Reunion & Serious Talk

Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern


It is often whispered in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.

The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company.

The winter weather outside is enough to send most sane folk seeking the comfort of indoor locations, especially when their blood is used to warmer climes. The tavern isn't exactly hopping at this hour of the morning, though a few patrons in the mood for a liquid lunch or just getting in out of the chill are scattered around the tables. Among them, but not of them, one dispossessed Istan lass who's trying to make herself useful, seeing as how current circumstances bar her from returning home. Iroha, not her usual brightly-smiling chatty self, but rather quiet and slightly more rumpled-looking than her norm, is today playing at being barmaid, and is wiping down one of the empty tables with a damp cloth.

K'ael is spending his days lately running errands and doing basic transport for Ierne. Odd jobs, basically. Wherever he can make himself useful while earning a couple of marks really. Today his exploits bring him to Xanadu. And to the tavern oddly enough. In he comes, wheeling a cart with a couple of kegs stacked onto it. "Here we go." He says to Beldar. "I'll grab your empties, just sign here for them." The bronzer hardly looks like himself these days, dressed in his riding leathers with a hoodie underneath.

F'yr is clad in her warmer flying leathers even though she hasn't been flying for well over several months now, but it's needed for Xanadu's weather. She stamps her feet appropriately as she comes in, but that doesn't stop her from trailing muck as she trudges on into the tavern. "Iro!" is what she does say when she looks up and spots the ex-candidate, pausing in surprise as she sees her there. "Been looking for you and this is where you been hiding?" she snorts as she slips into a seat nearby, dragging her firelizard off her shoulder to plop her onto the table with a loud thump.

Hiding is a good word for it, yes. Iroha doesn't even glance up when the cart is wheeled in - she'll get yelled for if she's needed. Although her ears are still working just fine, the repetitive and largely unnecessary circular motion of cloth-wielding hand halting as her head snaps up. "K'ael?" She doesn't immediately dive for the bronzerider as might be expected, though, looking more like she's considering fleeing for a moment. But here comes F'yr almost at his heels and, "Oh F'yr, now I have to mop again." Why, hello! She finds a smile somewhere, though it's dampened again quick as the firelizard gets plonked on the table. Hiss. "How's Zaruath? Have the dragonhealers said when he'll fly again?" Because of course he will - power of positive thinking, and all that.

K'ael hears a somewhat familiar voice question him, but doesn't actually turn around until F'yr says Iroha's name out loud. He turns around, blinking a bit. "Hm? Iro? What are you doing here?" In the tavern he means, mostly. Though he'd already heard she didn't impress. He was a bit surprised to find that she was still in Xanadu, though. He grins a bit and heads over to the two ladies. "Hey F'yr. They got you working at the bar now, Iro? Are you sticking around Xanadu, then?"

F'yr glances towards the bronzerider as well when he is mentioned. "Hey, Mike," she calls over with a little shake of her head. Her eyes go back to Iroha and she pulls a face. "Sorry. Didn't know you were still stuck on candidate duties— /Are/ you still a candidate?" She glances towards the shoulder for a moment and then back up, whatever smile might have been growing there at the sight of friendly faces quickly vanishes. "Good for now. And no, they haven't said anything…" No yet, nothing positive. Chu's tuned to ill feelings and she squeaks in surprise at Iroha and scuttles closer to F'yr to hide.

Iroha's shoulders slump a little but more, and it's less a happy hug and more a I-am-so-glad-you're-here cling that she offers to K'ael when he comes over. "What I do best, making myself useful," she answers the 'what are you doing' even as her gaze settles back on F'yr and she shakes her head. "No and no. I'm just… volunteering where ever it sees they could use a hand." Ignoring the flitterbug, because that's just what she does, and turning to press her face into K'ael's shoulder. "I can't go home. I don't even know how much of 'home' there is to go to, or if everyone's alright or anything. My family, L'ar and Zip and all the rest…." Not the best company, is she? "Oh F'yr… He'll be fine, I just know he will. They're probably just being cautious." Her attempt at buck-upage falls rather flat, sadly.

K'ael blinks a bit as Chu squeaks and cowers away from Iroha. K'ael grins to F'yr. "So did you get to make it with that other bronzer the other night?" K'ael smiles to Iroha and pulls her in to give her a comforting hug. "True… You are useful to have around. I would have thought that you'd at least wandered to the healer hall by now." Then he blinks at her. "Because you've been gone so long? Or… because you didn't impress? Or is it something else? Anyways, I'm sure everyone would be happy to see you." He rubs her back a bit. He can't really say too much, since he wasn't around Ista anymore to know.

