Playing Hooky

Xanadu Weyr - Administration Hallway
On the north side of this tunnel, a slightly wider section holds an impressive set of double doors of highly polished fellis that lead to the Council Chambers, a meeting room for all the Weyr's staff. Each is carved with a skillfully rendered depiction of the Xanadu Weyr badge and the big, fluted handles are finely polished brass.
There's a small waiting area just outside the Council Chambers, a pair of armchairs with blue upholstery that are more attractive than comfortable. To either side, single doors of polished fellis wood are carved with stylistic representations of fancy knots which give a clue to who occupies the office beyond. A more easily understood identification would be the delicately painted stone plaques fastened to the wall at about chest height beside each door, the lettering done in the Weyr colors of orange and blue.
Along the southern wall are smaller offices and a rather less impressive meeting room, and on past those the archives lie buried into the stone, away from excess light that could damage hides and tomes.

It’s sometimes amazing to witness someone changing. Usually with years, people tend to grow wiser, more mature and responsible. Everyone would expect such change to happen at some point and especially for a certain young Weyrleader. “Yeah, yeah. I will check with that arrival at the dock as soon as…..I’m done with….something vital in the archives.” A brisk *SLAM* cuts the discussion short with whoever was in the Weyrleader’s office. Standing at the door, E’tan can’t help but snickers some, his empty mug pressed against his chest. Maybe those changes don’t apply to him? Or maybe just not today?

"Something funny, Weyrleader?," comes a familiar, entirely-too-amused voice. Judging by her posture, Esiae had been leaning against the door frame into the Junior and Weyrsecond office, perhaps chatting with Saya or N'varre. Attention caught by the slamming of the door down the hall, the junior has rotated on the spot, back leaning against the door jamb, one foot hooked over the other and arms folded in a lazy, judgmental posture. Slim blonde brows raise at him, lips quirked up in her usual smirk as quick brown eyes take in his empty mug and expression. Those eyes dart to the door, then back to E'tan, clearly curious as to what that was all about, though she doesn't put the implied question to words just yet.

E’tan winces and rather violently, his mug nearly slipping out of his hands. “Oh you….” He first exhales in a mix of scared and relieved sigh, waving a mug-armed hand at her. It doesn’t last long though as he matches the junior’s smirk with his, moving closer. Yes. Putting some more distance between him and his office. “Funny?” Now he finally gains his brain back as he reaches her side. “Not really. I should have known not to let a particular demanding Holder in. But then with that shardin’ freezing weather.” Here comes another sigh. “Was about to escape to refill my mug.” And here he was, not that long ago, brave enough to endure a whole night outside in the cold to keep up with his studies, hands full of star charts.

Esiae is absolutely unashamed for having startled him, judging by the mischievous grin she flashes when he almost drops his cup. Maybe she even intended to spook him. "I dunno. You were the one over there snickering smugly to yourself," she drawls, not bothering to move from her relaxed position as the bronzerider moves closer, putting distance between himself and his office. "Ah. Him again. Come to ask us to help him batten hatches before the storm hits, or does he want more supplies he ain't entitled to?," she asks sarcastically, eyes rolling. "I mean, I ain't excited about it either - I've half a mind to go wait it out on a hot beach somewhere with a cold drink in my hand - but we've all got duties and he's had time to prepare." Her head shakes. "Gotta give him points for persistence, I guess." Her head tilts towards the office behind her. "We've got klah and tea, unless you're looking to escape escape," as in leave the administrative hall entirely.

