Keep it Zipped

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.

The beach is still damp after the rain that went through and the sky is still dark and cloudy though a few patches of blue are starting to show through the swirlds of grey and black. Though the wind has died down, there is still a bit of a cool breeze that gusts up from the water from time to time. Perched on a large log of still wet driftwood is Kezi. She's watching the slate gray water, or at least that's where she's facing, since she seems to be a bit lost in thought, a frown on her face as if trying to trouble out some problem

The weather seems to match Ruzel's mood today. The artist turned candidate walks along the soggy beach with his hands in his pockets and a smile on his face, distracted while he ponders something. He seems lost in thought until he practically stumbles right upon where Keziah's sitting, nearly tripping over her log. It shakes him out of his stupor, and he manages a smile for her, trying to shake away whatever is troubling him. "Oh, hi there, Keziah."

Keziah startles a little and then regards Ruzel "You know. There's a log there." she remarks with a bit of a smirk and then she looks thoughfully at Ruzel "You okay? I wouldn't have figured you for missing big logs and all that. Anything wrong?" she inquires as she stretches out her legs and leans forward a bit.

"I figured that out, thanks." Ruzel says with a smile and a self-depricating laugh, taking a seat further down the log to try to avoid any other embarassing clumsiness. "Oh, I've just got a lot on my mind… candidacy's a confusing thing, you know? How about yourself? Spend a lot of time out by yourself on days like this?"

Keziah smiles softly "Anytime. Well, I like spending anytime that I can outside. It's what I enjoy. And how is candidacy confusing?" she asks curiously as she shifts a little to face him more. "I'da thought it was fairy straight forward. Spend time in a dorm situation, with a bunch of people, many of them new. THough this time wasn't so bad really. Have a different set of responsibilities. Not unlike apprenticeship in someways. Mind your manners and pick up what tidbits of information you can."

Ruzel looks out at the water for a moment before his gaze returns to Keziah, smiling with just a hint of embarassment. "Well, I guess from a practical perspective it's pretty straightforward. It's just… well, I met this woman…" He chuckles and shakes his head. "… probably something that happens every candidacy, I suppose. It's just awful timing. I shouldn't mope around feeling sorry for myself, I should make the most of the experience."

Keziah tilts her head curiously "Really? Who?" she asks her eyes lighting up with interest. "It does tend to happen. I mean look at the others. Morl has eyes for Cenria, I do believe Ro likes Tali and such. So why not you?" She looks up at the sky "Think about it, you're in a close situation with someone and well, sometimes things just click." she looks back over at Ruzel "Course, you can always take this opportunity to get to know her some more. You know background stuff."

Ruzel smiles a little at the list of candidate crushes. "Yes, I helped Ro out with his little plot to get Tali's attention… how's that working out for him? Any word on those two lately? I'd ask about Morl, but… poor kid doesn't have a chance, I don't think." His smile turns embarassed again. "Well, it's… I'm not sure you know her. The problem is, if I impress, it'll definitely have to… well, see… she's a rider."

Keziah grins "Well, he's thinkin' of askin' her to dance and such." she notes and then looks thoughtful "Well, I know Thea suggested to Satoris that he should ask Zevida to partner him and all. So maybe, you could ask this rider of yours." she suggests. "And her being a rider, she'll certainly understand about weyrlinghood and all." she notes.

"Well, to make matters worse, she isn't a rider here. I met her over in Ista, when they took us out to see the weyrlings graduate…" Ruzel says, grinning a little at Keziah's suggestion. "Besides, I don't think this dance lesson is meant to foster romance. Aren't we supposed to not be getting in those sorts of situations?"

Keziah grins "We just ain't supposed to be getting into situations that can lead to the removal of clothes and such." she notes and then looks thoughtful. "Well, you could always ask Thea if it's all right to ask her and such." she notes "Afterall, iffen you don't have one." a pause here and a bit of a frown "They'll assign you one."

Ruzel does seem a little terrified by that prospect. He's seen what some of the drudges here look like. "Point taken. Well, if I do bring her, don't go telling anybody what I said, alright?" He asks with a slightly nervous chuckle. "But maybe you're right, I'm just overthinking the whole thing."

