Hang Ten - Dragon style

Some Island Somewhere - Sugar Beach


Palm trees shade the fine-grained, pristine white sand, making them cool to the touch even when Rukbat is at its peak. Gentle waves from the sheltered bay lap the sand at water's edge. Crystal clear at the shoreline, the waters deepen to aqua then a rich azure in the cove's center. Further out, rolling billows break with a muted roar upon a reef of smooth volcanic rock that protects the cove, keeping the waters of the cove tranquil.

On either side the sand stretches to curve out of sight, flanked on one side by thick jungle, the other by the sea. Someone has tied a woven rope hammock wide enough for two in the shade of the palm trees and just a few steps from a rock fire pit. Nearby there is a path that disappears into the undergrowth.

Dawn here is a lovely thing with the faint wash of peach that heralds a new day, just tinting the sky so gradually it's almost unnoticed to the watcher's eye. The sea takes the sky in its watery embrace, blushing the same hue as the stillness of the night looks on to seas left glassy by its passing. Softly growing light reveals the form of one sleeper on the sands, but where is the other? Not along any of the stretch of beach to be seen. But what it this? Beside the man she has managed not to awaken by her stealthy movements, written in the sands is a short message:

Everything carries me to you…
as if everything that exists,
scents, sounds, places,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
~Pablo Neruda

From there the only clue is a line of barefoot tracks leading to the water's edge. Further out in the cove stands Thea, facing out to sea with the still waters of the cove lapping about her bare shoulders.

D'had stirs finally, rolling over and reaching for the other who isn't there. Its that lack of body that's what rouses him. Lifting his head he blinks at the light, soon enough finding that message in the sand beside him and standing to better read, then turning to follow those footprints with first eyes and then feet out to where tide meets shore.

Footfalls on sand are strangely quiet, and so Thea remains immobile, standing there looking like she's… going to swim maybe? But although she's in to her shoulders, her hair is still dry and she's not moving out deeper. Seryth, not up with the dawn as her Rider, is curled in slumber down the beach.

D'had stands at water's edge for a long moment just watching before finally calling out quietly, "Mornin' sunshine." A quirk of a smile follows the words should she turn in his direction.

Thea turns her head at that call, eyes meeting his over her shoulder. It's a shy smile this morning not quite able to reach her eyes and erase the apprehension in them. Her answer along with the smile is easy enough, "Morning." She remains so, looking at him over her shoulder from her spot out there, apparently rooted in place.

Some Island Somewhere - Crystal Cove


You are surrounded by the clear, limpid waters of the bay which caress you with silken smoothness - a temperature that is simply perfect turn-round. Looking down you can see all the way to the bottom where sunlight dances in undulating patterns upon the white sandy floor. Between patches of purple, orange and red corals, schools of colorful fish dart here and there.

D'had chuckles lightly as he wades into the water, following near that path she likely took to come to stand beside her. There hands rest on shoulders, giving a gentle squeeze as he leans to place a kiss on her cheek. "You look lovely as ever," he comments, grin reaching the words.

Thea watches him approach, her eyes darkened by some thought, but it's not so awful that she's looking gloomy or anything. As she leans her cheek into that kiss, she gives his eyes a quick sidelong searching before they swing out to sea. "Thanks." A small quirk of her lips has her adding, "Not so bad yourself." Well, she was watching him wade out, yes?

D'had looks a bit closer, trying to peer around to her face once she's turned back to the water. "Something wrong?" he inquires after a second of trying to figure out what might be going on in her head and failing miserably.

Thea slides him a faintly alarmed look. He noticed that? Shoot. "Uh," she refuses to look at him, rather peers through the clear water as she kicks at the sand at the bottom of the cove, "I just… I wasn't…" She winces, "I'm sure all those other women-" She just stumbles to a halt. Finally, "Was gonna go swimming." Yeah, because that makes so much more sense, right?

D'had noticed indeed and her avoidance of the question and him isn't exactly making things better. "Just.. wasn't.. what?" he repeats her halting attempt to answer - or rather not answer the question at hand. "Swim sounds good though."

"As good as they are." She's all shifty-eyed as she mutters it as she squints at the sand-cloudy water she's kicking up down at her feet. She pauses, then blurts out, "I don't know how to swim!" And this seems to distress her more than the idea of competition. Seems to.