Sigh, sigh and sigh. Tani’s nothing but a deflating windbag. “Yeah, him again…” Another look behind his shoulder and he continues in a much more lower voice. “More supplies and even a rider posted in his court in case of avalanche…I dunno….” Luckily his mug is empty because he shrugs kinda exaggeratedly. “Okay I know what to do. If Sony’s offer still apply, maybe you can make her whisper to Sab today’s the perfect day to esca….err…to go there?” Yes? No? His look is almost imploring, because yes, deep inside he knows it wouldn’t be the idea of the day to leave the Weyr right before a storm and also that Sab is way too stubborn to leave when he knows something /could/ happen, and even if Sonxaeth is suggesting. But then, he had to take his chance…

Esi doesn't even bother to lower her voice. "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," the goldrider says, eyes flashing in a manner that can almost be described as dangerous. "If we did that, every hold would want one, and then we wouldn't have a S&R wing to speak of. He can dial in if an emergency occurs just like everyone else. Faranth knows I spend enough time sitting in that damn radio alcove," the woman snaps, sounding like a person deserving of her rank for a second there. Her mouth opens as if she might rant more, but E'tan's request makes her blink, and he'd better write this day down, because for a second she's actually speechless. Then: "Weyrleader, are you asking me to play hooky days before a blizzard's about to hit?" She's smug about it, too, one brow raised and lips quirked up at the corners, amusement flashing in golden-brown eyes. Her gaze darts between E'tan and that door again, but she pushes off the wall with a low noise of amusement, head shaking. "Alright, but you owe me one. Sony's on her way to find Sab. I'll go sweet-talk your Holder, you nab some stuff from the kitchens without looking fishy about it," she says with a wink as she moves past him to politely knock on the door to the weyrleader offices. "Meet you in the clearing in ten," she adds in a loud whisper before edging into the office to threaten- er, coerce -the man inside into leaving.

Oh my, what did he just do? Faranth helps us! E’tan just turned the junior into a ranting suicide machine. Now what’ll be worst? Face her fury or the blizzard? Obviously, the bronzerider is overwhelmed with scary thoughts but then, nothing more happens. Is she really speechless? Hard to tell and no time to figure it out as she starts again. Weyrleader? Where? Oh yes, him. Wincing a bit and trying his best to hide it, he braces himself and counter-attacks, somewhat. “Okay that wasn’t a good idea. I know what you’re about to say….I have to nab some food from the kitchens…” he ends up repeating. Wait. What? “I’m doing what? As in….right now?” That wasn’t as bad as he thought it’d be after all. They could talk about depts later but for sure, he’s not letting that chance pass. “I will meet you in 5!” Here, challenge. As not to look fishy, he will. He knows how to use his rank sometimes. Eh.

Esiae doesn't miss that wince, and if anything, it makes her grin even broader. There's a reason she's calling him Weyrleader, after all. "You're right, it isn't, but if there's one thing I'm in favor of, it's bad ideas," the junior says, still way too smug for her own good. "And yes, right now. Or were you just bluffing?," she asks, her brows raising in her own little challenge. She flicks him another wink when he makes it a race, but five minutes is child's play to a Harper. She's makes it to the clearing in just a little over four, Sonyxaeth already strapped and ready for the trip. The snow's coming down, clinging to loose blonde curls and the goggles perched on her head, but the prospect of hot Istan sand is too much to damper Esi's spirits as she reaches up to fasten a heavy-looking bag onto her gold's side. "He'd better not be late," Esi mumbles amusedly, continually glancing over her shoulder at the entrance to the caverns.

Phew that was close! E’tan is not late but almost, rushing out of the caverns, a half eaten ‘roll in his mouth. He really was quick and stealthy he could while stealing…err….borrowing foods in the kitchens. It’s possible that no one ever succeeded in recognizing him, laughing and leaping more than running, his 9 turns old self fully taking over him. “‘M here! ‘M here!” He mumbles loudly, wiggling the other half of his roll at Esiae. By the broad silly grin he keeps displaying, it’s clear that he’s deeply enjoying the moment. In one brief moment a large shadow is cast and protects them from the drifting snow just before a twirl of wind hits the ground. Hsty Saburath has landed, crooning and nearly cuddling with the larger gold. « We go now? Really? » Of course he’s eager but a hint of worry edges the usual calm darkness of his ethereal deep mind tone.

