyebrow bring sout a wry grin from the boy. "Used to go sometimes with the weyrbrats, there's a lower outcropping just the other side of the ridge. You can follow the path to it if you're careful."

Riyontali gives a lazy smirk and a wink. "Lucky me!" She agrees cheerfully, then the smirk softens into a wide smile for his explanation. "Aw," There's a faint chuckle and an approving nod. "I never got to go far, but shells, that sounds like fun! Do you miss it?" The girl blinks and frowns faintly, before another little smirk flashes. "No, working in mud is disgusting." She shakes her head after a moment with a happy smile, peering out at the water. "Not too cold. Better'n being sweaty, I tell ya!" Then the cliffs are eyed again, with mounting curiosity. "Well…" Her happy smile grows mischievous, eyebrows waggling. "If you're not too scared of it bein' too slippery, we can go see how the water is," A significant glance at the water: She knows just how it is. Cold and almost dangerously choppy! "Just once." Assured with that same mischievous grin. "Too shardin' tired for much swimmin', but that sounds…fun."

"Yep, luckiest girl in the weyr, you are." There isn't even a tone of sarcasm there, just bemused teasing as Rogawani chuckles, his grin widening a bit. "Sometimes I miss it, especially after the fifth or sixth day of strait chores." He runs a hand through his hair, letting out a bit of an exasperated raspberry. "Guess I figure if there's a dragon waiting, I should be there, right? And the chance of being really free… able to go wherever I want. Well that'd beat out a runner ride any day." He seems to consider her for a moment, and then begins to slip out of his jacket, "Not today." He glances towards the water, shaking his head. "You can bet there's a pretty good riptide out there, wouldn't be a good idea." He holds the jacket out, trying to ease it around her shoulders. "Tell you what, though." His eyes sparkle with true interest now. "I'll take you diving when it's a nicer day, and a bit warmer."

Riyontali preens, flipping a lock of hair in an exaggerated fashion before dissolving into a little snickerfit. "Hey, I do think I'm pretty shardin' lucky." The sincerity of the statement is kind of ruined by the impish grin, though. Then she snorts loudly and rolls her eyes. "I don't shardin' blame you." The girl sighs. "I…yeah. That's 'bout right." Agreed infinitely more quietly, as she absently draws her knees up to her chest and hugs them, frowning. "Too late t' back out now…shells, if I killed a dragon..!" For all that she's only been in the Weyr for so long, the idea is still whispered and fearful. "Well…maybe not completely beat a runner. But yeah, bein' able to just hop on and go anywhere you wanted in the world…" Her eyes widen at the possibilities, happy. "Where would you go first?" A quirked smile for the next, and snicker. "Awww, we'd be just fine if we swam right…but you're riight. Ooh. I'll definitely remember that — maybe tomorrow it'll be nice!" Then the jacket is blinked at, and she grins sheepishly, settling it around her shoulders with — a blush? Perhaps it's just the fact that she's been on the beach for a while. Certainly! "Hey, thanks! It is a little chilly out here. Ooh, this is comfy. Where'd you get it?"

Rogawani's mouth opens for a moment, which is usually a sign that he's got something to say, but it closes again just as quickly and all he manages to do is smile for a moment. "Don't worry yourself. I think that's something the riders use to con people into standing. It's not as if the hatchlings won't have a ton of us to choose from, and a whole horde of others in the stands if that doesn't work out." He barks a small laugh, perhaps imagining a dragon ignoring him in favor of someone who'd come just to watch, after all the trouble of being a candidate. His eyes shift back out towards the water, watching the dark waves for a moment. "Used to hear from the fisherman of an island off the coast, I'd probably want to go there first. Then maybe out over the wilds. There's just… so much more out there." He says in a whistful voice. His eyes turn back in time to see the blush there, "It looks nice on you." He comments, the corner of his mouth pulling up wryly. "Had it for turns, nice and worn in. My Da got it for me as a turnday present when I started working as a messenger."

Riyontali lifts an eyebrow, but is distracted in the next moment from the temporary silence by the next words. They're contemplated quietly for a moment, chin resting on knees. "Hmm." She murmurs, frowning. "You're…probably right. But…I dunno. What if they were doin' more than just talking to us? What if they were…deciding who they wanted? You know?" But the girl snickers all the same. "Wouldn't that just figure? They all picked lazy gits up in th' stands who're probably drunk…" A shake of her head and a smile, then she follows his gaze to the retreating storm, smile softening as lightning lights up the clouds and water below, illuminating the torrential rain. But then her eyes snap back to the lad and she grins broadly once more. "They're…quiet. I went out to one once with my da. It was…really great." Murmured happily, smile not dimming. "Too much! I don't think I'd ever go *between*. Just fly. Camping's nice. You miss so much when you just poof from one spot to another…" The girl sighs and frowns a little, before tugging at the arm of the jacket with a smile. Thank Faranth the sun is setting! Her cheeks just look a little sunburned, or maybe freckles have been growing. Sure. "Did he? That's a shardin' nice gift! Bet it's served well, shells." Nosewrinkle. "Sure rains a lot."

