Felines, Firelizards... Friends

Xanadu Weyr - Azaeth's Fortress
The weyrcottage has been divided up into two halves. The left side has been completely partitioned off into a bedroom of sorts. There's a bed, a couple of dressers, and even a desk. In the corner is a small fold away cot and a wooden toy chest.

The front of the main area is sectioned as a sitting area, complete with a sofa and a couple of chairs and end tables. Behind it is a set of a table and chairs for eating at, handcrafted and finished by K'ael himself. The small kitchenette sits against the back wall, K'ael's firelizards making a home for themselves above the cabinets. His two cats, Riff, and Raff, can be seeing milling in and out; Raff spending most of his time out than in.

It's later at Xanadu, not overly so, but getting dark post-dinner. K'ael has somehow managed to sneak in exercise, food, and a bath before heading back home. Now it was time to relax! And the bronzer is stretched out on the couch reading with a purring tabby kitty on his chest. "Gah, Riff, I can't see the pages if you sit that close to my face!"

"No no no, you silly little creature, that is not a nest!" might echo ahead of the individual about to arrive upon K'ael's doorstep. Less intelligible mutterings and a few irritated squawks — non-human, those — precede a knock as Ashkeia calls with just enough volume to make herself heard, "K'ael?" And probably not meant to be overheard but still clear, "I really hope this is the right place."

K'ael sits up when he hears his named called, dislodging the very attached kitty. Though Riff looks just as interested as the bronzer, and trots over to the door as soon as she hears the knock. The bronzer is lounging in just a T-shirt and shorts and gives Ashkeia a grin when he opens the door. "Hey there!" He waves her inside. "What brings you around to these necks of the woods?" Riff is excited to see someone new, and rubs herself all over Ashkeia's legs.

Ashkeia smiles, her relief at having found the correct place obvious in the relaxing of her shoulders. "I had some free time and you did say to come— oof." Walking with a cat winding about one's ankles isn't a trick the apprentice has mastered, and she sways a little in place before carefully picking her feet up again, eyes on the floor and feline. So too is the strangely milky gaze of her hair ornament, a young green firelizard having her paws tangled up in black curls. "I've either made a new friend, or this is a cunning attempt to break my neck," Ash laughs. "Anyway. I thought I'd take you up on your invitation to visit. How've you been?"

K'ael chuckles a bit. "She's a friendly sort. Been trying to kill me for turns now, I think." He say about the cat. "That's Riff, her brother, Raff, is around here someplace, or out killing things. Who knows." He grins a bit and picks Riff up from the ground to keep her out from under their feet. "I see you've got a tiny pest of your own." He points to the green flit she's toting. "Yeah, I'm glad you came to visit. Make yourself at home. I've been… so-so, I guess." The bronzer deposits Riff on the sofa, then heads to the kitchen area to start on some klah.

"Riff and Raff," Ashkeia repeats, amused. "Names that are guaranteed to encourage trouble." She trails along towards the sofa, looking around at the room with curious interest while the green keeps her suspicious attention focused on the cat. "And pest she's proving herself to be, for the moment. She keeps trying to crawl inside my shirts to sleep. Malaise, I'm calling her. Only so-so?" Head tilting she turns to follow the bronzerider with her gaze, leaning a hip on the arm of the couch and offering her hand out to Riff in case she'd like scritches.

K'ael chuckles. "A friend of mine suggested that." Riff rubs against Ashkeia's hand then rolls over onto her side for scritches. "Malaise? Shards." He laughs. "That's how Pommel was. Really needy and clingy." The bronzer finishes up the klah, bringing over two mugs, and a little baggy with something in it. He hands her a mug, and the baggy. "It's some jerky. The firelizards love it, and it's easy to carry around like this. Helps with training and to get them to leave you alone if you want them to." He nods about being so-so. "Kind of got dumped not too long ago. Still trying to get back up on my feet I guess."

Ashkeia happily obliges Riff, fingers moving through fur to find the itchy spots. "Oh, thank you," for both klah and bag of jerky. Though accepting them means she needs both hands, an apologetic pat for the feline's head before she's abandoned. "I've been using fish mostly as she seems to like it, but the dried stuff is too salty so I've rarely had anything easily to hand." She holds the pouch up, allowing Malaise a sniff of the contents but the sickly looking green has the round tummy of the recently fed so she isn't demanding any tastes straight away. "Ohhh. I'm sorry K'ael. Were you… weyrmated?"

