Meeting Old Friends

Fort Weyr - Lake Shore
This lake shares many features common to mountain lakes — a brilliant blue jewel nestled amongst the rocks. The waters are crystal clear, and the north shore slopes gently before abruptly falling away into the depths. This lake does have one significant differentiating feature, however. The south shore of the lake is a tumbled mass of rubble, rock and earth of an ancient rockslide smoothed only by the elements in the intervening years. This rubble, as well as the rather sheer east and west faces, makes for the north shore to be the only one easily accessible.
Springs arrival is noted by the disappearing lake ice. As it melts it breaks up into smaller icy bergs. These bob randomly throughout the choppy waters, slowly disappearing as the temperatures rise. They also frequently provide sport and entertainment for the bathing dragons. The emerging shoreline is inviting, though the water remains chilly for their human counterparts. As spring draws nearer to summer, the waters begin to feel quite invigorating with Rukbat's growing shine.

THANK FARANTH!!! Risali has escaped from the dreadful heat of Xanadu Weyr (okay, so it's not that bad, but it's BAD ENOUGH OKAY) to the winter storms of Fort Weyr, appearing in her leathers, and a long jacket lined with fur and complete with a hood that she currently has pulled up over her head. Booted feet are taking large steps along the edges of the frozen lake, careful not to tread on the ice as she hurries to hide behind… something. Why? Because she is Risali and she is in Fort Weyr and when is the last time that she saw Lu'ka? But there is one thing that cannot hide, that does not try to hide because have you met Leirith? She's big, and loud, and yellow, and — « ROTH! » shouting for Roth. « ROTH, WHERE IS YOUR MINION? Mine wishes to see yours. » And it's the giddy, upbeat, effervescent beat of drums; the cloyingly sweet scent of funnel cakes and spun sugar invading with a rush of bass that shivers and shakes and threatens to turn insides into liquid goo except that it's probably not physically possible because her voice is metaphysical and OKAY WE ARE NOT GETTING INTO THE SCIENCE OF IT. The point is that Leirith is there on the beach because one of the queens let her in, and she's shouting for one bronze in particular. And his lifemate. Risali is also there, but the where is now a MYSTERY, because what would be the point of hiding if she could be so easily found? « Come quick! » Draconic laughter, joyously unending with cheer.

Roth is indeed at the edge of the ice, the massive dragon enjoying such a nice day. Well, he's a dragon, he barely feels the cold as his rider does. His wings are extended and displayed to catch the most sun from the feeble Winter rays, and he seems to be swaying gently, every so often bobbing his head or shifting his huge self as if moving with a tune that only he can hear. Roth snaps out of his mental wanderings and freezes his body when Leirith makes her presence known, loudly. Head cants the Xanadu queen's way before he looks partially across the lake. « I am Roth » And there in the distance is Lu'ka jogging casually around lake path with a huge furry canine bounding to and fro with the Harper. Alerted to his presence being requested, the man lifts an arm and waves, signaling he'll be right along. A few minutes later, Lu'ka and Fizgig come trotting within speaking distance. "Welcome to.." The man takes a deep breath since he's out of it from the jogging "Fort and all that." Head tips his head politely to Leirith and glances about for her trouble stirring rider.

Awwwwyis! Get dat beat, Roth! Those whirling eyes in perpetual blue hues shift first to Roth, and then to Lu'ka in the distance, those massive sails unfurling in what might be her own wave hello, or simply just — « FASTER, ROTH MINION! YOUR LEGS ARE LONGER THAN MINE AND SHE WOULD BE HERE ALREADY. » But it's laughter; there's joy, and upbeat, infectious giddiness that says she is only just teasing. Probably. One never really knows with Leirith, since she seems pretty incapable of speaking in a mindvoice that's not just… happy. All of the time. But Lu'ka does get there eventually with his furry friend, a furry friend who is getting a nose-boop from a gold dragon if he doesn't make quick work of his doggy-legs and put some distance between them. And then she's booping Lu'ka as well, pressing her maw into him with enough of a part to affect what might have been a smile were dragons capable of such feats. « WELL DONE. Your ability to run short distances without dying will prove my minions doom! » More laughter, perhaps just a distraction because… where is Risali? Nowhere — wait. JUST KIDDING. THERE SHE IS, popping out from behind Lu'ka with a snowball already being tossed towards his PRECIOUS HEAD while she laughs. "Xanadu's duties, bronzerider!" But she's already leaning down to gather up more snow and make a snowball in gloved hands. Leirith simply cackles, and then trots her way towards the lake and toward Roth, who will get SQUISHED BY A QUEEN if he doesn't RUN REALLY FAR REALLY FAST. GIVE HER YOUR BODY HEAT.