Keziah blinks a little "Don't be tellin' people you like her?" she asks and shrugs "Sure, course no ones really all that dense. I'm sure they'll notice that you're smitten and all by her." She ponders "Course, most guys seem to be troublin' over clothes they're needin' to get."

"Yeah, well…" Ruzel looks a little embarassed, glancing off at the water again. "It's just… don't go telling anybody, but I've been sneaking off after curfew to meet her, once or twice. I really don't want punishment chores this close to the hatching."

Keziah gasps dramatically as she covers her mouth "Why Ruzel!" she exclaims and then has a fit of giggles "No worries. Wouldn't want you to be gettin' in trouble or barred from teh sands or the like. That secret is safe with me." she notes and then looks serious "You just be careful and all." she adds and then hmms "So tell me. Whats she like?"

Ruzel laughs a little as well, still just a bit embarassed. He smiles and looks out over the water. "She's an artist, just like me. Gorgeous, creative, funny… I can scarcely imagine someone better suited for me. I just… well, wish the whole situation was a little different, know what I mean?"

Keziah listens and nods "She sounds great." she murmurs and then shrugs "As you say, the timin's lousy, but here's the question. Iffen you Impress, you gonna visit each other's Weyr back and forth, she transfer here, you transfer there, or both transfer elsewhere? Or iffen you don't. Gonna head to Ista or her here?"

"That, I don't know." Ruzel says with a worried frown, sighing. "I don't even know if she's going to want to continue seeing me. I'm crazy about her, but… well, there's another guy in the picture. If I wasn't a candidate I could go over there and sweep her off her feet, but with things the way they are…"

Keziah looks thoughtful "Have you really talked with her about it?" she asks after a moment "It is a long time to wait iffen you do Impress." she hrms somewhat. "Though I expect time could go by quickly and such when you're busy with a dragon. But from my understanding. You really don't have to cut out relationships, you just have to keep it on an even keel" There's a bit of a smirk "I mean, it'd be just terrible to have some young dragon broadcastin' your lovemakin' and all that."

Win her over. Keziah hmmphs a little "What is she? Some prize?" she asks and shakes her head "How old is she?" she asks curiously "And is she playing the two of you off against each other? That wouldn't be right. It's not fair to you guys. Course, iffen you both are fighten over her like she's something to win. That ain't right either."

"Huh?" Ruzel blinks, then quickly shakes his head, looking worried. "Oh, no, no. It's nothing like that, she wouldn't do anything like that… she's seventeen turns. See, she was with this other guy for a long time. Then, he left somewhere without saying a thing, he was gone for over a turn… I'm still a little hazy on the details. Then after she met me, he suddenly showed up again saying he wanted her back. Now I don't know what to do to show her I could make her happier."

Keziah hmms a little "Still a young age." she murmurs more to herself than to Ruzel "Well, how do you know you can make her happier?" she asks after a moment "Are you in her head to know for sure? And how did she react when he showed back up?" she sighs a little "And in the couple of turns or so, iffen you do become a rider, things can change. Drastically. At nineteen I certainly didn't like the same guys that I did at seventeen and even now, my interests have changed from back then."

"I don't know that I would make her happier." Ruzel says with a troubled frown. "That's the tricky thing, really. And I wouldn't want her to choose me if she wouldn't actually be happy… but… well, the other fellow did disappear on her for a turn without a word. How great can he be?" He ponders her advice for a moment. "You probably have a good point. I mean… I like her a lot, but I guess life always goes on, doesn't it?"

Keziah tilts her head "Well, there's any number of reasons someone may leave without a word. Some good, some bad. Some well, it's best to not think of. It's hard to judge without knowing the facts though." she notes and hmms. "I don't mean to discourage ya and all. I mean, I like ya and all, and I don't wanna see ya hurt over somethin' you've little control over. Life does go on, and not often in ways we see is." she's silent for a little "Now, me brother, he knew that Alimeade was the one for him and set about changing her mind about him. They worked out. Mother on the other hand. Well, she had someone she loved dearly and such, and he her, but things didn't quite work out. But some time later she met my father and she told me that she was glad she hadn't married the other. She'd been devasted at first that things hadn't worked out, but with father and all. She found happiness and such that she hadn't thought she would at the time. So, you never know."