A drumroll of fingers play across Rogawani's uninjured cheek, one eyebrow lifting before he speaks. "I think that's exactly what they're doing, Tali." The boy replies, "I heard from one of the harpers that hatchings are faster now than they used to be, and there's less maulings because the dragons have a better idea of just who they're looking for. At least… that's what everyone thinks, anyways." He shrugs his shoulders upwards just once, as if showing that he's not totally sure about that assumption. As she looks back towards the storm, his eyes only briefly follow before looking back at her face. Ever so slowly, he reaches a hand out, trying to brush a strand of hair away from her cheek. "Betweening isn't so much fun, that's for certain." He continues, nodding slightly. "But it's needed from time to time. Sharding scary the first time though." He chuckles darkly, as if remembering that brief flash of fear. "Mmm. It's got me through some tough times." One eyebrow perks a bit. "I could find you one if you want?" He offers.

Riyontali considers this for some time, frowning curiously. "Huh. Do they? Wow." The girl considers this for a moment. "That's…that makes sense. Well. I'm glad to hear that there's less of a chance that I'll get mauled," Lips curl into a wry smirk. "Was a 'fraid I was gonna have to look like a little sissy girl and dive behind one of you guys." She snickers, then glances back out as another bolt strikes, then blinks over at the boy, tilting her head and smiling. After a moment, there's the faint swish of sand being moved over and she leans over with a yawn onto the lad's shoulder, giggling. "I flew for the first time and *betweened* for the first time at the same shardin' time, flying to Ista for their last graduation. It was…scary." There's a frown. "I dunno, more scary than most things. It felt…way too weird. Guess it could be though." Snort, sigh, then she's peering at the jacket thoughtfully, with a smile. "You know folks with 'em? Well…I reckon I might need one. That might be nice. Yeah." Smile!

Rogawani is quiet for a time, just looking out at the lightning that plays across the distant sky. "Nah, I wouldn't let you get mauled." He finally says, sounding both serious and playful at the same time. "Just promise me you'll make my job easier and get out of the way if one comes floundering at you, okay?" He says, his face turning towards her slightly, just in tome to see the girl's head come over onto his shoulder. The look in his eyes turns bright, nearly triumphant at that, and he settles a bit more comfortably. "You get used to it more and more, just like flying on a dragon." His voice is softer now, "I usually close my eyes and hum a tune, it makes it go by faster." He lets that topic trail off, nodding his head only faintly as he leans in to rest his cheek against her hair. "I'm sure I could manage to track one down for you." He muses, his tone light.

Riyontali smiles happily, nodding. "Good. Ha! You can shardin' count on that. I might be a little bit dumb, but I'm not that dumb!" She snickers quietly, seeming cheerful enough to sit in silence for a moment, still watching the storm recede. In the distance, this time back behind them, thunder growls once more. Tali thoroughly ignores it for the moment, though, considering the problem of *between* quietly while sitting perfectly still. "Really?" She doesn't sound doubtful, but maybe slightly hopeful, making a contemplative noise. "I'll try that, next time. Anything to make it less…eerie." Snort. Thunder growls again, seeming closer, and the girl's eyebrows crease faintly. "Sounds like another storm's coming. Shells." Growly-grumble she goes. "I don't wanna go back inside. Want to go to the stables for a while?" Then she's smiling again, giving the boy a brief hug. "Thanks. I'm sure it'd be handy, as much as it rains in the winter! My wool coat's pretty nice, but it sure smells when it gets wet!"

A chuckle rumbles its way up from Rogawani's chest, seeming amused by her response. "You aren't dumb at all." He murmurs truthfully, listening to the thunder that seems to be rumbling closer by. His head lifts, but only the barest bit as he seems to sigh. "Well, I doubt it ever gets to be a comfortable thing… going between. Just got to find a way to get used to it, I 'spose." His face draws into the faintest hint of a frown as the second rumble of thunder follows, and he nods a little, lifting his head. Surprise lights his face though, at the hug, which he returns with one arm, not quite quick enough to make it a full one. "Yeah, probably a better alternative than heading back to the barracks. At least then we've got the excuse that we might have been doing work." He snickers a little, pushing himself up very lightly and then offering his hand out to her. "Come on, let's go before we get zapped and turned into crispy critters."

"You haven't seen me do anythin' too stupid yet," Tali remarks with a smirk and a wink, giggling. "Yep. That's okay — I imagine if we Impress it'll…be better with our own dragon." She still hasn't figured out how, and how the communicate, but that seems like a given! She chuckles, then, grinning at the other candidate happily. "We can go check out the little colt. And maybe pick out a few stalls, they were nice and clean a bit ago, but you never know! Good candidates, we are." With an impish grin, she accepts the hand and stands, yawning, then stooping to grab the sack, stuffing what's left of the wherry into it. "We won't be much shardin' good on mending and dishes if we're crispy, you're right!" The girl laughs, then focuses him with a lifted eyebrow. "Bet'cha I can get there first." A mischievous smirk and she's off — the cheater!

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