K'ael chuckles and nods. He takes a seat on the couch and gives Riff a pat, and she jumps up into his lap. "Yeah, this stuff I dry myself, so it's not salty or anything. And it keeps long and doesn't stink or get blood all over your pockets." He laughs. Then he blinks at her and shakes his head. "Oh, shards no. Nothing /that/ serious. Kind of a long term friendship though that ended in romance. She was weyrmated though, and when he came back I got the boot." He shrugs a bit.

Tucking the pouch of jerky inside her belt, Ashkeia 'hides' behind her mug for a few moments. "Ew. Just the thought of bloody pockets…." She grimaces, wrinkling her nose. Another moment passes before she also sits, settling carefully on the other side of the couch. "I'm sorry," she repeats for his story, brows furrowed slightly. "It won't help matters, me asking a bunch of nosy questions either, I'm sure. Any interesting hypothetical disasters lately?" When faced with awkward, change the subject.

K'ael grins. "Sorry. Didn't meant to spoil your… klah." He shakes his head to her. "Ah, it's alright. I guess I'm sort of getting used to things not working out with girls and me. I don't mind the questions, but it might be boring for you." He takes a sip of his drink and then sets his mug down to turn his attention to the ball of fluff rolling about in his lap. A similar ball of fluff, Riff's brother, makes himself known by hopping up on the back of the sofa and cautiously prowling towards Ashkeia. The bronzer laughs. "Well, not really interesting, no. They've started getting silly. Like what if some big monster thing exploded out of the mountains or something."

Ashkeia laughs softly, "It's more likely to make me crave a bath than turn my stomach, actually. Slimy sticky gross." She reaches out, free hand aimed towards the bronzerider's shoulder in a brief gesture of sympathy. "It's a shame. Everyone deserves to have someone to be happy with." She is unconcerned by prowling felines, if a little startled at first by the sudden motion of Raff's arrival. Malaise is not entirely so sanguine, letting out a scolding chatter as she burrows her thin body beneath the locks of Ash's hair. "Oh you— ouch!" The apprentice makes another face, rolling her eyes as she moves her hand to stop her hair from being pulled. "Some big…? Seriously? What sort of monster are they expecting, some sort of… of… gigantic acid-spitting tunnelsnake?"

K'ael chuckles. "Well, my washroom is over there?" He nods a bit to her and shrugs. The bronzer's love life isn't something he really wants to get into. Raff is used to K'ael's three flits, so he doesn't seem as startled by all the squawking and burrowing. He leans over to get a sniff of the new annoyance in his space. Until K'ael removes him, that is, plopping him onto the ground. The bronzer shrugs a bit. "Baiscally, yeah. Or some mutated humongo dragon mutation."

Ashkeia looks, naturally, in the direction indicated. "I think I curb my impulse," she jokes lightly. A final hiss emerges from beneath her hair, and a wince betrays another tug. "Stop fussing and sleep," she instructs the green, uselessly, settling back as the cat is relocated. She purses her lips a moment, thoughtful. "Like, hmm. Covered in scales with two extra heads or something like that? I could probably draw them a picture of one. An epic battle between man, dragon and impossible monster. They could make up a story to go with it, scare all their children."

K'ael chuckles a bit. "Aw. Maybe you should give her a treat? Or is she full?" He sits up a bit to see if he can view the green. K'ael has a weakness for tiny animals, flit, cats, anything goes really! "Basically, I guess. You'd have to ask them. Heh, I'm not sure I want to help feed their imaginations. Plus then they might start bothering you instead with this sort of silliness. How are things down at the crafter's complex?"

"She was full before I came over," Ashkeia notes, turning her head a little. With her hair left loose around her shoulders, there's plenty of cover for the week-old Malaise, though her sharp nose does peek out between curls. "I sort of wish she would eat more. She seems healthy but she's so painfully skinny. Maybe she'll flesh out when she's got her full growth?" Looking to K'ael as if he'll have the answer. "Maybe they just more to occupy their bodies so their minds can't run away to such fantastical extremes? Not that I would wish a real disaster on anyone, but…." She frowns a little, lifting her shoulder in a shrug. "I wouldn't mind. At least, not so long as it weren't excessive. Sometimes drawing something imaginary is good exercise. If you can make something that isn't real, still appear as if it /could/ be real, then really real things should be even more lifelike." She grins a bit, finishes off her klah before answering the rest. "They're real good. My head doesn't swim so much anymore when reading about the acids and such, and I've been doing some practical studies. They're nothing great, just simple little pictures, basic flowers and things as I get used to the process. But I've got several designs I'm hoping I'll be allowed to try soon."

