Xanadu Weyr – Meadow
A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.

Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a stone wall and low rolling hills can be seen to the north. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests to the southwest or ore from the mountains to the southeast are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

Just past midday, maybe on her lunch break, Marel can be found outside her cottage at the foot of a half-sized ladder, the door to the weyr left slightly ajar thanks to the potted plant that's been left on the doorstep to keep it so. The brownriding weyrling has a pair of small secateurs in her hand and stands looking up at the walls of her home, her attention on the roses that climb over the structure and around its door. The flowers themselves aren't quite in bloom, some sections of tangled leaves and too-heavy buds threatening to choke and weigh down sections of greenery, and it's these tangles that Marel eyes with a critical air.

The package was left on Marel's doorstop sometime this morning before M'kal went to spend the morning completely away from the weyr shadowing the delivery and transport wing. Once lunchtime hit though he was back at the caverns and devouring a whole plate of food. Now he's headed across the meadow and searching for the particular path that will eventually lead to his weyr. Automatically he shades his eyes with a hand to peer towards a particular cottage. His eyes sweep first to the door to see if the package is gone then it flickers to the ladder and Marel who's near it. A shy smile graces his features even from there despite the fact he's not even been seen yet! It's hardly a moment thought as he alters his steps to head in her direction instead. Above Xeosoth bugles a greeting as he lands and waddles over towards his ledge. The morning sun is gone but he doesn't mind lounging in the shadows along his ledge where he can watch over most of the meadow. "Hey there, Marel." greets M'kal once he's in range to call out.

Xeosoth's bugle is what makes Marel look up and shuffle away from the ladder, having been just about to step onto the first rung and presumably climb further. She lifts a hand to shield her eyes from the glare of the sky, clearing her vision for long enough for her to identify the blue for who he is, which has her whirling to cast her gaze about in search of his rider. And of course it doesn't take her long to spot M'kal. Secateurs are abandoned in the grass, deliberately flung down with enough force to pierce the earth and keep sharp points from curious firelizards, and then suddenly she's running right for the bluerider with every intention of flinging her arms around him in a tight hug.

Surprise registers first then a pleased smile lights up his green eyes as he tracks her running straight for him. As soon as her arms are around him he wraps his own around her in a hug and nearly lifts her off her feet. Laughing he asks. "You liked the painting?"

Marel laughs brightly when her feet almost leave the floor, only her toes still brushing the grass. "I /love/ it," she tells him, taking a moment to regain her balance so that she might look up at him. "Thank you." She angles a quick look back at her cottage and its door ajar, not to check that anything's happened over there, but subconsciously seeking out the location of the painting that lies within its walls. "I need to get proper hooks and everything from storage to put it up on the wall. I didn't want to risk balancing it there on just anything; I don't want it to fall."

And suddenly all the tension simply drains out of M'kal's shoulders as he holds her close for a moment linger before releasing her to step back. Still with a goofy grin plastered over his expression he looks towards the cottage though his gaze is on the half ladder that's out in the front. "Doing some work outside? Need any help?"

While he holds her close, Marel tips her head back to deliver a kiss to his cheek, still smiling a ridiculously bright smile even as there's distance put between them. She twists again to look over her shoulder, then turns around properly to face her cottage and the abandoned ladder. "Oh, I'm… trying to tame the roses," she says somewhat ruefully. "Some of them are a bit overenthusiastic and I don't want the whole plant to strangle itself and prevent new growth." Only, given that rueful look, she might not know exactly where to start. "If we can go Between now, we could go anywhere to get you more furniture, you know."

A kiss! That'll keep the goofy grin plastered in place. "Huh…can't say I know how to help with the taming of the roses but if you gave me direction." M'kal says with a grin. "Ah yes…we can go anywhere but…where would we go for furniture I wonder? I do have some in there now. An old table, couple chairs. A bed with a lumpy mattress."

"I… don't know," Marel has to confess of suitable locations for purchasing furniture. "I've never really shopped for furniture, though I had my couches recovered. I know that people can put in orders and things… appear." Such is the life of one who hasn't really had to worry about her own finances before. "But we can find out!" she hastens to say. "There must be somewhere notorious for good stuff. Like some places are known for fashion; there's /got/ to be somewhere that's known as, you know, a place to get a good table or wardrobe." The taming of the roses is forgotten for moment or more as her focus strays to, "I want to commission some things for my place to match the border of your painting."

M'kal ponders a moment, his eyes going a bit distant as no doubt Xeosoth is putting in his opinion. Shyly he admits. "I had to ask your brother for some of your favorite flowers. He's not too happy with me right now." he wrinkles his nose a bit but then simply shrugs a bit. "I bet we could ask around and find out who exactly can make us some furniture we can order. Oh you recovered your couches? Good. What do they look like now?"

Marel tilts a wide-eyed stare up at M'kal that doesn't need words to plainly say, 'What did Mur'dah do?' Only wait, she's not terribly expressive at the best of times, having an almost eerie control over what feelings she conveys and which she doesn't. "Why he is not—" she begins to ask, yet she changes her mind before she can complete the question. "What did he say?" The couches, like the roses, can wait for a little while.

M'kal offers half a shrug, dismay flickering briefly across his features. "He's just a bit….protective as a brother." he finally says lamely. Which doesn't answer what he said but it should likely satisfy the curiosity of Marel. Shifting his feet a bit he offers a faint smile "Oh and he's worried you're mad at him cause he's staying at Soriana's." he adds.

Should? Maybe. Does? No. "What did he tell you?" Marel asks instead, continuing to peer up at him with worry beginning to creep in at the edges of her usually serene expression, pinching at the edges of her eyes. "He wasn't rude, was he?" As for her twin staying with their goldriding clutchmate and not her, she tries affecting indifference, her shrug overly casual and an utter giveaway. "…Maybe she'll be more useful to him in the long run," she murmurs, seemingly surrendering to the inevitable and determined not be upset.

M'kal shrugs again. "He just doesn't like the idea of me liking you." he admits. "He's protective. I'm sure he'll be reasonable eventually." maybe. He hopes. At the other matter he shakes his head. "Hey…he's a guy. I bet he just didn't think to ask you cause he didn't want to invade your privacy." he says with an air of assurance despite the fact that his friend isn't happy with him at the moment.

Marel takes a moment to process that new information, staring distantly at a point just past M'kal's shoulder, perhaps in communication with or receiving reassurance from the absent Isyriath, or maybe just lost in her own thoughts. "…It probably has something to do with me saying the kitchen girl he liked wasn't good enough for him as well," she confesses in a murmur. Another few seconds of silent consideration yield not more words, but her stepping closer again with intent to deliver a proper kiss this time, young and inexperienced though she may be, but she'll be damned if she doesn't put her whole heart into it. Nobody tells her what is and isn't right for her.

M'kal gives a faint nod of understanding. Now he gets why perhaps Mur'dah wasn't giving his approval right away. "Seems to me if she's already moved on then she wasn't right for him." he feels inclined to point out. Then as she steps closer with obvious intent he decides no more words are needed as he curls a shy arm around her waist and matches her inexperience with his own but he too put his heart into it. Mur'dah who?

When she finally draws away, there's something a little more confident in Marel's gaze as she reaches for his hand, meaning to twine fingers with his and tug him gently after her when she begins to head back towards her cottage and abandoned gardening equipment. "Come on," she encourages with a pleased little smile, "come and help me with the roses." Yes, she really does mean the roses, still a bit too innocent (or willing herself to be) to put together any sort of naughty double-meanings, but if she tries to steal another kiss or two over the course of taming the climbing flowers, who can blame her?

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