Lu'ka reaches to give Fizgig an affectionate smack on a shoulder before the canine trots right towards Leirith almost fearlessly and barks out a greeting. He's been snuggling up to Roth for a couple of turns now, so the visiting queen's size is taken in stride. The canine does a bit of a sideshuffle when the dragon noseboops him though, she does outsize him a smidge afterall. Lu'ka grins at Leirith's taunst and snorts "Everyone legs are lo.." SPLAT Whatever he was about to say is disrupted by the unprovoked downright vicious attack on the poor innocent Jrman. "Uh huh. I see you've learned the local greeting customs." Not missing the Weyrwoman already preparing another weapon, Lu'ka does likewise. Crouching down, he scoops up a double handful of snow and starts packing it roundly while grinning across the distance between them, "Get tired of that sunny paradise of yours?" Hopefully she'll give him a chance to make his white fluff ball of death before attacking him again, but he doubts it.

BLESS FIZGIG and his precious heart. But Lu'ka, we all know exactly what those words were about to be, and while you're not wrong, that's still REAL RUDE. Unless you're Leirith, who is laughing again because she thinks it's positively hilarious. "We do get snow in Xanadu," Risali says around too wide a smile, every breath sending fog up in front of her as she rolls her ball of snow and doom and DEATH and watches Lu'ka roll his. But there's an arch of those brows, a shift of her hips as grey eyes stray away from the bronzerider to look around his winter paradise, to take in the sights with a quick assessment before her attention is back on the bronzer with her nose scrunched and an expression gone positively wicked. "No," she says, even though it's a lie. "I thought all of this snow was missing something positively abominable." GET IT? LIKE THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN? Whatever, Risali is laughing at her own jokes (and also her own self burn) as she launches that next ball of snow towards Lu'ka and scrambles to gather more snow and attempt to escape the retaliation. SPOILER ALERT: if Lu'ka throws that ball, he's definitely gonna land his hit. "Besides, I figured that you probably missed me by now! Did you miss me, Lu'ka?" All said around more laughter, around a smile that stretches almost too wide when she hits the 'k' in his name hard — for emphasis. And also because she's teasing.

Lu'ka 's head shakes as he corrects Risali's idea of snow. "Oh come on Weyrwoman. Whatever little dusting you get at Xanadu hardly compares to this!" He gestures around to the thick ice over the lake and several feet of snow piled up everywhere, before laughing at the woman's wording. He doesn't bother ducking to hide from the tiny woman's attack. He's mostly bundled up except for the hood pushed back so the thick hide should protect him from Risali's snow blasting. "Miss you? I've probably just recently fully recovered, mentally, from our last encounter." The man flashes a grin and sends his own snowball sailing towards the visiting Weyrwoman. He doesn't waste time, crouching down again to hurriedly smush together some frigid ammo. Roth watches the two riders attack each other, the dragon resembling a tennis spectator for a moment.

There's an indignant screech ripped from Risali's lips when Lu'ka's snowball finds its mark, but it's punctuated by another laugh — breathless, and giddy, and the kind that starts in your stomach and seizes your lungs. But she recovers, gathers another snowball to fling at the bronzerider AS A DISTRACTION! Because here she comes, running to close the gap between them with a very, very undignified war cry (it's not very impressive), gathering snow once she reaches Lu'ka to attempt to SHOVE IT DOWN HIS JACKET. TAKE THAT! "We get proper snow!" she laughs, though a beat later, she amends with, "But nothing like this, no." Nothing this beautiful, nothing that could compete with Fort Weyr's winters. Maybe it's why she's giving up snowballs to punch Lu'ka in the arm, to lean in closer regardless of what retaliation is coming for her with another one of those smiles, with grey eyes that take in his face from up close for a moment, two, three, before she breathes out, "You look good, Lu'ka." And she means it. A shift, a bump of her shoulder to his, and she presses in against his arm with her own arm, tilting her head and looking up as if trying to see him better. "Too good, in fact. I knew I waited too long to see you." A beat, and then, more serious comes her next question: "How have you been? What's been happening in your life?"

