Siesta! Only, Not Quite.

Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

The sun is beginning to dip down from the sky, evening breezes drawing up from Lake Caspian and bringing with it a fierce chill this time of day. Despite the cold and wind, M'tan's down on the sandy-strewn shore, bronze Sirhyth is curled around his legs and seeking eyeridge scritches. No one else seems of the mood to brave the cold, or the near-darkness that'll descend sooner than some may like. If someone is to draw closer to the pair, they'll find M'tan's built a fire against the chill, dug into the earth to try and survive the winds.

Alas, M'tan is not alone - for long. From the distance comes another figure, bundled up against the cold of Xanadu's winter with windblown hair and one obnoxiously boisterous gold dancing her way ahead. Bandages and tape remain over the young queen's eyes, which might be why she is just colliding with Sirhyth shamelessly and then just LAYING HER HEAD (like she totally meant to do that) on him and POSSIBLY his lifemate. « Wahey! » comes that perpetually up-beat voice, wriggling its way in with throbbing bass in imagined decibels that leave the insides of minds shaking - you know, like when your neighbor plays their music really loud. At 4 AM. On a work night. « Seeing-eye minion! Come quickly! There is a MINIATURE PARTY, and there is - what do you call this again - FIRE! You know, Sirhyth, I bet if we lit the barracks on fire, it would become so big that everybody would come. And then we could have a party. » No, she doesn't stop, though Risali's not far behind, steps trepid as if anticipating a reprimand or another fight. "M'tan," she says softly, tiredly, subdued for once.

No one is going to be graceful when a gold dragon descends upon them and neither are prepared for the encounter - much less when it involves one bashing knees, colliding with a set of painful wings, and creating a chaos of movement that sends a trio of firelizards that were lurking near the fire's edge up and blinking Between in a flurry of wings. M'tan recovers faster than Sirhyth, who he focuses on settling and helping arrange himself and those too-bulky wings, before his gaze lifts and firelight dances in his gaze as he turns his attention to Risa. "Come warm yourself by the fire, it seems your gold's prepared to settle on top of Sirhyth. Might as well get warm. Before the minders come out and demand we go back into those…," he huffs a laugh instead of continuing his thoughts on the barracks. "You look upset," he notes, smile twitching up on one side of his face. Sirhyth's mind is subdued against that up-beat voice, tendrils of shadows drawn in close and twisting and turning around him to disguise something. A faint feeling of pain may register to the young queen before he can tuck it behind him among the darkness of his mind. « You are very bouncy » he informs his clutchmate, his voice full of dry-humor, « But I like that. You and me shouldn't set fire to the barracks. Where would we live? Well. Maybe it would be good not to live there. » He considers the queen again, copper-tinted head tilting and catching glimmers of firelight along his hide. « You still cannot see? »

And of course, Risa has the good grace to look mollified by her little queen, despite learning with a quickness that Leirith just goes where she will and does what she wants and apologizing isn't going to get her anywhere. "I'm really sorry," she says anyway, accepting M'tan's generosity with grace as she moves to kneel beside him and maintains a respectable distance despite. Her hair is pushed over her shoulders and out of her face, grey eyes tracking sideways to him as an almost-smile pulls at the corners of her lips. "Upset? No. Tired." There's no reprieve from her little dragon. Even when she's sleeping. "You don't like being in close quarters with other people, do you?" But she doesn't ask why. She just studies him for a moment, as if she might find secrets and reasoning etched on his face, before turning her attention to the fire. Hands go out, palms facing out. "I don't either. Maybe we should run away." A tired whisper. Leirith, meanwhile, does note the pain, no matter how faint or fleeting, examining it with admiration instead of concern. That he's enduring and hiding it (no matter how small the quantity she's glimpsed) makes him, well… « Risa! We've got a bon-a-fide - ooh, that's a fun word, seeing-eye minion - bad ass over here. » She shares the distant pain, causing Risali's eyes back to M'tan in silent question. "Is he okay?" A pause. "Are you?" And still, Leirith's mind pulses, beating at tendrils of shadow and mystery alike as her amusement is shared at his description, at his approval, and even his questions about her eyes. « Of course I can see, Sirhyth! That is what my seeing-eye minion is for! Though sometimes she can't see, and so I can't see, which is - wait a minute. Are you just trying to distract me from setting the barracks on fire? I disagree; sacrificing our home for the greater good is a noble cause. » And the BIGGEST BONFIRE ON THE BLOCK. Who can say no to that kind of a party?

M'tan's got a shrug as an answer to Risa's question, non-commital in that response about the space and accomodations of the barracks. She can study him all she wishes, his smile is firmly in place and nothing flickers in his gaze. "I suppose caring for them gets tiring," he notes, redirecting the conversation. "But it'll get easier. No need to run away," he notes, looking to her with a curious look. "You were a Harper. Weren't you raised in dorms and such? Don't normal people cram their young in and make them learn to deal with each other?" Normal. People. Not him? Probably not. Sirhyth ruffles at Leirith's mind, offering out pops of color to distract the gold from his feelings. « You'll see again. Or you won't. What does it matter? We see more inside anyway. » He opens up a view for her, casting a glimpse of the flickering flames and the tapestry of the sky's light dwindling around them. What pain? He's not in any pain. "He's fine," he tells Risa, "it's growing pains. Normal." He taps his chest and laughs. "Me? How are any of us 'okay'? Our world is flipped over. But we'll survive. That's the easy part." Sirhyth's sigh is dramatic as he shifts, trying to dislodge Leirith from on top of him. « We are not setting our homes on fire. »

