Sweet and Sour

Xanadu Weyr - One and Only Weyr
A series of arched windows along the curved outer wall of this weyr look out at the encroaching forest. Each one displays a different slice of the surroundings - a sturdy oak tree, a bristling thicket of thorn bushes, a tangle of flowering vines around a small sapling. No two sights the same, and inside, much the same is true.
A wooden partition divides the half-circle of the interior into wedges. The larger segment, taking up most of the weyr, is the living room, dominated by a comfortable-looking couch with a pair of mismatched end tables. One is dark wood, a round top perched high and graceful on legs that curve together and then out again at the base. The other is a paler wood, square and squat. Pillows are scattered atop the couch, and a few larger ones set on the floor in case the seating runs out or there's a need to sprawl.
A hefty walnut table sits off to one side, in against the small kitchenette in one corner of the crescent. It's hardly suited for any sort of elaborate cooking, but it'll do for reheating things from the caverns or making breakfast. Surrounded with four chairs, The table is large enough for a small dinner party - though only an informal one. One chair matches the table, two of a medium oak, match each other save for the scuff marks, and one with a white frame and a woven wicker seat doesn't match at all. That one usually has a coat draped over the back.
Tucked in the other corner is the small piece of weyr pie that is the bedroom, the view of the arched window there curtailed by a tangle of ivy encouraged to grow right outside and give some privacy to the pile of pillows that all but conceals the bed.

(Rated R. Mature Content.)

Work. Work. More work. Soriana has been busy. Too busy. Tonight, she should have gone to bed late (again) to wake up early (again) for another day of work. She should not be anywhere near the forest. Her weyr's out by the coast, after all! And if she were going to go for a walk in the forest on the lingering ice, she really should have brought some company. A backpack does not count, regardless of the contents. What if she fell and broke her leg? She'd have to lie there and… well, okay, and tell Luraoth to have someone come help her. Which is another thing! If she were to be going to visit someone, alone, instead of going to bed, she really should have had Luraoth call ahead first and make sure the person she's trying to visit is actually there, instead of out on late night patrols or drinking at the tavern (or sitting on her porch waiting for her to get home) or any of the many other things he could be doing. So, all in all, it's very clear that Soriana should not be here, wrapped in her coat and a hat and edging her way up to Ka'el's door. So very clear, but as she knocks with a gloved hand, it's also clear that despite the fact she shouldn't be, she is.

Perhaps it's a trend among this particular weyrling class: Work and overwork. While duties have a definite beginning and end, depending on the sevenday's schedule, Ka'el's time between that end and the next beginning have begun to fill as well. Extra practices with Kanekith to make up for the time he spent on the sands. And then, unusually, more time spent within the forges. Perhaps not unusual to the naked eye. He was, after all, a smither at one point in his life (and still is if asked!) though the amount of time he's been spending with the journeymen there, and the paperwork that's been scoured over both there and at home.. That's the unusual part. It's kept him busy enough to come home sometimes too tired to even strip himself from his leathers before falling into bed, though not too busy to not at least swing by Soriana's place on occasion just.. to check on her (or usually, her empty weyr) from afar. Tonight though he's home and those leathers have been traded for baggy sweatpants and a nondescript t-shirt. He has papers sprawled upon the table in his kitchenette, and he lounges upon one of the mismatched chairs as he does some figuring in his head, brows knitted in concentration. Til there's a knock on his door. He blinks out of his reverie, eyeing the door with a hint of suspicion. He checks with Kanekith, who is out there, always the gatekeeper, and… "What?" He abandons his work and heads on socked feet to the door, brows knitting as he unlocks and pulls it open. "Is everything alright?" he asks even before the door is fully open.

It's not unusual if it keeps happening? Maybe? Soriana might not be the best person to ask. Her usual seems to involve paperwork and dragonhealing (when she can make time for it, but at least it is supposed to be one of the weyrwoman duties, just… not as much as she'd like) and being diplomatic (or trying to, anyhow). Getting home at a reasonable hour? Sometimes. Sometimes she does that. It's not what you might call her usual. Well, you might. But it'd be misleading. Because it isn't. So! Hypothetical callings aside… she's here now, and she waits at Ka'el's door. Kanekith's here, at least. That's a good sign. It means Ka'el's probably not out on sweeps, though he might be at the forge or visiting someone. (She should have called ahead via Luraoth.) But, nope! Instead she waits, like people did back when they didn't have dragons for doorbells. Kanekith can be Ka'el's peephole, though. Quicker than bending down to peer through, but there's no signs from outside that Ka'el is coming (or not), until the door starts to open and - Soriana smiles at the evidence he's here. The question - coming promptly as it does - makes that expression turn to a smirk. "Better be." Or else. She'll… sigh. "Yeah. Just… thought I'd come by."