K'ael nods to her. "Ah, I wouldn't worry about her eating habits. She'll eat when she's hungry. My green was so tiny when I found her I thought she was a tuft of grass." He whistles a bit, and Blade floats down from her perch on top of the kitchen cupboards. The green is terrifically thin, she looks like she's dying! She looks at K'ael expectantly from the back of the couch. "See? She's just like that." He pokes at her, then takes a little baggy out with some jerky for her. "She's had babies and everything." The green takes the jerky and eats it all down, then flits away. He chuckles a bit. "Well, if you want to draw something I'd be happy to show them. Then they can fight over who gets to keep the picture." He grins and nods to the crafting update. "Sounds great! I can't have too many glass things around the house… too many animals and babies to get into them. But maybe I could have you etch the glasses Moria gave me sometime. When you're not too busy with your studies. I'd pay, of course."

Ashkeia looks up at the whistle, her brows knitting together as she watches the adult green come to land. Worry still lingers, though she does seem at least somewhat relieved as she nods. "I'll try not to," is all she can promise though. Adding with a lilt of humour, "After all, just because /I'm/ well-padded doesn't mean everything has to be." Laughing, she shakes her head. "Nah. Well, I might, but probably just for my own amusement. I wouldn't want to be a part of driving you crazy if all I ended up doing was to encourage them." She perks up a little, interest shining in her eyes. "Ooh. I'd be happy to, when I can. Curved glass is different to work with than flat, and I'd hate to mess up something that was originally a gift. So give me a bit more time to practice, and then if you're still interested, we can revisit the idea."

K'ael nods. "If she stops eating altogether then maybe you should worry. Or if she gets really lethargic. Though that's not always a bad thing either. My brother has a fat firelizard. he overfed him when he was little and ever since he's been chubby." He chuckles at Ashkeia. "Nothing wrong with some curves on a girl. I've been thinking about growing a pot belly, what do you think?" He chuckles. "Well, they're going to do it to me regardless, so if you don't mind have at it." the bronzer nods to her. "Sure! No rush. When you feel comfortable and all. Or I can maybe pick up some new glasses. I guess we'll see when the time comes."

Ashkeia says, "I guess it's just learning what suits her best and making sure I keep on that middle path. Thank, K'ael." She smiles, then turns a little in her seat to eye him dubiously. "Hmm. Let me do some concept sketches and I'll get back to you on that one. Though if you kept up your arms, you'd probably end up looking like you'd swallowed a boulder." A sparkle in her eyes and the lilt of her voice should hopefully give away the teasing. "I'll let you know how my progression goes. And it's never too soon to start thinking about what you'd actually want on them. I wouldn't want to etch something you're going to realise you can't stand six months after the work's done."

K'ael smiles and nods to her. "If she needs some company you can bring her over, too. Mine are at least somewhat well-behaved." He laughs. "That would be hilarious. Just let my middle go like a balloon and keep the rest of me up. I dunno, maybe girls like that swallowed-a-boulder look." The bronzer grins. "Well, I wouldn't want anything too girly. No flowers or anything like that. At least not on all of them. I dunno what would be manly to put on a glass though."

Ashkeia grins, pleased. "It'd be a good way to get her socialized. Maybe I could even get some sketches of Riff and Raff, if you don't mind if I visit along with Mal." Laughing, she scrunches up her nose and shakes her head. "Anything's possible. Personally, I think you look just fine as you are. Besides, think of all the new clothes you'd need." Brows lift a little as she nods, tapping a thoughtful finger against her lips. "Well. Different sorts of nature scenes, maybe? A wild and untamed patch of forest, or waves crashing against rugged and dangerous look cliffs. Or well… what sorts of things do you like? Patterns or, anything."

K'ael chuckles and nods. "Though I don't think Riff and Raff are going to be very good models. I had another cat that was really doll-like when you picked him up, he would have been good." He chuckles. "Uh… but I gave to a… friend." He chuckles. "True, I don't really want to spend marks on all new clothes." The bronzer pushes his hair forward in thought. "Well, that all sounds nice. I dunno, I've never really thought about it I guess. None of my clothes have anything like that on them either… I just usually get solid colors." He pouts. "I'm boring, aren't I?"

Ashkeia crosses her legs, rearranging her hands to hold her empty mug balanced on one knee while she leans her other elbow against the back of the couch. "I've been doing a lot of motion studies recently, so I'm used to active models. It would be nice to add some felines to the plethora of firelizards, dragons, and ocean surf I've collected so far." Resting her check against her hand, she smiles and shakes her head. "Having simple tastes doesn't make you boring. Tell you what. One of these we could get together, and I could show you my sketch books. You can pick out some things you like, and then I could work out some new design concepts just for you. Sound like a plan?"