OH NO. SHE KNOWS YOUR TYPE, M'TAN. At least, she thinks she does, anyway. It's why she finally drops her gaze with a sigh, attention back on the fire. "Faranth, you're like my father, aren't you? All enigmatic secrets behind ready smiles and thin veneers of civility that are meant to deflect and discourage." A beat, and then a sigh as she lets the topic go. She knows better, and she's never been one to pry. "The caring part isn't what's exhausting. She literally never, ever stops. And don't get me started on how disorienting it is to be her eyes - which, I don't mind, really, but -" Harper, yes! She was that, wasn't she? Grey eyes narrow in the space between her own body and the fire, dropping her hands to her knees as she turns her head to M'tan again and delineates his face with her eyes again, ending with another slow, tired smile. "My parents didn't ship me off. I decided to become a harper because things… were changing." Though she doesn't elaborate. Leirith's drinking in what Sirhyth provides, easily distracted in favor of a view she's denied - thought it doesn't quiet the rush of bass in her mind. « Riiiight. And when you find a way to make the big things that don't move be on the inside too, you let me know. » But she's all upbeat, amusement without bite as she explores and then gives him the draconic version of a sigh. « You are not setting our homes on fire. But I am. PARTY, PARTY, PARTY! Don't worry, you and yours are invited; we're inviting all of the good looking ones. And the not so good looking ones too, but only so mine looks more beautiful. » The worst. She is the worst. Risali's the one giving a non-committal, one shouldered shrug this time, dropping her chin to her knees as grey eyes close. "That's an understatement. You said you were mauled once." A pause, and then, "Weren't you afraid to stand again?"

What type is M'tan? He doesn't seem to notice that he's pegged a certain way, that calm, never-faltering and very crooked smile stays in place. "Maybe she'll outgrow it?" he asks, wanting to keep the conversation on Risa and not himself. "I've seen that in people and their dragons. Situations, time, personalities… it all changes." He shrugs, shifting forward enough to toss the last log on the fire still crackling against the wind. The act of adding that log and the sparks that fly out into the dimming light are transmitted by Sirhyth to Leirith. He's too tired to entertain her enthusiasm, but it's easy (and gallant) to offer her views of the world he watches with no issue. He tangles his shadows and drops the night sky around her brassy tones, trying to dampen some of her hyperness with the sense of impending sleep. Sleep, dear one. The stars are out and the moon beckons you to dream with her. M'tan looks to Risa without blinking, that smile dropping because it'd be silly to hold it in the wake of such seriousness. "No, it wasn't the fault of the dragon. I was fine. Nothing major." He flexes his right hand in memory of how serious that mauling might've been. "Should one be scared? So much of Standing is a risk. It's all scary."

"Maybe," Risa whispers, "though I wouldn't change her. Maybe that's crazy." Maybe Risa is crazy. Leirith, meanwhile, explores the views provided to her, slipping into the night her clutchmate provides without fully letting him quiet the heart-pounded sound; still, it ebbs, becoming somehow more chaotic as she continues to bespeak him with little things: the way the sand feels, the smell of the fire, how extraordinarily comfortable he is and whether or not he'd ever consider being a pillow minion. She's lulled, and M'tan's disappearing smile has grey eyes back on his face and Risa's head coming up off of her knees with another smile of her own. "Ah," she breathes, reaching out her hands with fingers extended towards M'tan's lips, stilling just shy of actually touching him. "There you are. You don't have to pretend, you know. Not everybody is after your secrets." But Leirith's tiredness is the reason Risali is gaining her feet, running a hand over Sirhyth's maw if he allows on her way to encourage Leirith to finally get off of him. "I'm glad everything turned out okay - though, probably not nearly as glad as you. And you're right, I guess. There are a lot of things we do in life that are terrifying." Like impressing dragons and falling in love; thoughts she doesn't express, but that Leirith passes on to Sirhyth as she moves. « Sirhyth, come with us and have a party. A SLUMBER PARTY! » "Thank you for sharing your fire, M'tan," but all of Risali's focus is now on getting Leirith back to the barracks in one piece.

It's those fingers that give M'tan pause and have him rising from his seat, moving to help Sirhyth untangle himself from the young queen's body in the next moment. Suitable that Risa is also rising and Sirhyth allows her fingers to touch where M'tan would not. Once it's clear Risa has the dragons under control, M'tan goes about putting out their fire with sand until he's snuffed out all semblance of flames. Curfew is drawing near, giving the reason to move back to the barracks not an awkward one. He'll have no comments for Risa as to 'who' he is. If he paid attention to it, he'd have to discuss it further. Sirhyth's got a flicker of color against that sentiment of love - yes, his rider knows that. See how it's red? And the vaguest hint of a woman's face is there in the flicker of shadow and other colors. « I would like to party with you but we should sleep » he tells his clutchmate with fondness coloring his tones, she'll be the color blue - the color of the heart - and he tangles it around her in an attempt to subdue with a mental-hug. « Let's return. » He'll stay by the gold's side as all of them trek back to the barracks, leaving M'tan to speak of mundane things - like how tiring and boring cutting meat, shoveling messes, and bathing their dragons are. If Risa wants to get to know the man behind that calm mask, she'll have to dig in and be prepared for a long wait.

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