"'Bout time," Esiae drawls with a crooked grin, clearly not quite as excited as E'tan, but still eager to get skybound as more and more flurries settle on her person. Brown eyes glance up when Saburath swoops overhead, Sonyxaeth's head raising with a welcoming bugle. "D'you have an image of Ista's beach, or should I have Sony share one?," she asks before hauling herself up her dragon's side. « The weyr is as prepared as it might be, and the storm is not due for some time yet, » the gold replies, nudging Saburath's shoulder with her nose to reassure him. « Besides, Ariebth will inform us if we should return. » An image of Esiae's sister's green flashes before being washed away on a dark wave in her mind. « She is… gregarious. If there is something to know, she will know it. » Wings ruffle, the gold clearly ready to gun it and go the second the bronze is reassured.

Stubborn. Saburath surely is but he’s also soft when around Sonyxaeth. His big head darting the immediate sky above, he seems like scanning what may arise and finally emits a rumble that seals his decision. « Please, make sure with Ariebth one more time? » He made his decision but can’t really fight back his strong instincts. E’tan on his part doesn’t share that reticence. Hauling himself quickly on his bronze’s back he simply sticks his tongue out at Esiae as a first answer, lifting his thumb up. Then, he speaks. “If Sony doesn’t mind enlightening that mellow bronze’s mind.” Another rumble and he chuckles. “Yeah, you.” Saburath isn’t known to be vindictive but he can be touchy at times. And his rider’s remark surely ruffled him the wrong way. Briskly, he deliberately shakes himself, testing Tani’s straps just before he lumbers closer Sonyxaeth, dipping his head once, his tail tentatively brushing over hers. “Ohh…Hey…Wooo…kay.” coughs the wiggling Tani, one hand grabbing the buckle in front of him tightly. “Shards…We better go I think….”

Though her tail is lashing, Sonyxaeth seems content to wait out that stubbornness, patient lightning flickering in the darkness before: « I shall. » The gold's gaze goes distant before she turns to peer behind her, watching as a dark, delicately-crafted green wings over from the beachside cliffs. « Your concern is precious, but please, go!, » the debutante croons towards the bronze and gold as she comes to a landing on the cliffs overhead, voice prim but tinkling with multicolored crystals and a shimmer of something akin to champagne. « Let me do what I do best. » Sonyxaeth sends a fond melody towards the older green before focusing her attention back on Saburath. « Satisfied?, » she asks, perhaps a little teasing as she watches the dragon 'test' his rider's straps. Regardless of his answer, an image of Ista from the beach sky flashes across their mental connection, black sands graced by dark blue waters. "Better hang on," Esi jokes, one brow raising over at Tani before she lowers her goggles over her face, nodding when he suggests they'd better get going. "Last one there's a rotten egg!" Playfully bumping Saburath with one wing, the gold turns and takes off, sprinting across the clearing before launching herself into the snowridden sky. She gets only just high enough to be safe, then disappears between.

Wind is blowing more of those frozen dancing crystals, some covering Saburath’s head as the bronze stays still, watching the arrival of the green. A low rumble finally seals his decision and Sonyxaeth can be so persuasive. « Satisfied, I am, yes. » He reaches for both the green and the gold mind, his own inner wind washing away his reluctance as it carries a distant bamboo flute tune. But then, Sony’s airborne and disappears in a blink. Tani just had time to catch Esi’s words before the golden pair vanishes. “Oh come on Sab! It’s not like the Weyr won’t be there anymore at our return. You know Zee’s right, there are times when..Whoooahaaa….” and the rest is a surprised shriek as the bronze suddenly leaps up, beating his wings powerfully with an annoyed bugle. « I leave the watch to you Ariebth… » And /finally/ he blinks out and is gone.