"HAAA!!" can be heard from Lu'ka when his snowball explodes on Risali contact. But he seems confused a few seconds when she runs towards him yelping like Fizgig when he's upset. The big canine is canting his head this way and that as if trying to decifer what the yelping rider is saying. And then Lu'ka realizes it's supposed to be some sort of battle cry and laughs. Probably not the best reaction he could have had. She manages to shoves snow down the back of his jacket, but the Fortian fends off most of her attacks. With his arms being longer than hers, the scene might look comical to any onlookers venturing around the lake. Not to mention gawking dragons. When Risali's thoughts seem to drift away from assault, Lu'ka pretends to nurse the arm she punches with a pouting expression. A grin cracks quick enough though and he tilts his head with mock arrogance "Well duh!" to his looks and gestures around the Weyr in general. "Most round here don't bother finding sun somewhere during the Winter months." He lowers his voice as if revealing a huge secret. "Makes them quite pale." He winks in a conspiratory manner and grins. "Things are going well. Got a couple of Apprentice's that should be be earning promotions soon. And you know I'm always working on sidejobs. Taverns and parties." He reaches to ruffle Fizgig's head when the canine headbutt his hand demandingly. "How about things with you and Xanadu?" He pretends to be alarmed. "You didn't burn the place down did you?""

STRAIGHT DISRESPECTFUL, LU'KA. But there is no apologies to be found in Risali's expression — not even playful ones. Truth be told, Lu'ka pretending to nurse his arm and pout only raises him raise brows that furrow in as she grins at him, the kind of grin that says, 'Don't be a baby, Lu'ka,' without her needing to vocalize it. But she's looping one of her arms through his, catching at his forearm with her free hand and pulling him with her as she starts to walk in a large circle around that frozen lake, where Leirith camps out beside Roth, no doubt bombarding him with bass, and drums, and giddy words of enthusiastic joy as she joins in the watching of minions and their badassery. Risali is making a noise in her throat to show she's listening, eyes going down to her feet to watch their progress through the snow as she considers his words. Has she burned the place down? A wicked smile comes as grey eyes find his again, holding there as she breathes out, "Not yet." BUT SOON. SOON XANADU WILL KNOW REAL TERROR, REAL DOOM. For now? For now it's safe, even if Risali's smile falters seconds before she looks away again and lapses into silence, debating her answer. She settles for half truths. "They're okay. I have no idea what I'm doing, now that I'm the Senior Weyrwoman, but D'lei makes it easier for me. And the boys are doing good — all four of them. And Selene." A beat, another smile, though one that comes fleetingly when she glances at the harper again. "I'd say I'm jealous you still get to be a harper, but honestly there is just nothing like mountains of paperwork and requests for three tons of phosphorescent paint to make a day exciting."

Lu'ka shrugs with an unapologetic grin as He starts wandering along the path around the frozen lake. "Yet." He repeats, obviously amused by the thought. Listening about her family and the horrors of paperwork he stops suddenly and gives the short woman a speculating look and curious browlift. "Is the idea to make Xanadu glow in the dark? Or such a bad paint job that it'll give you an excuse to burn it down?" He chuckles as his feet start forward again. "Your Weyr paperwork sounds boring. Much better to work on Harper paperwork and music." Lu'ka nods sagely in his joking manner. "And if you wanna 'be a Harper again' then just grab your gear and play. Grab some of your Apprentices and go entertain the nursery littles. Or the Old Aunts and Uncles scattered around. I don't think you and Leirith would have much trouble calling in a few more Harpers to join in. I seem to recall a certain dragon bullying me out of my candidate cot to go play to serenade her in the middle of a snowy night." At least there was a bonfire though.