F'yr's brow furrows in confusion at K'ael. "What other bronzer?" Pause. "The one that lost me the mark?" Another grumpy snort from the brownie, not having had a good… well, months seeing that she's a flightless dragonrider. "You don't want to be useful /here/, though," says Fy with a wave of her hand around the tavern, which also helps in catching some drudge's attention that was bringing around warm klah, perfect for a cold day as such. "I figured you were completely gone since I never spotted you in the dragonhealer's annex when I went there with Zaru. Or just waiting to go back to help at Ista to continue that?" The younger girl's attempt is met with a little smirk. "Sure they are." Fy knew better.

Comfy here with her will-he, nill-he adopted big brother, Iroha will stay tucked under K'ael's arm as long as he lets her. The tables are clean or in use, the few patrons quiet and undemanding, and the floor can wait. "Something else," she offers, but without elaboration. Not really inclined to talk here-and-now, at least not about all -that.- Chances to be called away, overheard, and company with more to worry over than one little teenager's problems. Green eyes narrow slightly, "What's wrong with here?" It's a perfectly nice booze-hound establishment! Though it's a shake of her head that's given next, shoulders lifting in a shrug. "I just kept my head down. Fetch-and-carry stuff."

"The one jogging the other night. During Thea's flight? X'hil? He lost you a mark?" K'ael blinks a bit at her. It would seem that none of them were having a great time, as it were. Each with their own sets of problems, though K'ael seems to still be in good spirits. He doesn't seem to mind Iroha hanging there on him, falling into a rather comfortable stance with her leaning against him. He nods to her. "Not giving up on the whole healer thing, are you?" He grins for a moment, then suddenly lifts Iroha off the ground and spins her a bit in a hug.

F'yr nods her head slowly at K'ael, but it's with a glare at the bronzer. "You won, didn't you? And he didn't." So she'll blame the winner of the flight now, instead. "Don't know what happened with X'hil after he left anyway." She hangs her head low over the mug, breathing it in as she frowns at the dark liquid inside. "Well, it is nice. But it ain't the dragonhealers', is it? That's what's wrong. I expected they'd have made you an apprentice here during candidacy and all that." But again, the brownrider never saw hair or hide of the other girl, and she just shrugs.

Iroha casts a curious look between K'ael and F'yr for all the talk of a strange bronzer and lost marks. Er, mark. At his question, there's another search for a smile, but this one actually manages to warm her eyes a little. "Oh no. I've just been so scattered lately, it's been easier to, you know, hide. Just for a while. I'm going to ask if I can at least start studying here, and then we'll see. When things get better." Though her 'when' sounds rather a lot more like 'if' given her tone of voice. And then she's being spun, with a surprised squeak, "No shoulder tossing!" Ah, happier times, and table bounding. It does notch her grin up a bit, however, something quieter muttered into his ear while she's there. "I'll get around to it in my own time," she'll say to F'yr when she finds her feet making contact with the floor again. "When I'm ready." Because right now? She's not.
You whisper "I've missed you so much. Don't run away." to K'ael.

K'ael chuckles at F'yr. "Yeah, so? That means he didn't. I thought maybe you two would run off to help each other out. No? Who lost your mark, anyways?" He shrugs a bit to Iro, not sure what was the deal with that, either. He laughs a bit as he spins Iroha around, giving her a final squeeze before setting her down and kissing her forehead. "There we go. Good as new. And no shoulder tossing. "No sense in rushing things. You're still pretty young and all, right?" That was a rhetorical question, as he knows Iroha is young. He's just trying to ensure she doesn't give up on it, really. Finally he plops into a chair. "I'm not used to doing all this physical activity all day long anymore."

F'yr shrugs her shoulder helplessly at Iroha as she continues. "Guess that might make sense," she says, not too convinced herself as she turns to focus on her klah for a moment, turning to look up only when K'ael directs his questions to her. "What? I said that, he didn't. I lost my bet. What are you thinking? He didn't even follow us and you probably forgot I ain't in any need of that." She rolls her eyes to his comment, shaking her head at him as she finally lifts the klah to her lips and takes a sip.

Iroha, clueless or at least pretending to be. Yep. 'Cause that's safer. Clueless little empty-headed girl, and she'll keep her eyes shielded behind lowered lids. "Half a Turn left to sixteen," she confirms, even if the question -was- rhetorical. But as the familiar and frankly annoying sniping from the brownrider continues, it's a suddenly uncharacteristic scowl that furrows her brow. "Think you're up to moving just a little bit further?" she asks abruptly of the just-seated K'ael. "We could walk a little bit, or… Would Azaeth mind if we just, I dunno, flew somewhere?" Anywhere. Away.