Ista Weyr - Main Beach
The famous black sands of Ista spread out about the great cove upon which the weyr has been built. Gleaming under the rays of both sun and moon they sit like diamonds in their own pristine beauty. The beach is nothing short of striking, caught between the brilliance of the verdant greens of the forest and the crystalline blues of the shallows. The heat of Rukbat reaches into these sands by day, forever blazing underfoot. However, the water remains cool and refreshing, never quite reaching the point of being tepid. Off to one side, spilling down from the plateau, a small waterfall empties into a catching pool that runs off toward the sea through a furrow of dark sand and pebbles.

It's immediately evident why, of all places, Esiae wanted to escape to Ista. Not only is the view stunning, verdant greens and brilliant blues offset by sparkling black sand, but it's hot, a dry, billowing heat characteristic of the island in summer, the complete opposite of the weather in Xanadu right now. Though they take a moment to enjoy the view after reappearing from between, Esi's visited often enough that they don't linger long. Leather jacket and boots are quickly shed, hastily tucked into the pack attached to Sonyxaeth's side. The gold swings low, as though she might come to a landing on the beach, but at the last moment she turns on as much of a dime as a gold of her size can manage. Down goes that bag, crashing heavily to the ground in a spray of sand before the goldriding pair darts for the water again. Brown eyes skim the skies for Saburath and E'tan, but she doesn't seem to be waiting - when the water's deep enough, the goldrider unclips herself and runs for Sonyxaeth's tail, executing two or three neat flips before plunging into crystalline waters. Sonyxaeth is not far behind her, though her landing is much more dignified, coming to a delicate touchdown in the dark blue ocean before turning around paddle back to her rider.

Contrast! Just as the young bronze pops out of *between* with a blast of cold air, he’s caught in a thermal and welcomed by Ista’s famous heat. Extending his wings as wide as he can, Saburath takes some time to just glide and enjoy Ruckbat’s caress on his frozen hide. That moment doesn’t last long and his attention is on Sonyxaeth again. “We’ve been too slow because of your conce…..” Tani’s words vanish in the wind just when Saburath sharply banks to join the goldriding pair in the waters. “….No wait….wait……..” But that’s in vain. The bronzerider only has time enough to remove his helmet before they both hit the tentalizing refreshingness of Ista’s ocean with a quite huge splashing wave. Too much for E’tan’s diving show.

Esiae surfaces just in time to see E'tan and Saburath hit the water. Veritably cackling, the goldrider climbs back up onto her lifemate's back, beaming over at E'tan, who absolutely has to have been soaked by that landing. "That went much better than last time," she says so cheerfully that it's almost cruel, dark amusement flickering in her gaze. "C'mon to shore, better lay out your stuff or you'll freeze when we go home." Sonyxaeth swims swiftly to shore, allowing her rider to disembark before giving herself a vigorous shake. Esiae clearly intended to visit Ista all along, for when she peels her shirt off over her head, she's already wearing a bright blue one-piece swimsuit underneath. She doesn't make it more than a few feet on shore before she flops gracelessly onto her back the sand, issuing a low noise of happiness as the heat hits her from all angles. "Much better." Chuckling a draconic little chuckle, Sonyxaeth moves further ashore before imitating her rider, sprawling out on the sand with wings extended.

Saburath diligently surfaces and remembers not to swim on his back since poor soaked Tani didn’t have time to unbuckle himself. “Okay….” *cough* “….I should have…” *cough* “….known better….” *cough* “It was all planned and a conspiracy from all of you!” And that includes Esiae, Sonyxaeth /and/ Saburath. Bringing his rider to the shore, the bronze just followed his instinct here. Sony can be proud. She made him let go for the very first time. « I didn’t want mine to fool himself again. He’s not done with diving training yet. » Literally falling on the sand, his wet shirt clinging to his wet torso, E’tan sighs, blowing some sand. But, my, he’s so so thrilled if a little frustrated. “And here I wanted to show you my progress….” The moment later, he’s in his swimshorts as well. Looks like he anticipated it or maybe he’s just wearing them everyday just in case?