D'had blinks. "You are perfect," he attempts to assure, giving another light squeeze to her shoulders. There's a pause after that last comment of hers and then he can only laugh, a deep amused chuckle. "I won't let you drown."

"Yeah?" Thea lifts her head, her clear green eyes pleased as her smile returns and she's going to take him at his word about that. His chuckle has her poking at his side. "Hey, now, how's a landlocked gal supposed to learn how to swim?" Nevertheless it seems to cause a flush to her checks anyway. "So will you teach me how to swim then?" There's no question about him letting her drown. He's already proved that one!

"Perfect," D'had repeats. Of course it might make a difference if he could remember better, but that's rather beside the point right now anyway. "What you don't have any water where you're from?" he teases followed by a nod. "Course I will."

"Nary a drop." Thea admits falsely mournful, tilting her head up to see him better as her lips curling in a mischievous grin. "See how deprived I was as a child?" The brightening gold hues in the sky infuses her eyes with its honeyed tones at that angle, "Bet you didn't know there was a desert up in the High Reaches did you?" She's not letting a lack of clothing stop swimming lessons, nope. She takes a step further out, the water now at her neck, she turns to face him, "So, what do I do first?"

D'had just shakes his head, "Hadn't a clue, but then I've never been further inland than Telgar, and that only lasted til weyrlinghood was over.." Or there abouts. As for swimming.. "Float. Just lay back." he explains, reaching one and to hook around the small of her back.

Thea laughs, "Well there was. Desert of ice." Well most of the Turn. His mention of Telgar earns a silent look. The place he was gonna run away to. "Float?" Yes, she's seen people do that. She complies, relaxing back onto his hand, but her feet keep sinking. She frowns, "They supposed to do that?"

"Not exactly," D'had replies, "Just keep your back straight, and relax. You'll get the hang of it," he assures offering up a smile for her. "Or you know we could always lay out on the beach some more." Wink.

Oh, that helps! Thea's floundering at that suggestion, trying not to sink altogether. It's a good thing his hand is there to keep her from drowning in neck-deep water. "We could huh? Dunno if you'll be able to keep that promise then." She smirks up at him, "Keep talkin'. Might change my mind?" She manages to finally relax and float, but he's not making it easy on her. "Hey! I'm doing it!" Of course as soon as she says that she loses it. "So what's next?" Floating takes far too much concentration, and she's just got too much competing for it right now!

D'had shakes his head, "Lets just stick with floating for now. Once you've got that down we'll move on, less you wanna just leave swimming lessons for later. All up to you babe."

Thea pouts, yes, she really does! "Okay, fine. Move your hand." She's just gonna close her eyes then and try to pretend he's not here. She's determined to swim today! It takes a few tries to get her body to relax completely. She finds it works when she stops frowning. Who knew? She takes a long, slow breath, lets it out and finds herself afloat. She slowly opens her eyes, a tiny spark of rebellion as she maintains both a loose-limbed posture and that float. "Now what?"

D'had keeps his arm there, just in case, but once she's got it he slowly pulls away. "I think she's got it," he teases. "Doing good, now just kick your feet." Beat. "Not too hard, don't splash."

No splashing? What's the fun of that? Thea complies, with a small triumphant grin, moving her feet just a little - and she is moving. Her victory is short-lived, however for she finds it harder to kick and keep relaxed and her head sinks. Her attempt to sit up only makes it worse, for she sinks further. She's spluttering and floundering to find the bottom, but she's moved juuuust out past where her toes cannot touch down.

D'had never said it was fun, just that that's how it goes. "You're alright," he calls, jumping to move closer to her and catch her up so that she's not sinking for the bottom anymore. "You're alright," he repeats, treading water to keep them both afloat.

Thea manages not to panic and grab wildly, and although she does reach for him, she calms the moment he's got her, "Yes." She manages to say it without any qualms at all. She's learned she can trust him in the water. Finally she takes a deep breath. "Gonna try that again. Let me go." And she tips her head back, accomplishing the feat, kicking and floating… still further out. "Now what?" So she's determined.

D'had gives a single short nod in reply to that 'yes' and lets go when she requests, well after a second longer at any rate. "Good," he flatly cheers her on when she accomplishes the two put together. "Roll over and try it on your front?"

"Oh, but, but." Thea sits up and promptly sinks, flails. He's nearby, she knows that, yes. but still… she does manage to sink far enough to push off the bottom and surface for a breath and look a bit wildly for him. When he's got her, (because he did promise not to let her drown?) she asks, "How'm I supposed to breathe doing that?"