K'ael nods and chuckles. "Well, if you get tired of the cats, I can always model for you. What do you think?" He flexes for her. "I'm a good anatomy study, right? Hm, that… probably doesn't come up in glass etching too often though does it." He rubs his neck a bit then crosses his fingers behind his head. "Ah, sure. That would be nice." He leans over to poke at her side a bit. "So how long have you been an apprentice? I think you may have mentioned it before, but I forget now."

Ashkeia laughs, complimenting, "Most impressive. And no, not really something that's come up, at least not for etching. One of my teachers in glass painting back at the Hall though, had a long term customer who'd get him to paint a new portrait on a plate every time his wife had another kid. He was getting ready for number nine when I received my posting assignment." With one side of her mouth pulling down in bemusement, she shakes her head. Then squeaks a bit in surprise for the poke, twitching in the reflexive manner of someone who's expecting the contact to tickle. "Ah, a bit over five turns now," she replies as she attempts to stop looking embarrassed. "Because of my art, I spent a turn at the Hold with the posted Harper to see if that Hall would suit but… I have no real talent for music and all the other stuff they have to deal with, history and politics and all that rot… I couldn't stand it."

K'ael chuckles. "I see. I guess that might be fun when my kids are a little older and can sit still for a portrait. Nine, hm? That's pretty impressive. I dunno how some of these holders manage." He chuckles a bit at her squeak. "Five turns? I guess that's not so long then, if you spent a turn as a harper." He nods to her. "I think my mother wanted me to become a harper. I can dance pretty well, read pretty well, but I don't think I'm really talented enough to be a dancer or anything like that."

Ashkeia shakes her head, shrugging. "I can't imagine having that many. I can kind of remember my mother's third pregnancy and definitely her fourth, and it did not look fun." She gives a quick nod, though corrects, "I wasn't officially an apprentice. He agreed to take me on as a special student just to test my aptitude. You dance?" That actually seems to surprise her, and she quickly looks chagrined. "I'm sorry. That came out rather rude."

K'ael laughs. "Yeah… I've seen lots of pregnant girls and it doesn't look fun. And I've been at most of my kids' births and that REALLY didn't look like any fun." He nods to her. "Ah. So you wouldn't be walking the tables or anything soon I take it." He blinks at her reaction, then laughs. "Yes. My mother taught me. It's not rude, I know it's surprising. But I like to dance." Dancing usually involved girls, and K'ael likes girls. Which made it all that more appealing.

Ashkeia sounds partly serious beneath the joking way she says, "Okay, if we keep talking about this, I'm going to end up swearing off ever having any children of my own." Again, she lifts her shoulders in a shrug, "Depends on what you mean by soon. If I keep up my studies, I'm hoping to earn my promotion by the time I'm twenty. And after five, a turn and a half doesn't seem like long at all." She smiles, then it's her turn to reach out, aiming a nudge at his shoulder. "Maybe sometime you'll indulge me with a dance? I seem to have abysmal luck, and can only ever find short men to dance with." Which makes the view interesting for them!

K'ael laughs. "Well, it can't be that bad, or no women would have any kids and we'd all be doomed. You're too young to be thinking about that anyways." He nods to her. "That seems like a good plan. A turn and a half will go by pretty quickly really. Especially if you're busy with your studies." Unforunately in a turn an and a half the bronzer will be pushing 30. He grins at her. "Sure. I know a great place we can go. Anyways, I should probably hit the sack. Early morning and all tomorrow. You're welcome to bum around though if you want to draw the cats or whatever. I don't mind." The bronzer stands and stretches. "Whenever you want to come by, just invite yourself in." He chuckles a bit.

Pfft. Thirty in Pern years is still young! Hearty folk, they are. "Back home, a lot of girls my age are already planning their weddings." Ashkeia grins, adding as a tease, "And I like hypothetical monsters." The grin brightens for the agreement of an eventual dance, though she's nodding and getting to her own feet, just minus the stretches. "Shards, I didn't realise how late it was getting. I should get back the dorms lest anyone start looking at me funny. Besides, I haven't got my sketch book. Thank you, K'ael, I've really enjoyed the visit. And don't you be shy about dropping by the workshop if you ever get time. Sleep well." With a parting smile, she takes herself off.

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