Everything's ok? Good! Though that doesn't answer the unasked question of why Soriana is here, but soon enough, she answers it herself. Why? Apparently, just because. Now, random late night swingbys by girlfriends can be either very good or very bad things. Very good because that means she was thinking about him and wanted to see him! Very bad because that could also mean she was thinking about him in bad ways and has a bone to pick that couldn't wait til the morning. And that backback? A carrier of torture weapons and duct tape. But even with the odds up in the air, Ka'el grins as he reaches for one of her gloved hands to pull her in and secure the door behind her. Immediately after comes a hug. A very snug, very Ka'el-like hug that has both arms wrapping fully around her to bring her against his chest so that he can squeeze her gently. A 'I've missed you so very much and I've been thinking about you more than I'll say and I'm very glad you're here and I can't say all of that but this hug hopefully will' sort of hug. And he holds her like that for a moment. A minute. A few more elongated seconds that turn that hug into a 'I really have been needing this' sort of gesture before he pulls back enough to press a kiss to her cheek. Her…freezing…cheek. "Shards you're cold."

It'd explain why Soriana didn't call ahead? She didn't want to give Ka'el time to prepare his defenses. Luraoth would have spilled the beans on the horrible vengeance in store! …or… not, because Soriana seems quite glad to be drawn into both Ka'el's weyr and that hug, wrapping her arms back around him and resting her head against his shoulder. Long hug. Maybe it's because the hug needs time to travel through all the layers of her coat, or maaaybe just because she has also been missing this and is glad for the opportunity to finally have it. Just possibly. When she feels Ka'el shift like he's going to go, her arms give another squeeze, in case this is the End of Hug, but… nope. Not quite. There's a kiss! One that she half-lifts her head for, then pauses as his lips encounter her cheek and make her smile more before… "Heh." She turns her head. "It's winter," she points out, practical. Winter means it's cold out there! Also? She kisses back at his. "You're not."

Ka'el isn't cold. Not in the slightest! Actually, he's like a heat lamp. The warmth of his weyr has radiated into his clothes! But the coldness of Soriana's is sucking it away. Luckily, there's plenty more where that came from in the form of his little heating unit and wood stove. Grinning now, he uncurls his arms so that he can lift his hands to press to her cheek. Cheekwarmers! "Yeah an' you won't be for long," he replies, making it his personal mission to warm her up. Operation Sori Warm up is a go! He kisses her. The motion is abrupt enough that he surprises even himself, body shifting to autopilot without checking with him first and the next thing he knows, his mouth is finding hers with his hands still on her cheeks, though now instead of playfully squishing, they're tenderly holding the sides of her face. His hug said that he missed her. His kiss emphasizes the phrase with an intensity that a hug just can't quite reach.

Soriana laughs for the hands to her cheeks. It's an almost surprised sound. She hasn't laughed enough lately. She's been too busy, with work (and more work) and the winter's cold making everything… "Better than stuck on the sands!" At least, she still thinks that so far. Give her another month of this, and she might change her mind. She leans her head forward a little to press her cheeks to those hand warmers - it's like wool socks. They're warmers made for hands - and then discovers that she's also leaning into a kiss. Her eyes widen briefly, then shut, because she's kissing back. She trails a gloved hand up along Ka'el's back, brushing against his neck before pausing. Right. She's still wearing gloves, that's why she can't feel his skin. So her lips - after a good moment's worth of kiss - draw back, though it's with a smile. "Let me get my coat off." Also her gloves. And maybe her boots while she's at it? Because she certainly wouldn't mind staying a while.

His head was swimming with facts and figures and numbers and calculations that need to be sorted through, but oh, now it all melts away and finds an unimportant place in his mind to camp out for a while while more important things begin to surface. Like whre he wants to put his hands now and just how deep he should make this kiss and how wonderful her mouth feels and… and no! Where'd it go? She's drawing back and he's greedily leaning forward, reluctant to break their touch. But it does, and her smile is met with a smirk from him. Her coat? Oh, right she's still wearing that isn't she? Now he grins and allows his hands to fall from her face. "Yeah, sure you can toss'm on that chair," he says, gesturing toward the wicker seat near his table of paperwork littered with numbers and words. And with that coat and gloves and boots she could also lose a few other layers of clothi- … He gives his head a mental shake, reining in his wandering thoughts. "Maybe you can help me with somethin', while you're here," he says, moving to the couch in the living room, glancing at a few blank papers that lay haphazardly on an end table. So much random paper everywhere! "What's in your pack?"

Even when they're not at work, there's work. It sneaks inside of brains and demands attention… but some things can still shut it up, at least for a while. Kisses are one of them, at least until Soriana goes and stops. But she has good reason! Ka'el's weyr is warm. Her cheeks are still cold (well, cool), but even so, her body's starting to notice the extra warmth of coat and the weight of that backpack. The chair? She nods. Got it. Good to know what the fancy organizational scheme of Ka'el's bachelor pad is. First the pack's swung off from over ther shoulder, and it gets set down on the edge of the table. There's a thunk. And also a slosh? Maybe. Then it's the gloves, pulled off and shoved into her coat pockets before the thing's unzipped and shrugged off. Under it is, well… a sweater, because she's been having radio duty and it gets drafty there by the hallway door. But under that… will have to wait, because she has boots to come off. "Yeah?" she asks, and gives the strewn papers a glance before bending down to start tugging off those very boots. "What've you got?" Oh boy. More paperwork. Because she didn't get enough of it today. …sigh. There's one boot off, then the other, and she kicks them vaguely under the chair to not be a tripping hazard before standing up again. Her pack? "Some food. A drink." She shrugs, then grins. "Figured I'd go for a picnic." In the snow. At night.

