Give It a Shot!

Xanadu Weyr - Rustic Treetop Cafe
Perched on the cliff overlooking Xanadu's beach is a gnarled and massive skybroom tree. The bark and outer layers are sturdy enough to support the thriving, brushy top, but the interior, which is hollow, contains a spiral staircase that leads to a cafe built on a high platform amongst the branches. With a panoramic view of lake, sky, Weyr and the mountains beyond, the treetop eatery offers both sheltered seating just inside the trunk and tables on the wide deck that encircles the old tree.
The cafe's decor is comfortable and rustic, but closer inspection shows the smallest embellishments to be artfully combined into one detailed masterpiece. The wood of the doors, floor and walls of the trunk have been stained a dark mahogany that lends the space a sense of intimacy. Tables in various sizes have been carved to mimic driftwood, the chairs and benches padded with oiled sailcloth cushions to provide weather-proof comfort. Each table has an aged brass lantern filled with shells and agates gathered from Xanadu's shores, the sparkling natural mosaics holding tapered candles upright in their embrace. Lamps hang from the ceiling on silver poles, the thick frosted glass carved into intricate pastel shells or swirling white-capped waves. At night the colored glass softens the glowlight to enhance the ambience.
During the day, the retractable doors allow leaf-spattered sunlight to fill both the outer deck and the smaller interior with green and gold light, as well as allowing pleasant breezes to cool the interior. On clear nights, farviewers perch on the elaborately carved railing are free for use to enhance the gorgeous view of the stars over the Caspian Lake, the Sea of Azov beyond and the rock formations of the Weyr.

There's nothing wrong with eating in the large cavern. But sometimes it's nice to not have the low roar of many conversations, scraped plates, and chorus of chittering lizards echoing back down at you from the upper rafters. Her attention frequently peers out the open window by her table as she enjoys her meal, the cool breeze doing a good job of blowing annoying insects off coarse when they try attacking her plate. Her lizards are among a few perched, both having already been fed, and settled down and snoozing. Kera chuckles at the cricket-like noise coming from Minimur and Polgara begins twitching as if chasing after something in her sleep. Another bite is taken from her wherry and bacon sandwich before she lifts her hand to catch the waitress's attention again.

Kiena is one of those who can appreciate a quieter locale for a meal and the Weyrsecond loves the view from the cafe. With so many pros going for it, it's no wonder the bluerider climbs up those stairs in hopes of finding her own quiet corner to eat. Ignoring how winded the walk up has made her, her attention is more on who she spots sitting there by the windows. "Kera!" she calls, with a faint and crooked smile. So much for quiet? Kiena strides over, eyes darting about the room. Any more folks she recognizes here? "Mind some company?"

Mur'dah spotted Kiena heading up to the cafe, so the brownrider snuck up after her. Trying to sneak up behind her, he gestures 'shhh' to Kera from over the Weyrsecond's shoulder before leaning forward to whisper, "Surprise," to Kiena's ear, with a crooked grin.

Kera nods to the waitress once she catches the woman's eye and given the universal 'one moment' gesture. Settling back in her seat, humming along with the noise coming from her snoring lizard. Hearing your name being called out tends to get that person's attention, and Kera is no different. Gently waving some of her sandwich in greeting, she takes a moment to hurry up and get the bite down while she gestures to the empty chairs. Grin begins to grow and she pretends to not notice the brownrider slinking Mur'dah slinking closer in Kiena's wake. "Not at all, have a sit." Grins turns to amused wink when the brownrider surprises the Weyrsecond. "Afternoon, you two. Room for both of ya." Reaching down to grab a bit of wherry that fell out of her sandwich.

Kiena has no idea that Mur'dah is sneaking up on her as her attention is solely on Kera. "Than—" The rest ends in a startled yelp when the brownrider is whispering in her ear and she whirls, giving him a good nudge to the ribs and a playful nudge even as she scowls at him. "Mur'dah! Jays, you're going to give me grey hairs well before my Turn for it!" she chides him but is chuckling in the next breath and grinning. "Thanks, Kera. Though you sure you want the prankster here joining you?" She jerks her thumb to Mur'dah, teasing him a little further before she plops herself down into a chair and may just "nicely" shove the other one out for the brownrider. By shove, it's really her pushing it out of his reach so he'll have to drag it back into place. Childish? Of course it is and she'll just grin at him all too sweetly. "How're you? And shells… that sandwich looks good." Pardon the Weyrsecond while she drools a little?