Risali's head goes back as she laughs, leaning sideways into Lu'ka again to bump him without letting go of her hold on his arm. There's deviance in that smile when it lingers on her lips, when she turns her attention up and onto the bronzerider beside her and exhales, "I wish it was that easy. When I'm not buried beneath paperwork, I'm spending time with my weyrmates and my children." A beat, a softer smile that furrows her brow inward even as those grey eyes dart away from Lu'ka's face, to look ahead and focus on something in the distance. Softly, she admits, "I guess somewhere along the way, music became an afterthought." BUT DON'T LET THAT FOOL YOU. She still dances, and sings, and lives her life by lyric. There's just, you know, no time for the harper aspect of it all — not so much anymore. But that smile is back, a tug on Lu'ka's arm as if she means to shake-off stray thoughts by shaking him, and then she's asking, "So you're still the same Lu'ka after all these turns, hmm? Only now you've got a dragon." A beat, as grey eyes stray to Fizgig and her nose scrunches in good humor as she whispers, "And the dog. No desire to do Search and Rescue, or transport goods, or settle down?" A bump of her chin on his upper arm as she tilts her head back to look at him — BECAUSE HE'S DANG TALL, AND SHE IS NOT, but that doesn't stop that teasing grin from manifesting too big.

Lu'ka scrunches up his nose and shakes head at all Risali's demanding and seeming brain-numbing paperwork. "I'm surprised Leirith doesn't demand more music playtime like she used to." The Harper flashes a 'horrified and insulted' look down to the Weyrwoman at her suggestion that music is an afterthought. "You should bite your tongue for that one." Her shaking tugs on his arm have him leaning a little more with each step, rather than slouching more. "I'm still teaching lessons and playing the taverns and pubs, plus contracts through the Hall for one Holder's party or another, if that's what you mean. So pretty much as usual there. Roth did bring a couple more chnages about though. He caught a green over at Monaco a while back named Kith. And well, long story short I son named Luenn." He glances back to Risali with a hint of a pride. "Future Journey Harper no doubt!" A quick nod about his canine, but followed with a shake "Oh I've still got Fizgig. But he's too much into playing to be serious enough for the Search and Rescue Wing."

"Shut up, Lu'ka," Risali breathes around breathy laughter, giving him another nudge for the suggestion of biting her tongue. AND THEN STUMBLING. IGNORE THAT STUMBLE. Definitely just a rock, or some really rude snow, and not at all a physical reaction to his news. Risali whips her head to find Lu'ka's face with grey eyes, to hold there as lips part in an emotion that's startled, and lingering, and just about to become awkward when she blinks, and swallows hard, and finds a smile to give him. A gentle shake again, and a soft breath of, "Congratulations, stupid bronzerider. With you as his father, I have no doubt." That he will become a Journeyman, she means. A beat, two, three as Risali's attention drops to her boots, watching their progress through the snow in silence for just a moment before she bites down on her bottom lip, hesitates, and then pursues that question she might usually allow to lie dormant and unanswered. "So is Luenn's mother…" Is she grasping for words? She's grasping for words. "Are you two… you know…" A THING? SHE MEANS A THING. "Committed? Weyrmated? Or is Luenn just… just a flight child?" SHE IS NOT FLUSHING. IT'S COLD OUTSIDE, LU'KA. GEEZ. Conversation about search and rescue and enthusiastic puppies seems to be stalled — for now.

"Why would I start now?" Shutting up that is. And when she stumbles, he proves his point. "Is this tricky snow giving you problems Risali?" asked oh so innocently, and he peers around. "Maybe we can borrow a sled from someone." Better that than send the Weyrwoman back with a busted ankle or worse. He's clearly trying to hide a grin when he turns his attention back to his fellow Harper, but laughs as she praises and insulted him with only a few words "Um, Thanks, I think?" A quick nod either way. "He's being fostered with my mom so I check in on him most days." The bronzeHarper lifts a brow at the woman's unsual stumbling about for words and shrugs. "Hmm Luenn was brought about due to a flight, yea. But no I'm not weyrmated. I get along with Quinn well enough and hang out a bit, but she does her thing and I do mine." A chuckle at the whole thing before he nods assuredly "If I do get weyrmated though, I'll be sure to let you know. Watch your step!" He points out a stealth icey rock just waiting to trip some unsuspecting visitor.