D'had chuckles, "Got ya," he notes when he snatches her up just before she resurfaces. "How about we go a little shallower and keep tryin'. Hmm? And breathin' is easy enough, just turn your head."

Thea shakes her head, taking the time to catch her breath, and turns to look at him, "No I have to learn not to depend on being able to stand up. Please?" She tries to push back from him, "Just float and turn my head. Got it."

"I know, I know," D'had admits with a slight chuckle and a shake of his head. "But if you can stand then I can show you once," he notes, "But yeah, that's about the gist of it.”

Thea acquiesces to this reasoning with a long breath out and an eyeroll. "You're the boss." It's said somewhat flippantly. She relaxes in his arms and allows him to tow her back to shallower water. Further down the beach Seryth has awakened. Curious about what the pair are doing, she wades in and begins making her way closer.

D'had chuckles. "Somehow I have a feeling that's just what you want me to think," he teases, towing her into the shallows where the water should be somewhere just below her shoulders. Letting go and leaving the weyrwoman to stand on her own to feet he proceeds with the demonstration. "You just put your face in the water," he notes following his own direction. This is followed by the addition of the circular arm strokes that go along with the basic maneuver and every other one he turns his head to take a breath and toss a grin her way. The first one gets a note tossed in, "And then just turn to breath." Three or four of such breaths are gone through before he straightens. "Think ya can handle that?"

Thea's lips curve in a smile at that tease, she ducks her head away to hide it and by the time her feet touch the bottom, she's got her expression under control. She's carefully watching him demonstrate. At last! It looks like swimming - to her anyway. Seryth has moved closer, cocking her head to watch them until something catches her attention and she turns away. "I think so," Thea answers and she tries, really she does. She manages the face-down kicking thing, her body glides past D'had easily. To coordinate the arms and head-turning is another matter altogether. When she adds that to her movements, her long hair wraps around her face like a smothering sable blanket and there's just no way she can take a breath. She lifts her head and tries to sweep the clinging hair off of her face with one hand, the other touches Seryth's tail, grasping it instinctively. At that moment the queen takes off, swimming quite rapidly with a joyous bugle towards the deeper water towing her Rider along.

D'had's face is full of amusement for her attempts. "You're doing good," he encourages early on, still watching carefully lease she need assistance on his part. The deeper water where Siebith likely lurks? For that grab at Seryth, and the queen's movement he can only chuckle.

Likely the only thing visible through the spray kicked up as
Thea is towed along is a glimpse of large-eyed surprise in a whitened face turned back D'had's way as the eager queen continues, her eyes upon something she's never seen before and she's heading right for it - the rolling breakers that crash in white foam out beyond the reef. Thea's not about to let go, are you kidding? She's got both hands on that tail with a death grip. She's doing good just to keep her head above water and breathe, so there's not a word passing her lips. If she's communicating with Seryth, it doesn't show, for the gold simply does not stop. If Siebith is out there she ignores him, or maybe calls him to join her as she exits the cove and is caught in the movement of the open sea.

D'had amusement soon ends when its finally figured out just where Seryth is headed. "Let go!" he calls, cupping hands around his mouth in hopes she'll hear. He might not be able to swim as quickly as the gold, but once the words pass his lips he's off to try his best to catch up.

Seryth's wings are folded tight to her body - just the way she's seen Siebith do, her neck low in the water, only her head shows above the rolling waves as she swims them.
Thea's either got water washing over her ears at that call or she is simply too confused to make herself let go. Their course takes them past the reefs, thankfully. but Seryth is headed out further yet to where the white shines in the rising sun, her eyes is caught by that rhythmic movement and the roar it makes at it hits a far out shoal.

D'had just isn't fast enough to catch up before they cross the barrier of the reef. But wherever he was hiding Siebith must have gotten a directive from his rider and he's darting ahead to catch the gold. « Yours, » he projects to Seryth, wave rolling in the background to match those out in front of her, « Mine says she can't swim. You must stop. »

Seryth is swimming though? At least that seems to be her attitude as she peers back at her tail. And yes, there is Thea. She looks back at the blue and warbles happily and continues, her voice a dancing rainbeat « Those look fun to swim in! Have you ever?» She slows, lifting her wings as they begin to feel the movement of the large, rolling waves. Thea's still hanging on to that tail, which thankfully the excited queen keeps lifted enough for Thea to keep her head above water. The currant out there is something that the gold has no clue about, however. It is moving her parallel to the beach. At least she isn't charging straight ahead at speed any longer.