Mur'dah laughs happily, slipping his arm around Kiena's waist and planting a kiss on her cheek before he lets her go, winking at Kera. "Thanks for now blowing my cover." He takes the shoved seat and hauls it back where it goes, flopping into the chair with a grin in return. "Is that bacon I smell?"

Kera looks between the two grinning at the antics they share. Sometimes the childish way is the more amusing way. Shrugging that she doesn't mind Mur'dah having a seat, though her plate is slid closer to herself and further away from the brownrider when he sniffs out the bacon. The action clearly tells Mur'dah, 'get your own'. Nodding "Aye, tis the sandwich special of the day. Roasted wherry, bacon, chedder, and tubor crisps…." She trails off as the waistress come back to the table. Kera ends up ordering another sandich, without extra chips, and a pitcher of juice since her glass is already mostly empty. When done, she falls silent while anything else is ordered. "I'm doin alright. Just avoiding the stuffy cavern for a change, even if ya have to climb up the side of a tree." Gaze flicks between the couple "How're you both? And the twins?"

It might be Kiena that Kera should be protecting her food from! The Weyrsecond is eyeing that sandwich with a growing desire and hunger and more so because of Mur'dah's clever nose sniffing out the bacon she didn't see. "Shards and shells! I'm starving. Wasn't all that hungry coming up the stairs but now that I see it and… where's the waitress?" She'll turn in her seat again, trying to catch sight of one of the servers here but there's no need. One comes along and Kiena puts in her order and casts a curious look to Mur'dah. Is he ordering too? "Heh, the view and the peace of mind is worth it?" she murmurs, amused, to Kera. As for her well being, Kiena shrugs. "I've been well. Busy, as usual. Twins are doing good! Growing like weeds and staying out of mischief. We'll see how long that lasts." Snickering, she'll reach over the table to gently rest her hand on Mur'dah's arm, giving him a significant and hinting look.

Mur'dah /eyes/ that sandwich, but rather than stealing Kera's, he does indeed order his own. Distracted by the anticipation of the food order, he has to pull his attention back to the conversation, covering Kiena's hand with his, and then he grins. "So, Kera. Thought you should be one of the first to know that Kiena and I are weyrmated now."

Kera chuckles to Kiena, nodding agreeably that the sandwich smeels good. "Well, not to tease a starving woman, but it taste better than it smells." Thus why she ordered another. Grabbing one of the extra slices of bacon she chomps into it before turning her plate and nudging it towards the others, bacon side their way. "Grab a couple of slices til your sandwiches get here if ya want, got more coming." Shoving the rest of the baconslice in her mouth, gaze drifts between Mur'dah and Kiena and notices they seem to have something on their mind. Smiling that the girls are doing fine and getting bigger, she cants her head to Mur'dah, one brow arching at his announcement. "Ahh, Congratulations to you both. How about the sandwiches will be my treat."

"I bet it is!" Kiena drawls and when Kera offers the plate with bacon, the Weyrsecond has to control herself and not just dive in. She will grab the best piece though before Mur'dah can and happily nibble on it with a wink to the greenrider in thanks. "One of the first and the only one who knows so far," she repeats after the brownrider and there's a crooked smile for the congratulations. The offer of payment has her clearing her throat though and looking a touch sheepish. "Ah, well… It's fine, Kera! Y'don't have to…" She rubs awkwardly at the back of her neck, glancing sidelong to Mur'dah.

Mur'dah nods, "We'll have to find Darsce, maybe this evening," he says to his !! Weyrmate, snagging a piece of bacon. "And Marel, if I can find her. Hey, thanks, Kera! That's real nice of you." What? It's a gift, don't turn it down. "So how've you been, Kera?"