"Who, me?" Twinkle. "I would never." Actually, she really, really would be the type to conspiracize against him, but maybe she's innocent this time. Maybe. « I don't know. He did well last time, outside of bringing the wrath of Esiae down on his own head, » the gold says, laughter rolling like thunder through her mind. "Maybe later," Esi says with a chuckle, rolling to her side to lay her clothes out nice and flat so they will dry quickly. "Shells, but this was a good idea. I hate winter," she drawls, laying flat again before digging fingers and toes deep into the hot sand. "I really, really hate winter." The words are harsh, but her voice is relaxed, chin tipped up and arms out to sun like some kind of firelizard. "If I didn't love Xanadu so much, I'd totally just come live here."

Tani emits an odd Pffft sound, spraying some sand at the junior now. “Whatever…” He replies to her attempt of claiming her innocence. “And I don’t know for a later display. I just….don’t wanna move an inch for now.” « He could have done so much better, trust me. As for bringing wrath on him…. » And here Saburath’s usual calm and distant tone is shaken by strong wind blows of mixed pride and frustration. « …It is something he is excellent at! » Raising to rest on his elbows, chin on his crossed fingers, E’tan lowers his gaze on the goldrider, snorting. “Come on, Zee. You know you can’t leave. Even if Xanadu had the same harsh weather as ‘Reaches. Xanadu needs you….” There’s a pause here. “/I/ need you.” If at first, the bronzerider was clearly hitting on her, things have changed and it’s without any side ideas or cunning hidden plans that he’s opening his heart here. “You know how to ease my fears and make my doubts vanish.” He can’t fight back a chuckle here as he follows. “Shards, your Sony even made this tight bronze bulk release some of his neverending concern! You….you…..remind me so much of him….” Now his voice breaks.

Esiae giggles for that spray of sand, clenching her fingers around a handful and throwing it back at him in retribution. « Indeed he is, » Sonyxaeth says of E'tan, amused lightning flickering quietly in the distance. « It's quite the talent. » "Right? This is perfect," Esi agrees when he says he doesn't want to move, but instead of snuggling further down into the sand, she turns on her side to face him, one shoulder rising and falling. "'Course. I dunno about all that, it did pretty well without me for a couple turns, but I was just joking. I'm not goin' anywhere" she says, one brow raising when he claims he needs her. "What do you need me for?," the goldrider asks with a quiet, crooked smile, head shaking as she lifts it to rest it on one hand. "Ah, I see. Not that I ain't happy that I can help you and stuff, but you're a smart guy, Tani. I know you'd figure it out yourself, given the time." She's trying to be reassuring, but when his voice breaks, she frowns, lips pursing with concern. She doesn't have to guess who 'him' is. "What was he like?," she asks instead, voice the gentlest it's probably ever been around him.

“Figured out how to ease my fears? I doubt it.” Tani replies, now rolling on his back, eyes staring at the lonely drifting clouds across that pure blue sky. He keeps silent for a moment, obviously lost in his thoughts. If in the past, and even after Saburath came in his life, thinking about his late brother would bring tears to his eyes, it’s not the case today. At this very moment and with her. “He was flamboyant! Fearless and deeply caring at the same time. He always knew how to bring the best out of me…” He pauses to look at her again. “Out of everyone in fact. Just like you.” Now he’s smirking. “You know what, I’m sure you’d have fallen for him in a blink!”

"Why not?," Esi asks, peering at him curiously. When he falls silent, she does too, gaze eventually drifting away from him to focus on Sonyxaeth, watching the gold stretch and sprawl into an even lazier position, clearly content. The goldrider's eyes only flick back to him when he speaks again, the corner of her mouth twitching up to one side in a crooked smile. "Sounds like my brother, too," Esiae says, the hand not holding up her head idly playing with the sand. "You'd like him." One eyebrow twitches up for his smirk, the woman snorting quietly for that assertion. "Oh, you think I would, huh? How do you know what kind of men I'd fall for? Maybe I like strong, silent types," she says, but clearly she's joking, eyes rolling as she shakes her head again. "Still, he sounds like he was wonderful. I'm glad your memories of him are good, even if it had to have been very difficult to lose him."