Ruzel considers the stories that Keziah tells, glancing between her and the grey water out ahead past the shore. He's silent for a moment, just considering before he replies. "Well, I guess these things do always work out the way they're supposed to… whatever will happen will happen. If it is a result I'm sad about, I shouldn't let it bog me down for more than it has to… thank you, Keziah."

Keziah smiles "You're welcome, Ruzel. As I said. I'd not wanna see you hurt. Just like I don't wanna see Morl hurt, but he's still young and if Cenlia chases after him with a shovel iffen he asks her to partner him for the dance, well. I know he'll get over it. But you artisty types…." she grins brightly.

Ruzel grins a little at the teasing, knowing that it's meant good-naturedly. Or at least assuming that. "I'll be okay. Poor Morl, though… you know she already kicked him in the testicles for kissing her? He's in for a world of hurt, I fear."

Keziah winces a bit at that "I'd heard something, didn't quite get the whole story though." she murmurs and shakes her head "Poor boy. That had to hurt." she shakes her head "If I didn't figure he'd be stubborn and all. I'd ask him to partner, just to keep him outta mischief." she notes wryly.

"I can only imagine." Ruzel says with a little bit of a laugh. "Can't say he didn't have it coming, though. Forcing a kiss on an unsuspecting young lady just isn't gentlemanly… I suppose some lessons are learned less painfully than others."

Keziah chuckles "It could been worse, least he didn't have a knife to ribs and all. Or worse." she notes "But tis true, you shouldn't force. Tis a shame that so many do, or believe that it's what they should do. But if he comes out whole, he may come out all the wiser." she watches Ruzel for a moment. "Have ya ever thought about sending her little gifts?"

Ruzel snorts with a bit of laughter. "Now, Cenlia may be a tough girl, and she's certainly able to take care of herself, but I don't see her as the type to stab anybody. Luckily for Morl." He considers that suggestion. "Maybe… but you know, I usually just get people artwork. What to do for a girl who is an artist in her own right?"

Keziah hmms a little "Paints? Any ingrediants that are, whats the word. Ones that you can only find around here?" she asks "Or perhaps jsut some rarish colors?" she hmms a little "Course, they do say you can tell what a person thinks about you by how the paint you and such. Least that's what I've been told. What details they put in, what they leave out and such. Mayhaps you'll do a picture of her."

"Actually, I already did a drawing of her that I gave her… but she said she was going to give it to her father as a gift. That other idea is a good one, though." Ruzel says, considering it. Still, he seems just a little troubled. "But giving her something when she's trying to make up her mind between me and the other guy… well, doesn't it seem a little close to bribery?"

Keziah hmms a little "Well, tis one way to look at it. So, keep it simpler. A collage of dried pressed flowers perhaps. In a way, it's not so much as bribery as letting her know you are thinking about her." she murmurs "Unless she's the type that really doesn't care fer gifts, but many do like to know that someone cares enough to do something special. What sorta things is she partial too?'

"Well, artwork seems to be the obvious thing." Ruzel says, pondering the question. "She also has a lovely piercing in her navel. But she always wears the same thing there, and it's so pretty I wouldn't dare give her something to replace it. Besides, jewelry is sort of cliche, isn't it?"

Keziah shakes her head "No, not jewelry less it's something unusual and all, and better a necklace or hair bob thingy." she notes and hmms "What about her dragon. A drawing of her lifemate perhaps? Or her and her lifemate in a sort of" she flicks her hand a bit "Something of a head shot or the like in the background, as if looking over her from somewhere that's not there." she shakes her head "I ain't makin' sense."

"No, no, these are good ideas." Ruzel says with a look of concentration, commiting the ideas to memory. "You might be right. I'll try to come up with something perfect for her… even if it doesn't work out, at least I'll know I tried. That's what's important, right?"

Keziah gives a nod and smiles "Thats right. Iffen you tried, and nothin comes of it. Well, as you say. You tried. Tis best then just givin up. Because then, you're left with the what ifs and all and they just sneak up on you at odd times or when you're in a funk and all. Not fun."

Ruzel looks encouraged by Keziah's words, rising to his feet with a broad grin. "You know what? You're exactly right! Moping around and doing nothing doesn't make anything better. I need to figure out the perfect thing to do to let her know just how I feel. Thanks, Kez!"