K'ael blinks. "Shards, almost sixteen already?" That was old enough to have a proper boyfriend! The bronzer peers around for any patrons that might think they could be potential candidates. He chuckles a bit to her. "Sure. Want to get out of here, hm?" He grabs his cart of empty kegs, then heads out to Azaeth with her. "I can show you Ierne." Before she has a chance to protest, he's tossing her his extra riding coat to throw over herself, and they head off to Ierne, flying around a bit before landing on the beach outside of K'ael's weyrcottage. "Here we are. Home sweet home." The inside is is disarray though, much different than his old weyr. A sign he hasn't unpacked totally yet. There's also little furniture besides his bed and a couple chairs.

Iroha manages a tight little grin and a nod, though her eyes get rolled ceilingward for that look-round. "Need to get out of here," she clarifies, and with her whole volunteer-not-a-resident-or-employee status, doesn't even offer an apology for abandoning the tavernkeep. She just follows eagerly on K'ael's heels, and doesn't even open her mouth to protest his choice of location. Just a quickly chirped, "Sounds great!" as she shrugs into the jacket and clambers upon onto Azaeth. The flight is met with her usual reaction: complete and total enthusiasm and perhaps a scary trust in the straps holding her in place. And even if he is a bit stand-offish, a happy pat of her hand to Az's shoulder and a "Thank you." which will be repeated for K'ael too as she peers around curiously once they've reached their destination. Predictably Iro: "You've got your own beach!" Win! "How long have you been here?"

Poor Beldar. But he's got to be used to people wandering in and out off the job. It was a weyr, people always had things to do, right? The bronzer chuckles at her enthusiasm, and whisks her away. He doesn't stop to drop off the empty kegs either, so he's just as bad at skipping out of duties as she is. He grins and nods to her. "I do have my own beach. Thinking about putting a little covered porch out there to sit at. Watch the waves. Maybe a hammock or two to sleep in once in a while." He thinks. "A week or so now. Not very long. I haven't even had a chance ot get some furniture, sorry." He flops down on his bed and invites her to join him. "So… tell me about things."

They can be delinquents together, yay! "That sounds like it would be really nice," Iroha says approvingly of the porch-and-hammocks idea. "Really really -lazy,-" she continues in a teasing tone, "but nice." Shedding jacket and the sweater she'd layered over her lighter shirts, she accepts that invitation and perches next to him. "Only a week?" She is actually capable of being serious, and her green eyes are concerned as she looks at him. "Are you okay K'ael? I mean, really okay?" Things. Things cause her to drop her eyes and toy with the hem of her shirt as she shrugs. "It's just a great big mess. I don't know what I was thinking and now I don't even know what's happening. I can't go home because no one is allowed to take me, and… I'm not sure I… I'm selfish." Not the conclusion that may have been expected.

K'ael chuckles. "I know, wouldn't it? It'll be a lot of work though. But I have time now. When it's done… I'll deserve to be lazy, right?" He shrugs to her. "Maybe two? I was just sort of staying… wherever before I took this place over. The only problem is the sand gets everywhere." The bronzer blinks at Iro, and looks at her for a moment before answering. "Honestly? I'm not sure. I mean… things weren't working out, and really that's okay. I do miss all the people, and the respect and all of that. But really taking some time off has been good so far." He pokes at her. "Oh… because of the whole weyr conflict. I could take you back if that's what you want. Selfish? How so?"

Iroha's smile is not up to her usual standards of brightness, but it's genuine at least. "You already deserved to be lazy. You worked too hard, all those reports and stuff and skipping meals. You are eating, aren't you?" Of course the bottomless pit would worry about K'ael's stomach. There's a small bob of her head for 'honestly' and she subsides to listen. "But you're going to -be- okay, right?" she asks, chasing after that poking hand with her own, aiming to catch and hold it if she can. "What you said in your letter, about looking for your and Azaeth's place…." She of course thought it was at Ista, same as herself. So much for taking things for granted. She chews on her lower lip a bit, her turn to just look at him for several passing beats. "I… never exactly said anything, but my folks weren't too happy when I first moved to the Weyr. They didn't even come to the Hatching, and then when I chose to Stand again." Shrug. "I'm worried for my sibs, Joli and Dylan, my nephew Aidan. I hope they're alright and I know they'll get taken care of if- they'll be taken care of. And all my friends. But, K'ael… the -Annex.- I should be going home and helping them rebuild, and instead all I want to do is finally finish what I started." And that shames her.

K'ael nods and chuckles to her. "Yes, I'm eating. I have time to now. I make sure to get my meals. I need them, since I'm up and about more than I was before. Heh, yes. I'll be fine. Things just… weren't the same at Ista after Sharix left. I guess I had trouble adjusting. And all the animosity in a time of peril like this, I don't know. I'm not claiming to know everything, but to be fought on every decision made… I just couldn't take it. I'm sure most will see it as me abandoning the weyr but I think things will be better without me in the way." He sighs a bit to her. "Well go see them, then. I can take you. But don't sell yourself short for looking out for your own future. It's easy in crisis to get caught up in the here and now. Will you be more useful to everyone now by helping rebuild? Or later being a dragonhealer? There will always be something to keep you from doing what you want, if that's what you're looking for."