Tani doesn’t comment on his inability to calm his anxiety, surfing the wave of his fond memories for a little longer. “S’gam is like that too? Must be a family trait then.” When she reacts at his teasing, he narrows his eyes then “Pffffft. Every girls were irremediably attracted to him so I just assumed and teased at the same time.” See? He’s not delusional anymore and if, months ago he’d have turn red and took her comment seriously, it’s not the case anymore. He’d have been awkward now. Very awkward. And especially since his recent encounter with his past a few days ago. Anyway, he’d have thrown her a pillow if he had brought one. Just like siblings. “My memories of him are good, yes. And….” he shifts to a sitting position, eyes on his outrageously cuddling bronze, a wide smile on his face again. “…You made me finally realize it may not have been my fault.” He admits, letting some sands leaking from his fingers. “I never thank you for that so….Thank you a lot, Zee.”

"He is," Esi confirms with a smirk that's borderline evil. "He's also a workaholic and a bit of an ass, though, which are things I thankfully didn't inherit. We attribute those to his dad's side of the family," she jests before clarifying. "He's technically my half-brother." As for E'tan's sibling, her eyes roll again, the woman laughing quietly through her nose. "Shells, you do know what they say happens when you assume, right?," she teases. "Besides, I don't fall for men. Men fall for me." The ego is strong with this one, but at least she's grinning and giggling just a bit, clearly joking. It takes her a moment, but eventually her expression tones down a bit, not quite serious, but no longer grinning, either. "You blamed yourself? E'tan, that's… not healthy." Esiae pushes herself into a sitting position, too, concern drawing her brows down into a slight frown. "Of course it wasn't your fault. I know I'm about to over-simplify this, but… bad things happen to good people. If your brother was anything like mine - anything like me - he wouldn't want you to beat yourself up over something that was ultimately out of your control, okay?" It might not be right, making assumptions about him or his brother without really knowing much about what happened, but the idea of Tani taking the blame for his brother dying trying to save him clearly rankles with the goldrider, so much so that she reaches out one hand to actually grip his shoulder, normally-bright eyes dark with worry as she peers up at him. "Okay?" His thanks go ignored for now - it's more important to her for him to understand that 'may not have' wouldn't cut it in her books.

Too much for Tani’s nostalgic kind of state, Esiae’s comment on men falling for her and not the other way around makes him choke and unleash a noisy laughter. And then he was nodding quietly a second ago, listening to her half-brother temper description. “You’re incorrigible, Esi…” He manages to say, waving a hand in the air in a silent surrender request. It takes him a moment but he does recover his breath, adding a last deep happy sigh. “Not healthy….” he echoes now, his expression distant again and it’s only when she grabs his shoulder that he shakes himself from his thoughts and looks back at her, a soft smile trying to ease her concern. “Now, I know. Today everything makes sense but it hasn’t always been like that.” Cutting his own words short, he tilts his head to one side, pondering. “But we’ve never really talked about it haven’t we?” Fingers digging and playing with sands again, he turns his gaze away a little, his voice calm. “Reyk was destined to accomplish great things, always carrying my parent’s highest hopes and all. I mean, I wasn’t jealous. It was only the truth. He was so gifted and promised to be Pern’s next greatest Harper ever.” Allowing a smile to curl his lips again as he meets her eyes again, he snorts. “But he also was a wildfire. Always talking about the day he’d ride the largest bronze on the planet.” Now Saburath gets a very fond glance as he continues. “There was a ship wreck we used to play around a lot…” he sighs, “He was so awesome at everything he always held his breath longer than me. The….day….everything ended was because of me and those sharding fishing nets….The wreck slid and….” There’re no tears in his eyes. Just the vestige of his deep pain.