Keziah smiles as she watches Ruzel get up. "Glad to be of help. And I do hope it works out fer ya and all." she notes "She does sound pretty neat and all and I wish ya the best of luck and such, but again ask Thea about invitin' her as yer partner and all fer the dance."

"You know, that's not a half-bad idea either." Ruzel says with a smile. "I mean, other people are asking non-candidates, right?" There is a flash of worry in his eye for a moment. "You don't think she'll get suspicious or anything, right?'

Keziah nods "Yes, as far as I know Satoris is asking Zevida." she notes thoughfully "And well, just tell her the truth. You need a partner and you'ld like her to be it, after all, you wouldnae wanna be stuck with Viv now would you?,. Sides, good for inter-Weyr relations and all." she notes and then hmms "I wonder if Viv's gonna try to get D'son to be her partner." Hmm.

"Well, if the rumors are true… then again, I've heard half a dozen different stories of what's gone on between those two. Best not to speculate, I suppose." Ruzel says, grinning. "What about you? Have you got a guy in mind yet?"

Keziah grins "I still remember how she pressed herself up against him, when they all hauled me outta the swamp. He seemed to be tryin' to ignore her and all." she shrugs a bit "I don't really have anyone in mind. Though I should find someone. I don't wanna end up paired with Fortinos or Ro's brother either for that matter." she shrugs "But I guess if I do. I do."

Ruzel chuckles a little at that. "I don't believe half the stories, but you know what they say. Where there's smoke, and all… but nevermind. Yes, there are quite a few unfortunate men in this group. You know, I'd be happy to take you if Zip won't go with me. If you don't feel insulted being a backup." He blinks, belatedly realizing he let the name slip.

Keziah blinks a moment at the name "Zip? L'ton's girl that just graduated weyrlinghood?" she asks and then she's grinning "Sweet Faranth. Does he know you're sweet on his little girl?" she asks and just giggles "Oh my. He's an interestin' fella." she peers at Ruzel "Backup huh? Well, I suppose not. After all. Beggers can't be choosers and all. "

Ruzel looks a little worried at that mention of L'ton, scratching the back of his head. "Why is it that everyone I mention Zip to tells me to watch out for L'ton? I'm getting more and more concerned about this… but I think Zip said something about mentioning me to him. So I suppose he knows. Should I be careful?" He chuckles a little at the last comment. "I'm sure you'd have no trouble finding a perfectly suitable partner. But I can really easily see Zip saying no, and if you don't have anybody lined up… I really wouldn't want to get stuck with Vivian."

Keziah ponders a little "Well, I get the impression he's protective of his family. Least his children and all, and well, he's not always had good luck and such and is own birth family well. Seems a long story and I only got part of it from him." she murmurs "I dunno about perfectly suitable ones. Most of the goood ones I guess are snagged up." she shrugs "But that's okay."

Ruzel ponders this for a moment. eyeing Keziah curiously. "So you know L'ton personally? Any advice on getting in his good graces if I end up meeting him? Or better yet, any ideas about Zip?" He looks a little amused and curious by her last remarks. "Who do you consider to be the good ones, then?"

Keziah shakes her head "Not really, I met him over in the gardens." she notes and then shrugs a little "So I can't say I really know him very well and all. But, he wasn't quite what I was expecting and such. And contrary to popular belief. Close proximity will not get you pregnant." she chuckles "Course, I may have been safe being a candidate and all, but he seemed like a nice man, if a little protective." As for the good ones, she seems to have left out any mention of that.

Ruzel looks just slightly disappointed, but chuckles at the joke all the same. "I see… well, you've given me a lot to think about, Keziah. I'm going to go think about what sort of thing I can get for her. Thanks a lot for all the help… you're a good friend, you know?"

Keziah smiles "Well, I'm glad I can help even if I can't give you some inside information and all on her." she notes and tilts her head. "You're welcome and thanks. I do try to be and such, even if I ain't always good at it."

"Well, I think you've steered me in the right direction. I'll let you know how it goes… and good luck finding one of those good ones for the dance, eh?" With a grin and a wave, he heads off down the beach.

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