Twinkling of a Smile

Xanadu Weyr - Beach

The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.

The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

A large bonfire circle dominates the beach, the tall fire burning warm even in the summer heat, while smaller cooking pits are settled out of the way here and there, each pit fire doing its job, as delicious scents waft forth. Games are set up along the beach, informal footrace tracks laid out, and the whole atmosphere is quite informal.

Some trash and flotsam still litters the beach, the remains of the party from earlier that night. In Rukbat's fading light lays a big, rocky brown, almost looking like a boulder on the beach. Cradled in his arms is his young rider, M'nol simply staring at his new knot, thinking hard about something, a sigh on his lips.

Keziah missed much of the party, but then she's not really the party type. Or the dancing type either. Hince her missing from the ball as well. However, the newly graduated rider can now be found poking along the beach after the crowds have gone home. Alosynth is out in the water, swimming out deep and diving for fish. She spots the boulder, err dragon on the beach and then grins as she heads up towards the pair after spotting the addition "Hey M'nol. Didn't expect to see you around."

M'nol perks up at a familiar voice and turns to Kez, his new wing knot still clutched in his hands, "Don't really know where else to go. My weyr seems so empty after a lifetime in barracks. Especially with Phy gone." He looks up at the ocean, watching his fair of flits sport with Alosynth in the water, "And our wingleader's the Weyrsecond… talk about awkward… and I haven't even met him."

Keziah shifts her wait to lean more on one leg than the other once she gets close enough "Figured you'd go seekin' Phy and all." she notes and then shrugs "Course, suppose might not be good with just gettin' wing assignments and all." There's a pause "You've not met D'had at all?" she asks and then hmms thoughfully at that. "Well, I've not been around him all that much myself, but he seems like a good sort and all." there's a pause and then a smirk "Course, ya do know D'son used to be Search and Rescue, right? Be careful or you may have the Weyrleader addin' in his too bits. They do say, once a Search and Rescue. Always one." she loosk thoughful "Even F'yr"

M'nol shakes his head, "He's been around Thea a lot lately, I think… otherwise…" he shrugs, indicating his lack of knowledge. He chuckles softly, "Bloodstone actually got through to deliver a present last night… he was so scared when he came back that it took me several minutes to calm him back down. I don't know why, but the watchdragon there is trying to keep all flits out." His gaze stays focused elsewhere, though who knows where, "I hope I made the right decision… I just want to help people, but I don't want Farry to get hurt like Zaruath was…"

Keziah blinks a moment "Keeping them out? Really? Huh." she looks thoughful at that and then looks a bit sober. "Aye, I wouldn't want to see Alo hurt like that either, but. I can't se denying her either because I want to protect her. That won't do either of us any good." she notes softly. "But then, just as easy sometimes to get hurt in other ways and well fires like that aren't all that common and all."

M'nol nods, "Faraeth wants to save people… the only thing he wants more is to catch a gold." The brownrider laughs, "Can you believe that? Farry thinks he could catch a queen." The brown gives an irritated rumble and M'nol pats his nose, speaking aloud for Kez' benefit, "I won't stop you, just don't get yourself killed trying." He sighs softly, thinking about F'yr and what she'd been through, "All I can do is try to keep him safe."

Keziah eyes Faraeth and then takes a step back and eyes him again "Well, it is possible. He's big enough. Might have the stayin' power for a queen flight." she notes thoughtfully. Just remember, they're instinct for things can be good and all. Don't hold him back too much, or that can end up gettin' ya both hurt." there's a pause "Least that's what I've been warned about doin'"

M'nol nods, "I know. If he chases I won't stop him. If he tries to save someone, I'll help as best I can. But I can't help worrying about him." He reaches up to stroke the brown's nose, "As much as I miss Phy and would do most anything to get her back, Farry's the only one I couldn't live without."

Keziah is silent and then she nods "I do not want to live without Alosynth either." she notes quietly and then tilts her head a little "Such a somber subject for havin' just graduated. No drinkin' it up with Cen at the tavern?" she asks with a sweet smile.

M'nol chuckles, "I tried, seemed like a good option at the time," he shrugs, "She was already well in. I just watched for a while." He can't hold in an honest chuckle, slipping his wingknot on his shoulder, "Yanno… even with Phy gone and everything that's happened I still haven't even tried alcohol… well… not counting that vile thing I accidentally drank some of right before graduation."

Keziah snorts a bit "I ain't never been much one for it myself, doesn't agree with me much, couple of glasses of wine and my nose is numb." she notes and sighs. "Even feeling a little wobbly and all. Everyone else manages more than a couple and still walk straight."

M'nol chuckles, "I only had a sip… it was horrible. I was going to ask Cen what a good beginner drink was, but decided not to… So I still have no idea how it affects me… maybe I'm just not meant to drink."

Keziah can't help but grin "I can't see it being something that'd be missin' from yer life if ya didnae drink." she notes and then there's a splash and Alosynth is trudging up the beach with a big wiggling fish in her mouth. As she gets up a bit farther the fish slips out of her mouth and Alosynth watches it a moment or two and then pounces it. Squish fish. "Alo. Really." She sighs and rolls her eyes. "Well, you could always drink and all and maybe you'ld end up like they say Sigam did, in that man skirt thing."

M'nol laughs. Loudly. "Jessamin told me about that. I'm sure it was hilarious." He sighs, still chuckling some, "I want to try it… at least once, just to know. I'm told I act enough like a drunk when I'm down no matter what I'm drinking." He smiles, remembering the milk incident, "Phy's driven me to drink… just not alcohol."

