How Guys Handle Things
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Xanadu Weyr - Firelizard Theater
There are many different things to look at here. In the northern part of this field lies a massive fort made out of wood. About 10 feet to the right of the fort, there are wooden sit-toys carved in the likeness of dragons and even painted as such. In the middle of the field are two sets of swings suspended from a wooden beam, held up by two wooden beams on either side. To the left of the swings is a 5 by 6 rectangular box filled not quite to the top with sand from Xanadu Weyr's Beach. To the right of the swings are monkey bars, completely crafted out of wood. In front of you are two seesaws, both made out of wood. Finally, to your near left are two benches underneath a large Lemosian Ironwood tree. You find yourself standing in the Courtyard of The Firelizard.


Why a (former) metal crafter would want to surround himself by wooden structures, the world may never know. But Ka'el has done just that this spring afternoon. Days following the flight lesson incident have been purposefully quiet for Ka'el. He's talked to few, takes meals in his weyr, and generally avoided any conversations other than those that are required for classes and formation practice. No more outbursts. No more angry words. In fact, the one he's spoken most to has been Jnelle, whose weyr Ka'el may have been spotted exiting the morning after their fiasco of a mating flights lesson. For now though, he's alone, sitting upon a bench beneath the ironwood tree watching a handful of children play. In his hands he has two metal wires which he bends and twists habitually, eyes on the seesaw.

Mur'dah is here to…move…rocks. Or…drop something off. Or something. Actually he just heard Ka'el was here, so with two cold bottles of ale, the brownrider steps onto the playground. No 'Tobacco and Alcohol Free Zone' signs to worry about. Yay, Pern. "Hey," he says, offering one open bottle to the bronzeling. That's all he says for the moment. A brief greeting and offering of booze. Peace offering? Or 'here, hit me with this instead of your delicate hand'.

Up and down. Up and down. The kids lose interest, dismount, and run off to do something else. 'Where are their parents?' Ka'el idly wonders. Well. The crime rate and kidnappings of Xanadu certainly aren't skyrocketing. Ever since that … guy, whatever his name was, disappeared off the face of the earth, Xanadu has been a safe place. Idle thoughts are interrupted by the appearance of Mur'dah, and he inwardly exhales a breath. Shard it. It's said in his mind instead of aloud. There are kids around .. perhaps why he chose to linger here. A big, physical filter for his mouth. He eyes those offered bottles, then looks to him with a difficult to read expression before taking one. "Poisoned?"

Mur'dah rolls his eyes, reaching out to try and switch them. "Of course not, idiot," he mutters, sitting down on the other end of the bench. "So…how's it going?"

Ka'el pulls back the bottle that he's been given, apparently willing to take his chances with the poisoned ale. The mouth is brought to his lips and he takes a swig from it. Mm. Cold. Whether or not he keels over, that's good ale. With a swallow, he looks over to Mur'dah, eyes lingering a long time before he answers. "What do you want, Mur'dah? Don't think you came to chit chat. Or fight." They couldn't brawl in front of children. What sort of example would that set for the new generation of Xanadu folk?

They'd teach them to duck. Mur'dah eyes Ka'el for a moment and then sighs, leaning back on the bench and taking a swig of the ale. "I'm worried about you, you thick headed wherry. That night was horrible, so I'm coming to see…" if we're still friends "what's going on. And I brought you ale, so shut up." It's kind of teasing.

A slight snort is heard from Ka'el at the 'thick headed wherry' bit, but he doesn't interrupt. He takes another swallow of his drink, sucking his lips a bit after. "Da always did say a man who tries to fix a wrong with a drink and conversation deserves at least a listenin' to." Said more to himself than to Mur'dah. He exhales then sits back against the bench, lifting the arm furthest from him to lay it upon the top edge of it. "I don't know what's wrong with me," he offers in belated answer to his question. "Screwed up in the head, I guess. No way they'll want me joining any wing." A pause, then, "Did you pass the quiz?"

Mur'dah smirks a bit. "My da would just say take the drink and walk off," he mutters, and there's some distain in his voice, which quickly has him gulping his ale and looking away, ashamed at his unkind thought. A moment later, he looks back. "Screwed up how? I think a wing will take you. If they'll take /me/, they'd take you. Maybe we can start our own wing for fuck ups…" Then a shrug. "Yeah, I passed. Only because I went and asked a few riders some questions in the tavern. You?" He hesitates. "Did Jnelle, uh. Teach you anything?"