D'had doesn't dare cross the line formed by the reef and with the blue out after Seryth he can only watch, helpless. Thankfully, for once Siebith isn't all about the water, well he is but in a different way. « They are dangerous. » he informs the gold, wave crashing and the water bubbling in from every direction in the picture he sends. Just water with no sense of which way might be up.

So that sinks in. A rain hushed suddenly, midstorm, « Then I won't go out there. These will do.» The queen turns towards shore, allowing the waves to carry her, simply enjoying the pitch and roll, the movement. Thea is alright, from the look of her, just hanging on as they rise and fall with each wave. They are drifting closer. Slowly.

Siebith ducks his head as he moves to follow in what might be considered a nod of approval. He follows, at a much slower and more relaxed pace than he usually does, staying just to the side and slightly behind the gold.

Thea's hands finally slip off of Seryth's tail; she's tired. They're not far from the reef, but the current is strong there and Seryth 's turn around to swim back to Thea is not effective. She's headed towards the beach whether she wants to go or not. Thea at least remembers part of her lesson. She rolls onto her back and floats, rising and falling with each swell. Because Thea doesn't panic, Seryth doesn't either. The trio are being swept parallel to the reef.

D'had knows better than to get himself caught in that current as well and so he's stuck to the reef, following along it's edge. Siebith however is already there and so he's moving to try and catch the floating weyrwoman. "Just hold on," D'had calls to her as the blue figures to dive and come up from beneath.

Thea's head turns at the words, "I'm fine." Hoping to reassure him, at least. She's managing to float, only occasionally having a wave break over her head. "Can't I try to swim like you showed me-" Water sweeps over her head and she sputters, spitting out a mouthful of it, "-to where you are?"

"Could try…" D'had hesitates to say, "But the.." And he only shakes his head. "Sie'll get ya," he finishes just before the blue begins to surface just off to one side of her.

Thea turns once again to see where Siebith is and as he surfaces she lifts an arm to loop over his neck if she can. Ahead of her Seryth has turned for the beach, understanding that Siebith is there and her Rider is safe. She is lifted high by the wave's crest and since she's swimming with it this time, she carried parallel to the beach, her speed increases and she tucks her wings with a warble just riding it until her feet touch and the surf foams about her.

D'had might just have been holding his breath, or at least almost doing so, until he's certain that she's safely hold of Siebith. The blue slowly raises his head and neck further out of the water once she's settled and makes his way back to the cove side of the reef with little more than a sidelong look towards the gold, though a look that could only be defined as amusement for that warble is sent along with it. "You alright?" D'had inquires with a tinge of worry, reaching an hand of assistance once Siebith has arrived beside him.

Thea nods, "I'm fine," answering as she reaches for him, looking closely at his eyes. "I'm sorry, if you were worried. Dunno what got into Seryth." From down the beach Seryth warbles and begins her trek back towards them. She pats Siebith, "Thanks." Then peers down the beach and back at D'had with a glint in her eye. "Lets go try that? Can't be bad if she made it?"

"They," D'had explains, "Are bigger and stronger than us." Dark eyes lift from woman to her dragon only to shake his head, "You hit a wave wrong, get caught…" He only shake his head again. "Best to stick to the cove."

Thea tries not to pout. "Can't we hang onto Siebith while we do it?" She laughs, "You live dangerously in the sky, why not the water? Siebith's a good swimmer." No… dragon surfing? She's making puppy eyes and everything. "I'm not afraid."

"No," D'had tries to be firm on that, but the word ends with a sigh and a shake of is head. "I know what I'm doing," Mostly. Sort of… "And I trust Siebith." Beat. "Not that I don't trust you and her, but… why don't we put in a few more swimming lessons and give that a try later. Hm?" He's trying to talk her out of it, but really those puppy eyes… not helping! Him that is.

"You're probably right, but they're just waves. Not like a storm or anything, really." Does a lip-quiver help? Thea tries that, but cannot keep a serious face. Seryth has stretched out in the sand to roast in the rising sun; she's finished her swim. "I'd hold on tight." That's enticing, no?

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