"Faranth," Risali breathes. "None of you bronzeriders listen." And here she draws back one hand just enough to form a fist and give Lu'ka a gentle punch in his upper arm, laughing as she does because he is rude and then even ruder and Risali's giving a punctuated: "Shut. Up." But it's good natured, said around a smile, offered up in response to the need for sleds. "I'm perfectly capable of walking in the snow. Look at me snow walking." STOMP STOMP STOMP. Yes, Risali is exaggerating each step for emphasis, so much so that she doesn't notice in enough time just where he's telling her to beware, but that will become important in a second. For now, she's turning her eyes back onto Lu'ka (another reason she doesn't see), those brows furrowing as she listens, and her lips pull at the corners into a smile that's not harboring any humor before she looks away. "So just friends? Or are you more than that without any real commitment to each other?" It's odd in that Risali is usually not one to pry, but here she is. PRYING. But then she's getting a warning, and blinking to look just where it is that Lu'ka is telling her except IT'S TOO LATE. And there goes her footing, a long with a strangled shriek as she tosses her body into Lu'ka and catches at his arms and his jacket with her hands and DAMN IT IF HE DOESN'T CATCH HER SHE'S BRINGING HIM DOWN WITH HER. MAYBE. Either way, it's a spectacular moment of flailing and attempting to defy gravity.

Lu'ka grins at Risali's exasperation at 'no bronze rider's listening'. "To what specifically Risali?" His sled jabs stirs a reaction from the short woman and he lifts his hands as if surrending. "Alright alright. Yep! You're walking very well." To her exaggerated stomping about. He looks ahead to so he doesn't misstep himself. Her question does have him thinking a few seconds longer. "Both I guess. We have fun and have become friends over the last couple of turns. I helped her with some stuff when she was pregnant with Luenn. Even when she was blaming me for the kicks to her ribs or something like that." A little headshake "We did go over to a Gather a few sevendays back. But as I said, she does as she wants so it's all go.ooOOfph." Risali's feet go one way and she pulls him another way, He tries to keep the woman from going down as best he can. But the suddenness of the whole shrieking thing causes him to land sharply on his knee. Hopefully, Risali's flailing helps her stay upright. Anyone within earshot no doubt are looking to see what's happening, and after a moment, Lu'ka barks out a laugh "So about that sled…"

Lu'ka grins at Risali's exasperation at 'no bronze rider's listening'. "To what specifically Risali?" His sled jabs stirs a reaction from the short woman and he lifts his hands as if surrending. "Alright alright. Yep! You're walking very well." To her exaggerated stomping about. He looks ahead to so he doesn't misstep himself. Her question does have him thinking a few seconds longer. "Both I guess. We have fun and have become friends over the last couple of turns. I helped her with some stuff when she was pregnant with Luenn. Even when she was blaming me for the kicks to her ribs or something like that." A little headshake "We did go over to a Gather a few sevendays back. But as I said, she does as she wants so it's all go.ooOOfph." Risali's feet go one way and she pulls him another way, He tries to keep the woman from going down as best he can. But the suddenness of the whole shrieking thing causes him to land sharply on his knee. Hopefully, Risali's flailing helps her stay upright. Anyone within earshot no doubt are looking to see what's happening, and after a moment, Lu'ka barks out a laugh "So about that sled…"

"To anything, bronzerider." THEY JUST DON'T LISTEN. And then it doesn't matter. Risali is listening to Lu'ka's answers, and then falling and Lu'ka is GOING DOWN. TIMBERRR! Risali does manage to stay upright, but only because she's catching at the bronzerider's shoulders and hugging herself to the Journeyman when his knee hits the ground. She clings until she's sure of her footing, and then she leans back to laugh, to punch Lu'ka in his arm and push his face gently. "Shut up." She's just about to open her mouth to say something more when Leirith croons, when the gold shifts away from Roth with a bunt for the bronze as she takes off in a trot that's definitely more a THUNDEROUS STAMPEDING towards her lifemate. And then she SKIDS TO A HALT, kicking up snow EVERYWHERE. Risali parts with another shriek, arms up as if she might ward some white away, but ends up covered in it instead — red cheeked and red nosed and laughing as grey eyes find Lu'ka's and she takes a step back, holding out her hands to offer him help up. "I have to go," she breathes, breath frosting the air. "But I'll be back to visit. You come and see me too, okay?" AND SHE HUGS HIM, around his middle if he's on his feet again, or around the shoulders if he's not, but either way she's drawing back, pinching his cheeks with a sound in her throat that's akin to the sounds people make when they are having cute aggression at tiny, adorable baby animals, and then she's off. To Leirith, to Xanadu Weyr, to home! And maybe looking just a touch… not right when she looks at Lu'ka from Leirith's back seconds before they take off.

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