Kera waves off the attempted refusal of the free meal. "Nonsense, my treat." Plucking one of the tubor crisp, she nibbles on that in bwtwee sandwich bites. "Ah, I'll be certain not to spread the news for at least a few days then." Winking good-naturedly to Mur'dah "Will that be enough time to alert the proper people?" A grin added as the waitress returns with a huge tray. She has to set it on an a nearby empty table before she can distribute the several plates, pitchers and glasses she's delivering. Once the sandwiches are in place around the starving riders, she retreats to see to another table. Looking back to the happy couple, she nods with a casual shrug. "I'm doin well. Duties shifts, and of coarse, finding proper ways to waste my free time." A giggle slips out at the end, but then she's taking the last bite from her original sandwich and tugging the second one closer. A quick flick of her fingers towards the steaming wherry and bacony goodness steaming up from the plates. "Dig in!"

Kiena bites her tongue when Mur'dah accepts the gift and Kera insists. "Thanks," she murmurs to the greenrider, her appreciation showing in the smile and flicker of her eyes. She'll try not to squirm too much in her chair either when Mur'dah begins to list off everyone they need to speak to. "In time, in time." she murmurs and then chuckles. "We won't hold it against you if you let it slip, Kera." Right? Now the food is here and the Weyrsecond digs into her sandwich the moment she has the chance and from the look of bliss on her face it was well worth the wait. FOOD! "Mhm, so what do you do then in your free time? If you don't mind me askin'?" she drawls after swallowing a mouthful of food.

Mur'dah grins, grabbing his sandwich and taking a huge bite. His mouth is full but his expression is blissful and satisfied. FOOD indeed. Chewing and swallowing, he grins. "Free time! Don't say that too loud or someone'll give you more duties to fill it with." He winks. "This is fantastic, Kera. Thanks again."

Kera follows her own order and digs into the new sanwich, plucking a couple of still warm chunks of wherry from the plate and shoving them back between the bread. Taking a moment to consider just how she spends her free time, a little nod dips her head "Lately I've been swimming with Moncerath alot, sorta." Though technicaly, it's not been 'swimming' she's been attempting. "Gardening around the cottage some, threadwork, visiting some friends. And the occassional stuffing myself during a late lunch cause I skipped breakfast. Lost track of time while shopping." A smirk flashed to her friends as she tears into the sandwich again.

Kiena whistles softly between bites, having to mop up a few escaped pieces from her plate too. Neat eater? Not her! The Weyrsecond is not many things. "Mur'dah! Are you saying I'd purposely schedule more shifts for poor Kera here?" she drawls, sounding aghast and hurt as she feigns placing a hand over her heart. It lasts all a few seconds before she's laughing and taking another bite of her sandwich. "You have been busy!" she remarks after swallowing to Kera, brows lifting in surprise. "Swimming, eh? New hobby or exercise? And how's your friend N'talya?"

Mur'dah tilts his head. "How do you sorta swim a lot? Oooh, if you're gardening you should talk to Marel. She's great with the gardens." He flashes Kiena a grin. "No! Not /you/." Others might! Idle hands and all. "And C'rus? Been to see him?"

Kera gives them both a look of mock horror over the good natured threat of extra shifts. Gaze flickers between the two and she takes a couple sips from her glass. "OH, I've always been a swimmer, hard not to around a dolphineer. But well, Moncerath's doing the swimming. I'm just trying to stay on my feet whhile she does it." Chuckling at that "Thanks to a couple of suggestions from those watching, I'm getting better at it." Dragonsurfing welcome to Pern. Yayyy. "N'talya doing well, and not being too stubborn about overworking. But at any given moment, she seems grumpy, or panicky, irritated she has trouble seeing her feet now. Typical 'f.t.m.s.' (first time mother syndrome) I think." Shifting the sandwich around in her hand, she nods to Mur'dah about his sister. "I've spent a bit at her shop lately. She doing alright?" When questions about C'rus, she simply gives gentle shake of her head "Not since he's become a weyrling, no. But I've sent a few notes." And probably gotten a few back as well. "I think he's…making alot of new…adjustments over the turn of events…" Not sure how to futher finish that thought, she simply shrugs with a thoughtful frown and eyes her sandwich again before tearing into it once more "Mmmm. Sh' take Nat wun huf'des." She says around a mouth full of food.