Esi veritably beams for his laughter, eyes and nose scrunching up with mischief, but she takes his wave of surrender for what it is and doesn't push the conversation further. Instead, her expression sobers somewhat, head tilting to one side to listen to him. She snorts for his praise of his brother, or perhaps the claim that he was Pern's next great gift to Harpers, but she holds her tongue until the end. "I'm sorry, Tani," she says. The hand on his shoulder squeezes, a reassuring gesture. "I can't pretend I know what that's like, and I'm… woefully bad at stuff like this, so I just know I ain't gonna express myself right," she says, smiling weakly and head shaking at her own inadequacy, "but I'm glad you don't blame yourself anymore. That… had to have been just horrible - really, really horrible - but it doesn't sound like something you should carry the blame for." She really is bad at this, but she tries, sympathy and sadness in her gaze as she shifts her hand so he can take it, if he wants.

“Don’t be, Zee. Please.” is E’tan’s vivid reaction to her first words. “Don’t you realize you’re one of the reasons I stopped blaming myself? You remind me a lot of him in many ways. And now, when memories arise, it’s only to brighten my heart.” Sadness is quickly replaced by mischief now, as the bronzerider is clearly anticipating her discomfort. “But your kind words touched me, Zee. I really appreciate.” He hand is grabbed and nestled in his own two, squeezing lightly once. “Now, I will keep living, carrying my brother’s memories rather than blaming myself but you’ll have to promise me to shake me if I happen to slumber again in my old too-tight self, okay?” His hands move and his speech ends up in a pinky swear gesture, a wide smile on his face. Without waiting for her answer, his eyes sparkle….”And the last one in the water is a rotten egg! Wooohooooo!”

Esiae looks honestly puzzled by that, damp hair swinging further over her shoulder as she peers over at him. "I mean… no, I really didn't realize that. I'm glad, I guess - that I remind you of him, and that it makes you happy - but I didn't know." She's a little uncomfortable, sure, but only because she's out of her depth, here. Cracking jokes is one thing, but expressing deep, complicated feelings are quite another. Instead of answering, she settles for gripping his fingers tightly when he takes her hand, expressing in gestures what she's terrible at doing in words. "Pff. You bet I'll kick your ass into next week if you try to go all uptight again," she assures him, eyes twinkling with good humor as she links her pinky in his. It's a promise. And then, he's off!, and with a shriek the goldrider takes off after him. "No fair! Getting a head start is cheating!" And thus, she's not afraid to cheat right back, attempting to shove him off-course as she makes a madcap dash for the water.

E’tan is fast and way too much enthusiast, his body leaning too dangerously forward for him to keep his balance so when she shoves him he can’t prevent his fall. “Wai….heyyy!” And the rest is nothing but a loud THUD as he rolls in the sands just a meter or two before reaching the waters. That he does anyway due to his mad rush. SPLASH. When on Pern is he gonna learn to properly dive? Time for counter attack now though as he leaps on her, aiming at her ankle and tugging. In that tumult of noise and spraying waters, a laughter echo and he surfaces again, shaking his head briskly. “Let’s say….it’s a draw?” Rubbing his eyes, he continues to chuckle, his face rather red. Well no, not red. Crimson. One’s gonna hurt tomorrow for sure. “You’re faster than me anyway. I just brought balance to the game. No cheating here. Nope.”

Esiae cackles for her success, flying past him, utterly remorseless about having knocked him to the ground until— "ACK!" Down she goes, splashing gracelessly into the shallows. Surfacing quickly, she splutters a bit, then laughs, swinging her hair out of her face to glare over at him playfully. "Draw? Pff, as if." She's stubborn to start, but after a second of consideration, she gives in. "Well, fine. But only if it keeps you from tripping me again. I like the water, but I don't like it up my nose." Chuckling, she wrinkles her nose for effect and then stands again, pushing back out into the crystal blue waters, clearly intending to swim, or perhaps float awhile in Ista's calm waves. Yep, they're going to have hellacious sunburns tomorrow but, worth it~.

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