Ka'el doesn't make comment on Mur'dah's father, though there is a downward tugging of his mouth at the conversation of family in general. Time to change topics, and he's glad that Mur'dah beat him to it. "Ways that Ka'el's screwed up. Mating flights wasn't enough've an example for you? Shards, everyone was looking at me like I was crazy. I felt crazy. I didn't care what anyone said or thought've me. I didn't care what I said to anyone. What I said to…" Sigh. Soriana. He frowns, shaking his head. "Yeah, I don't think 'addled in the head' is a trait Wingleaders look for." A mirthless smirk. "A new wing. What would we call it? Black Hole?" A chuckle, and another drink. He looks .. nearly relieved to hear that he passed, and nods a little. As for himself? "Yeah, I did. And.. Jnelle?" He quirks a brow a little. "Thought you didn't like her. She did teach me a lot. I mean, I've worked with her before. People don't give her enough credit. She's really good." .. o.O

Mur'dah has to laugh at that. "Black Hole Wing. I like it. Sucking the joy and life out of everything we touch. Cheers," he says. They're too young to be jaded. Aren't they? "Felt crazy? Like…not in control? I get like that sometimes." Then he just blinks. And blinks again. And leans forward to hiss so the kids can't hear, "You had sex with Jnelle? Are you /crazy/?!" Pause. "But she's good?"

"Not in control.." Ka'el frowns at the phrase, chasing it with another slow swallow. "Yeah. Exactly that. I don't like … that feeling, and I don't know if it's Kanekith or just…me. Like, is this who I am now? That guy that everybody hates bein' around? Is it going to worse after Kanekith has his first flight? Am I gonig to be.. " Woah, question overload! Ka'el stills his tongue with a grimace. Unloading to Mur'dah definitely wasn't on his agenda for the day, and his eyes shift away from his, staring hard at the jungle gym. To be six and carefree. He never knew how good he had it back then. But then… "..What??" He blinks, looking swiftly back at Mur'dah. "I did what? .. No!" Erp. Too loud. He ducks his head and lowers his voice. "I didn't! I just stayed over. She had food and.. I didn't." .. "But she probably would've been."

Mur'dah nods. "Yeah. I think…I think you'll get control with time? I mean, so much has changed and is still changing. They're…like. Going through puberty right now, and it's messing with all of us. Least I think so. You'll get control back. If you want it. And we don't hate being around you." All the time. "We want to help. I know the feeling though. Kalsuoth can /still/ take my mind away to his forests, no matter what I try to do…" Then he blinks. And blinks again. "What so you just…spent the night? With Jnelle? Like…a sleep over?"

"Yeah…sort of. I guess," says Ka'el lamely. "I mean, she was just… there. She was the only not lookin' at me like I was an idiot. I ran into her after runnin' in to you. She already heard what happened. Shard if I know how she got it so fast. Kanyeth, I guess, got it from our dragons. Anyway, I just stayed with her. I didn't want to go back out and see anyone, so I didn't." He eyes his bottle. "I didn't sleep in her bed or anything. .. Could've. Didn't. She has a nice couch." He looks back over at the brownrider. "As for Kanekith, I hope that's all it is. Still, there are things I'm not going to be able to get over til it happens. Flights. Graduation. S'a lot of shit."

Mur'dah eyes the bronzeling, and exhales slowly. "Faranth," he mutters. "Well…you could have always stayed on my couch." It's a joke. He has no couch. "Flights…ugh. I'm kind of terrified of the first one. I need to find a girl and just…do it." But he grimaces. "Sounds so wrong," he mutters.

"It does," Ka'el agrees, looking over at him. Yeesh, talk about pressure. He himself was barely fifteen when he started really dating! And .. the physical aspect of it? Definitely didn't happen then! "You haven't before, have you?" Well. Duh, that was implied. He watches him a moment longer. "Do you … You don't have to do it before a flight, right? I mean, there's no rule. They say you hardly remember it afterwards anyway, so why rush it just because've something Kalsuoth might not do for months?"

Mur'dah shakes his head. "Not even a kiss," he mutters, sipping his ale. "I'm an /expert/ at holding hands and getting dumped though. So awesome." So sarcastic. "Well, no. I mean…no. I don't. No one does. I think it matters more for the girls than us, because they /know/ they're going to win, and theirs can, you know. Hurt." Grimace. "I just don't want to be a fumbling idiot. Would I even know what to do?" He shakes his head and takes a looong pull of his ale. "You know M'kal and my sister are kind of dating now?"

Ka'el vaguely smirks at that. "Holding hands is an important part," he says sagely. Kinda sagely. Well..he's lightening up a bit at least, and his tone has taken on a more joking sound. "It doesn't always hurt for girls, and it isn't rocket science," or whatever the Pernese equivalence of that may be! "You'd know what to do even if you didn't know what to do. Even in your right mind, you just know. And I figure, if our minds are sort of gone during flights and are just focued on dragon…instinct or…lust or whatever they call it," he scowls at the term, "then you'll definitely know what to do." He begins to drink, but pauses before the bottle reaches his lips. Marel and M'kal? "Yeah? Nah, didn't know. I don't see Marel too much, an' last I saw her she didn't say anything. Not that she would to me anyway." A smirk. "I don't have sisters. Should I be askin' you how you feel?"