Kiena just peers suspiciously at Mur'dah, but it's all in play and fun. Still, he'll get a good nudge to his leg from under the table for that! She'll polish off the rest of her sandwich and then begin to work, slower, on the tuber fries. "I'm not sure if I'm following…" she murmurs, frowning as she regards Kera curiously. "So it's Moncerath who's swimming? With you? And you're on her…?" Give it a moment and finally it clicks in the Weyrsecond's mind. Her eyes widen as it dawns on her, "OH! Surfing! Right?" Please say she's right or she'll feel like a fool. Snorting, Kiena smirks but there's a knowing and understanding flicker to her eyes as she picks up another fry. "Hormones don't help in that. So she's well along then in her time? I feel for her. Last stretch is the toughest. By then you're just done with it all." she murmurs, only to go quiet as Kera asks after Marel. "She just had a baby herself too, didn't she?" As for C'rus, Kiena just quirks a brow and nibbles on a little more of her food and tries not to snicker. "I bet he has had to adjust…"

Mur'dah nudges Kiena's leg back, flashing her a crooked grin. "Oh, neat! Ever dived off of her? Like while she's flying?" He nods in sympathy for N'talya, and then smiles. "She's doing fine as far as I can tell, yes. And I'll bet C'rus is making a lot of adjustments. I'd hope he would be." Back to the foooood.

Kera nods to Kiena, speaking after a moment "Yep, I was having the biggest problem keeping my feet and not sliding right over her side on my butt." Chuckling at her own wipeouts "But I'm onto the trick of it now, thanks to the Weyrwoman's suggestion, just needed the right traction against her oily hide." A quick shake of her head to Mur'dah "No, remained firmly attached to Moncerath when off the ground." She gives a little cringe "I've seen people do it though." A general consensus is reached over C'rus's newly made adjustments, so doesn't add anything else about the Fortian weyrling. Looking between the two nods as she follows along, a hint of a frown creep across her features though before she shrugs it off with a shake of her head "I can't remember most of Marel's file , is this her first?"

Kiena's brows lift in surprise as she darts a sidelong look to Mur'dah. Wait, he knows about this sort of activity? Wait. Why is she surprised? "I thought only the S&R riders practiced such moves!" Riders do it for fun? Why did she not know this! Not that Ujinath would approve. The blue is likely to birth a litter of felines before ever agreeing for Kiena to leap off his back and into the water several feet below. "How'd you come across surfin' on your own dragon?" She has to ask, she's curious! There's no answer from her concerning Marel, though she does turn to Mur'dah.

Mur'dah clicks his tongue. "You should try it! Just make sure the water is deep enough." He turns to blink at Kiena. "Practiced? It's /fun/." He /did/ take her cliff diving. She shouldn't be surprised.
Mur'dah says "Yes, this is her first."

Kera tucks the info about Marel away, but stubborn shakes her head to the brownrider "There's still things I'ld like to do before I jump to an almost certain death." Waving off the mention of the water being deep enough. "Not just that, what if there are rocks in the water you can't see? Or a dense clucter of fish of spiderclaw…it could happen." A quick shrugs as hse maintains her stubbornness over jumping off a dragon midair no matter if water is below or not. Leaning back away from the table, hopefully no one notices the little shiver she does at the idea of such crazy actions. Flashing a grin to them though "Well, it was something I've seen the Weyrleader do with one of those …bodyboard…bogeyboard.. something like that. Only it's more fun with Moncerath, and she has been enjoying it once I stopped sliding off her sides."