Keziah eyes M'nol oddly a moment and then shakes her head "A person drivin' ya to drink… and this is a good thing?" she asks and then shrugs "None of my business I suppose, jsut sounds like trouble." She leans against the green who drags her mangles fish over and starts slurpin' out the entrails. Kezi doesn't even seem to notice this, course she's gotten used to it. "Well, ain't nutin' stoppin ya now, less you've duties in the mornin'"

M'nol stands, "You know what? You're right. I could go right now…" He trails off, reality hitting, "'Course it's even later there than it is here." He sighs, "And I don't want to get her in trouble. They've got her on a really short leash as it is." He scratches Faraeth's neckridges, thinking to himself for a moment, "She says I'm wrong, but I can't help worrying that they took her away because of us."

Keziah tilts her head a little as she thinks about that. "Well, I dunno much about the healer craft and all, but I do know a little about healin' beasties and all. Somethings it's just better to have an apprentices undivided attention over." she notes carefully. I know I wouldn't want an apprentices mind off somewhere in the clouds when they should be learning on how to help out an animal with birthin' troubles. Could lose both that way, sometimes even the apprentice if they approach wrong and get a good swift kick."

M'nol smiles softly, "From what I can tell she misses me as much as I miss her. Can't see as that's very undivided." He sighs, "Not that I'd know, family mine means always working and learning." He chuckles, "Can't see how keeping her locked up all the time can help, either. Took Bloodstone a week of trying just to find her, and he had to wake her up to do it."

Keziah shrugs a little and just shakes her head "I dunno. Some just have stricter ideas on learnin' and all I suppose." There's a thoughful pause "They do any of what is that quiet breathin' stuff called and all?" She hrms a little and shrugs "Perhaps she's learning how to keep her mind clear and all. That takes time and patience and not much distraction."

M'nol quirks an eyebrow, "Meditation? I suppose it's possible. Just think she'd've told me instead of begging me to write if she needed some space for something as big as that." He sighs, "I just can't help worrying that it's my fault… that that one night away from the Weyr ruined everything."

Keziah hmms a little at M'nol and tilts her head "Well, there's little use in worryin yerself into a dither over it. Unproductive is what it is." A pause "And it just breeds bad thoughts." she hmms a moment and then looks M'nol square in the eye "Do ya trust her?"

M'nol sighs, "I know, but some days I can't help it… today was especially bad." He nods crisply, his conviction clear in his voice, "With mine and Farry's lives both. She said she's coming back and she will."

Keziah gives a nod "Then she'll come back. Have faith in her." there's a soft smile "And in yerself M'nol." she notes quitely "Don't be doubtin' yerself. You doubt yerself and you'll start doubtin' her and everyone else around ya."

M'nol nods, "I promised her I'd bring her back when she was ready, no matter what." He strokes Faraeth's nose gently, "I miss her more than anything… makes me think bad thoughts."

Keziah is quiet "I'd say I understand, but don't think there's been anyone I've missed like that." she notes and purses her lips a bit. "Well, what sorta things are ya plannin' on when she does get back?" A thoughful look "When is she due back anyways? We'll count of the days."

M'nol sighs, "That's the hardest part. I don't know and neither does she… at least not last time I talked to her. She's been reassigned indefinitely." He blushes a bit, "Some of what I'd like to do isn't necessarily fit for public consumption… but mostly just spend time together again. Hopefully have her move in to my weyr."

Keziah blinks a moment at M'nol, a resigned look on her face and she jsut shakes her head "I don't mean things like that. I certainly don't need ta hear about yer sex life." she notes "But yeah, like movin' inta ya weyr, or seein' about tendin' some gathers if it's the right time of year and all."

M'nol blushes and nods, "I know… I don't think anyone really wants to know about that…" He sighs, "She was supposed to be my date for graduation… part of why today's been so hard for me. But yeah, what I want most is simply to have her around again. To hear her laugh or cheer. To know she's with me for me."

Keziah snorts "Everyone would like to know it about as much as they'd likely like to know about my sex life." A pause and then a smirk "Not at all." she notes and then smiles softly "I can see how that would be hard, but she was here in our heart wasn't she?"

M'nol chuckles, "Exactly, no one wants to know." He nods, still smiling, "I know she was proud of me wherever she was when I walked across that stage. And I know I'll be glad for whatever she's learned while she's gone."

Keziah nods softly "Keep those thoughts in yer head." There's a pause "Is there a moment that you can visulize in your head, a special moment, her smilin' or something? Somethin' that makes you smile to think about? Ya don't have ta tell me, but just picture it in yer head when yer feelin' down."

M'nol ponders for a moment, then smiles softly as the image of her still sleeping in the early dawn crosses his mind, "She has the cutest smile… thanks Kez, I think that might really help." His soft happy facade is suddenly broken by a huge yawn, "It's been a long day… I should probably…" He smiles, "Well, you know."

Keziah laughs and makes some shooing motions "Off ya go to bed." she notes and chuckles "Remember, just think oof that when yer feelin' sad." she notes and then eyes Alosynth who's nosing through the sand lookin' for any dropped bits of fish. "I swear you've a hollow leg, you eat worse than an adolescent male." she remarks and then narrows her eyes as she gets fish breath chuffed at her. "Nut." she looks back at M'nol "Glad I could be of some help. Though I suppose I should be the last person givin' advice."

M'nol chuckles, actually giving Kez a hug, "Advice comes from all sorts. Thanks again." Then he turns, waving once more to his wingmate, then mounts Faraeth and takes to the air, returning to their treehouse lair for a good, solid sleep.

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