Mur'dah glances down. "I guess," he says. "Just…put it in and go to town, is how I heard someone describe it once. I don't know though. Seems so…leaving things up to chance. I'd rather take control of it, even if it's…rushed…ugh." Drink. "I don't know. We'll see." Glancing at the bronzeling, he nods. "Yes." Yes, he should be asking. And Mur'dah continues as if Ka'el /had/ asked. "She's happy with him, so I'm happy. Just surprised, is all. I hope he's good to her 'cuz I'd hate to have to kick his ass. I like him, he's a nice guy. She needs a nice guy."

Put it in and go to town? Ka'el laughs, a sound that hasn't been heard in days! "I…guess.." he says between gasps of breath, his grin wide and humored. "That's.. haha, one way to put it." He shakes his head, regaining control of himself now. "I wouldnt've wanted my first time to've happend just because I felt there was a deadline. But that's just me. The girls? They'll figure it out. They're not all virgins, anyway." Though as for Marel.. He gives him a look. She probably is. And with.. M'kal?" heh. "Makes me glad I've only got brothers," he murmurs at that thought. He smirks at the 'kick his ass' part though. "Like you so thoroughly kicked mine?"

He laughed! Mur'dah will have to remember his brand of ale. "No, I don't /want/ that either, but I don't want my first time to be because of a flight either, so. Guess I'm in the market for a girl." He rolls his eyes. Sounds so stupid. "No, I know they're not all virgins…" Yeah, Marel is. And yeah, she's going to ask M'kal. Mur'dah doesn't say any of this, but his look to Ka'el suggests enough. "Oh, yeah, I totally kicked it, you just weren't aware enough to notice." Chuckle. Then he sobers a bit, swirling his ale still left in the bottle. "Have you talked to Darsce?"

"Oh, here's a thought," says Ka'el, sliding his arm off of the benchtop now. "Find a girl who isn't a virgin. It's a .. big thing for girls to lose it, I guess. You wouldn't want that on your shoulders if you're already feelin' at odds for having to speed things along in the first place." Sex advice from Ka'el? Well .. at least he's giving advice instead of shouting insults or scowling, yes? It's .. progress! "It won't be such a big thing for a girl who's already done it, and you might learn somethin'." There! Problem…er, solved? The mentioning of Darsce sobers him a bit. "No. I will" he assures.

Mur'dah nods, "Oh, shells yes. I wasn't…I wouldn't…a girl's first time should be /special/. With someone she loves." But a boy's first time…it doesn't matter? Just put it in and go to town. "Yeah, I was going to find someone who wasn't a virgin. But…jeez. How do you find a girl like that? Can't very well use /that/ as a pick up line. 'Hi, are you a virgin? Yes? No thanks.' I guess I could go to Boll or Ista and just…pay…for one." He doesn't look too thrilled about that. "Maybe N'shen can help me find one." He eyes the bronzeling for a moment and then nods, sipping his ale and taking him at his word.

Pay? Ka'el wrinkles his nose. "There're plenty've free ones right here." … "Eh, that sounded bad," he admits, shaking his head. "But don't do that. I mean … I guess if you wanted to do it and not worry about havin' to look that person in the face on Xanadu days after, then sure. But I really think, Mur'dah, if you want my honest opinion, doin' it before Kalsuoth rises isn't a big a deal as it's being made out to be. To me, it wouldn't count as a first time anyway. The first time … you remember. Every single little detail, you remember. You remember where you were, how you got there, who you were with, what she was wearing…before she wasn't." A smirk. "And she's somebody you'd never, ever ever do it with until she was ready. Til she told you she trusts you. You'd wait turns if you needed to, til that moment. In my opinion, you could have ten thousand flights and it wouldn't be your first time until that happens." Another smirk, this time accompanied with a shrug. "Sappy, I know."

Mur'dah stares at Ka'el, stunned into silence when he goes into such poetic detail. "Was that…how it was with Sori?" the young teen asks quietly. "I want that…" he adds, wistful as he stares into his bottle and then downs the rest of it.

"Yeah," Ka'el answers, just as quietly, "it was." Would she be upset if she knew he shared such an intimate fact with someone else? .. It's Mur'dah. Probably not. Either way, Ka'el is honest in his answer, and afterwards, the edges of his mouth faintly curve down. "I need to talk to her too." So many things to fix due to one small moment! Like him, he drains the rest of his bottle, reaching out his empty hand for his. Mur'dah brought them, he might as well be the one to discard of the trash. "You'll have it," he assures, "with somebody you really want to have it with. S'worth finding her for." A light smile.