Kiena rolls her eyes to Mur'dah and gives his arm a gentle smack with the back of her hand. "I didn't say it wasn't fun! I'm just… shells, forget it!" she drawls with a snicker. No, she shouldn't be surprised, given she's gone cliff diving with him before! "Now I've GOT to try this. The surfing and the diving!" Couldn't hurt, right? Glancing to Kera, Kiena laughs, "Rocks? Nah. Not if you go out deep enough! You don't go down that deep into the water, so you should be safe. 'N spiderclaw are way, waaaay down on the bottom of the ocean. Fish'll just scatter out of your way. It's the weeds you'll likely get into! Don't want to land in a drift of 'em. Nasty stuff and only because it's a pain to find all the pieces!" She gives a mock shudder and finishes off her plate of food. "Ahh, right! Forgot Ka'el was fond of that type of boarding. I tried it once… wasn't too bad."

Mur'dah laughs. "It's not certain death, Kera. How high do you think we go? Miles? And you swim in the water before, check it, make sure…" He shrugs. "Your loss!" He doesn't seem to mind. Of surfing, he grins. "I used to surf when I was a kid."
Kera grins to Kiena, head tilting a bit as the bluerider explains away the examples she mentioned a moment ago. A amused snort slips out "Ah, well when ya go and say it like that.." An over dramatic eyeroll, before she cracks a grin and winks to the Weyrsecond to show she's kidding. "I've been doing battle with the weeds around the cottage, reclaiming the herb garden that was growing wild in the back. But I don't think I wanna get tangled up in a mass of them under water." Looking to Mur'dah "I'm not sure, 'bout a hundred feet or so?" Finally she shrugs not wanting to argue over diving her eyes slip back and forth between Kiena and Mur'dah. "Well, if you do wanna give it a try, give a pair of those dolphineer boots a thought. Good traction against dragonhide. The Weyrleader mentioned they might be good for dragonbathing too."

"You surfed as a kid?" Kiena does seem surprised by that admission from Mur'dah. "How come you don't surf as much now?" she asks curiously but she could be teasing him too. Turning back to Kera, she grins. "And how's that coming along? Settling in well to your home now?" she asks and then blinks. "A hundred feet? Shells, no! That's way too high. You don't dive from heights like that…" Or do you? Another light frown knits her brows. "Dolphineer boots? What're those…?"

Mur'dah nods, "A bit Wasn't that good at it. Was better at runner riding. And I've got better things to do." He winks at his weyrmate, grin crooked. "A hundred feet? No way. More like ten or twenty. It's just fun jumping off your dragon."

Kera nods to Kiena "Tech craft came up with a material that the dolphineers like. Gloves and vest type things that work well in water." Not knowing more about it than that, she grins "I was never good at surfing when I was little. Couldn't get on that board." A hint of a smirk "At least Moncerath is big enough for me to stand up on. Staying up, that's the trick still."

Kiena chuckles, "See, I can swim but good luck getting me to ride a runner! I'm decent at it." Decent meaning she won't end up on her butt on the ground or scraped off a tree, at least! A brow quirks up at Mur'dah's wink and she snickers, giving him a playful nudge and a low mutter that sounds like 'behave' muttered around a few other words. "Huh! Figures the tech crafters would be behind it. Might look into it, if I can convince Ujinath to let me try this new method of surfing." No sense to go dragon surfing if you can't get your dragon to co-operate! With her plate now empty, Kiena looks ready to stretch out and just enjoy some time to relax in good company. Alas, it's not to be! Her head tilts and it's clear she's speaking to Ujinath by her unfocused gaze. With a sigh, she pushes back her chair and stands, hesitating for a moment until she remembers that Kera offered to pay for lunch. "Thanks again, Kera, for the treat to lunch. Sandwich was great and so was getting to see you again. I've got to hurry back to the offices for a moment. Mur'dah, I'll see you at home? Candlemark or so." There's a bit of a lopsided smile at that. So strange, so new! "Take it easy!" And with that, she's hurrying off and taking those stairs two by two all the way down. It's a wonder she doesn't fall head over heels!

Mur'dah chuckles, finishing his sandwich and smiling warmly up at Kiena. Ahh, young love. "I'll see you at home. So, Kera. Tell me more about this dragon surfing." And on the conversation goes until one or both of them have to part ways, Mur'dah thanking her again for picking up the check.

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