Iroha doesn't spare much time being happy over hearing that he's eating properly. Once that little concern is laid to rest, she turns her focus to the bigger one of his overall well-being. "Most people can just go take a long walk off a short pier. What were you supposed to do, end up in the infirmary again, this time gibbering from a… what do the mindhealers call it? When you're over-stressed?" Her dubious expression is enough to give away her doubts about things being better without him, even as her words are a heartfelt, "You need to take care of yourself." She's too young and inexperienced to be able to accurately understand, nevermind express, the need for a balance between being true to oneself and true to one's duty. And sometimes the one does win over the many. Softly, "I don't want to find an excuse. All I've been doing for the past Turn is finding excuses. Stupid excuses, at that. I just… I don't know. That's the problem. I don't know. What's right or good or even if I belong anywhere near a Weyr, any of them, at all."

K'ael blinks, then chuckles to her. "A long walk off a short pier, hm? Heh I don't know… an aneurysm? Anyways, people will call me weak, which I guess I am. They don't know what it's like dealing with the weyr's issues. And really it's better that way honestly." He pokes her in the nose. "You should practice what you preach, love. You need to take care of yourself, too. And your own future." The bronzer frowns to her after that. "Aren't you happy at the weyr? Is it Xanadu, or…? I guess I need to know what's happened. You always seemed so cheerful at Ista. I find it hard to think that you're not meant to be there."

Iroha, protective of her 'family' even when they're not blood-related. Especially, recently. "A very long walk, wearing heavy shoes, in dolphin-free water." So there. Blood-thirsty little thing. Poked nose gets wrinkled, and she chases after his hand again, more because it means she can avoid his eyes for a little while. "I am… was. I really like Xanadu, and there's -snow.-" What that has to do with anything, who knows. "And the Annex, and the people are actually really nice, most of them. It's not so different, really. But it was different… I had the garden, after, and L'ar and Sisketh to worry about so I didn't really dwell too much on childish wishes." She puffs out a sigh. "I'm sorry. This isn't really a happy visit, is it?"

K'ael laughs. "Now now, Iro. Let's not judge those who are ignorant." He lets her take his hand after the poke, smiling to her with those big blue eyes. "True, there is snow. It's been a while since I've seen it." Since he took Chaise to High Reaches, so long ago now. He nods to her. "Well, what /are/ your wishes, Iro? Do you want to become a dragonhealer? Or just impress, or…?" Color K'ael confused. He just wasn't getting the jist of what Iro was trying to convey to him. Not a big surprise there. "You want to settle down with L'ar and live happily ever after?"

"Hmph," is Iroha's comment at the chide, though with a return smile once his hand is caught. Never anything but innocent, but she craves physical contact, needs it to feel connected to people. Happier now for it, though still embarrassed over the whole laying out in plain speech she's about to embark on. "Both. I want to take care of the dragons and I want to -fly.-" A blush colours her cheeks, but this is -K'ael- she's talking to and she can tell him anything and not get laughed at. Right? Don't shatter her illusions too hard, if not. "I was really hoping that this ti— K'ael!" From embarrassed to indignant in as long as it takes to add another question after a pause. "Maybe it's you who needs to go get wet." Even though it's grumbly, it's not grumpy, green eyes shining bright.

K'ael was also a touchy-feely sort of person, especially with those close to him. Especially if they were girls. Not that he's getting a rise out of it with Iroha, but he did care about her a great deal. He grins to her and nods. "Well, it's not like that's impossible. I mean, there's not much you can do about the second part. You've been searched, so it's bound to happen. There's no point in stressing over the when." Then he laughs to her. "Are you suggesting I take a long walk off a short pier, Iro?" He reaches over to give her a hug. "You can't spend all your time worrying about things that are out of your control. Worry about the things you can control, like getting back to being an apprentice."

Iroha smiles, reaches out to ruffle his hair. "Well it's kind of like you said in your letter, about feeling a little bit abandoned?" Leaning in to return the hug, and press a sisterly kiss to his cheek. Laughter! Actual, honest laughter! "Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. Though if the water was nice, I'd join you." Leaning back again she grins, tugs at his hand. "How about… I worry about getting lost around Ierne with you, before begging you and Azaeth to go flying again?" Tug tug. Tour! Play! Laughter and silliness, and let both of them leave their worries behind for a while. If bubbly bouncy Iro can't manage to coax K'ael into acting like he's a kid again, then there's really no hope for either of them. Mwah.

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