Mur'dah hands over the empty bottle, nodding a bit. "She's worth it," he says with a little smile for the bronzeling. Then he shrugs. "We'll see. I'll…I'll think about what you said though. But thanks. I feel better about it."

"Yeah?" Ka'el snerks. "Maybe I should be a flight counselor. I'll be swimming in marks after just one turn." He grins as he rises to stand, holding both bottles by the neck in one hand. "Yeah so uh…sorry I was a fuck-.." He catches the word as a child runs by. Weee innocence! "..uh. Sorry I was a big jerk to you the other day. And…days before. And .. this whole time," he says, glancing skyward. Wheee, yeah he hasn't been the best friend for a while. "I thought you wanted something with Soriana." A brow quirk. A 'don't make fun of me or I'll hit you with these two glass weapons' brow quirk. And also a 'do you?' brow quirk. "Didn't like it."

Mur'dah nods, "You would be," he says with a crooked grin. He pushes to his feet, looking at Ka'el in surprise when he apologizes. Someone mark the calendar. But he doesn't say anything other than nodding his head. "Thanks." Apology accepted - I love you man! Then he blinks. "What? Me? When?"

Ka'el shrugs. "Weyrlinghood. You guys were so .. buddy buddy when you got your dragons. Since they both had… well, Kalsuoth's walking thing and Luraoth's wing. You worked together more than with anyone else. She liked…likes talking to you about things." Anoth er shrug. (So nonchalant!) "You flirted with her the night've the mushrooms." Unless that was a hallucination, which it very well might've been! Cue shrug number three. "Figured you wanted in on her, since I dated her and Idrissa both."

Mur'dah blinks again. "You've thought I wanted Soriana through the entire /Weyrlinghood/? And you never brought it up? Faranth, dude, no wonder I was able to piss you off so easily. No. No! I'm not interested in Soriana. If she were /single/, I'd try, totally, but…no! I would never do that to you. To any guy. She and I are friends, yeah, and our dragons had their issues, and we kind of /had/ to lean on each other about it. But no. I don't want something with Soriana. Just a friendship. I'd never do that. And as for the mushroom night…I…probably? I don't remember. I flirted with Idrissa too, I think. I don't really remember. And, hey," he points out, "you wanted my mom, so. I think we can say none of that /ever/ happened."

Leave it to Ka'el to not speak up about things that bother him! For.. like ever. Talk about letting things fester. But hey, it's out there now and he doesn't even try to interrupt Mur'dah as he talks. Good thing too, for he feels better and better the longer the young rider does talk! Ok, well if she were single. He can't blame him. And yes it makes sense they consoled one another about their dragons. No one else really had insight on how they could possibly be feeling. And..ok so yeah, he did probably hit on his mom. Or something. "Don't remind me.." he winces. "Alright, alright, point taken. Never happened." A grin, a real one. He lifts his arm up, hand offered. Friends?

Mur'dah hesitates a second. "And I only accepted her offer to stay in her barn 'cuz she has a barn, and I wouldn't be, like…really imposing on anyone. Marel's place is /way/ too nice. Have you seen it? It's beautiful. And I'd totally destroy it." Ka'el didn't mention that, but Mur'dah will throw it out anyway. "Not that I've even stayed there yet, since…barracks." Then he grins, also a real one, and gives Ka'el's hand a firm shake. Friends. For now.

"Yeah, I've seen it," Ka'el says. "The girls got like…spoiled. Sori's is nice too. And Jnelle's." The boys? They get thrown under rocks … literally! "We know who the leaders really favor now." As his offered hand is taken, Ka'el grasps his and pulls him in, clapping his free hand on his back. Thud thud! Yeah. Back to being buds for the time being. Til something happens. Like a flight that has them chasing after the same girl. Or a competition of some sort that has them butting heads. Or .. who knows! When one is a dragon rider, the possibilities of conflict are endless! But for now, things are looking up for brown and bronzeling, and when Ka'el releases him it's with a grin. "Gotta go. Burned bridges to try to rebuild an' all." Darsce. Sori. M'kal. Idrissa… yeesh. What a long list. "Thanks for the ale!" he says in departure as he turns to go, striding off to the forest.

Mur'dah nods, "No shit they did," he says, not caring there are kids around. "Shi shi shi!" one toddler starts chanting happily, waddling around waving chubby arms. Oooh, nanny glare. Mur'dah is oblivious. He returns the Man Hug with a thumping to Ka'el's back too. "Good luck," is all he says, before he watches Ka'el go. A few moments later he's walking into the forest too, but in a slightly different direction. Time to work some more on his weyr.


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