Ka'el's bachelor pad is totally fancy. That wicker chair? It's the next thing in coat racks! Every weyr will have them by the next turn, she'll see. He watches as Sori gets settled, eyeing her backpack as it's set down with growing curiosity at the sounds that emit from it. Food and a drink? A brow is cocked as his eyes flit from pack to her. "Right now? .. That urge hit ya all've a sudden, in the middle've the night?" A smirk. A craving is a craving, right? They can hit at any time! He gives her a look that clearly says 'you're awesomely crazy'. "Alright then, I could go for a midnight snack. Need a shardin' break from all that anyway," he says with a wave over to the kitchen table and all those papers that litter it. He gestures her over to where he is instead, settling upon the living room's couch and leaving a space for her as he leans against the cushioned arm. "I've been tossin' the idea of writing a letter," he says, nodding to the blank paper nearer to where he sits. "…To my da," he elaborates a little quieter than the first. "His turnday's comin' and … I've always written to him in the past. Lettin' him know how my studies were going and weyrlife in general and all. I don't know, with all that happened and Kinden on top've all that, if I should keep it up. If he'd even want one from me anymore. Of it'd be better if I let it go."

Will all the coat racks have that spot where the wicker's partly worn away? …probably. Don't ask Soriana, she's not an interior designer! She'll leave that to more competent people, which may or may not include Ka'el. "It's not the middle of the night," she retorts. Which… yeah, the hypothetical audience here might side with him. It could be more the middle of the night, though. So Soriana's not entirely wrong. (Just mostly.) "Besides. I was doing inventory." And it looked tasty! So… she opens the backpack and pulls out a bottle of something vaguely orange and a bag of seasoned nuts. Cups? Nah, she doesn't need those. She just brings the two things over, sitting herself down on Ka'el's couch with a thump. "Yeah?" she says to the idea of a letter, extending the bottle toward him in an offer… then pausing, her smile fading as he continues. "Oh," she says. The paper gets a glance, but it's blank. Not much help there. Her eyes go to Ka'el's face, as if that'll tell her… but, well, he doesn't know, does he? So it's not like Soriana'll find an answer there. She frowns for a moment, considering. "Do you think he'd answer?"

One of many things that Ka'el has learned throughout the months is that there will probably never be a time again where he can hang out with Soriana whenever he pleases. Her duties and his keep them plenty occupied. And thus times like these should not be taken for granted! So as she settles down with her snack of nuts and a drink of some sort, he angles himself closer to her. He hasn't forgotten his .. literal .. hands off approach to things, but that doesn't stop him from pressing the side of his body against the side of hers before taking that offered bottle. He takes a swig that's followed by another swallow before it's lowered. "Thought about that too," he says, tongue sliding between his lips after. "If he'd answer.. I thought about the day I went. He … hardly said anything. Just looked at me with this … look. Sort've like the look you'd give someone who was a complete stranger to you, but swore you've been friends for turns." His lips pull downward a little at the thought that etches the unwanted memory in the mind. "He always wrote back before. Always. I'd like to think he'd .. have a hard time not writing back this time, you know?" He watches her. "..Think it's worth a shot or am I just graspin' at shardin' straws?"

If it's not one thing, it's another. There always seems to be another. And another. And… each other. Soriana settles into both Ka'el's couch and his side, a slow shift of her weight to lean in. There. He's warm. She watches him as he drinks - not that it'll help explain about the letter, maybe, but it might give her an answer about that drink, sweet-sour orange flavor. But maybe Ka'el is too busy thinking about the question to think more about the drink. Really, so is she. So she nods about his thought - of course he has, he's been thinking about this far longer than she has - then listens. The mention of that day brings a frown, one that lingers as she tries with a furrowed brow to think about that expression. To map that expression onto a face… well, that she's barely seen. She's met Ka'el's father, heard his turnday congratulations for his son, but… still. Ka'el knows far better than she does. When Ka'el frowns, her eyes lower to the expression, and she takes in a breath, letting it out slowly. "I don't know," she says. She's never had a father to write to - never saw the point in reaching out to the one who contributed his genetics. But Ka'el's father contributed a whole lot more than that, didn't he? So… "If he doesn't, if…" She gives her head a shake, settles her eyes on his. "If you write the letter, and take it to the cliffs and wad it up and throw it into the sea -" because that might just be what happens to it if he sends it to Black Rock Hold, whether at his father's hands or at his mother's intercepting ones "- do you still want to write it?"

It's a question that takes Ka'el a little while to answer, because it is one of those types of questions that requires a bit of contemplation before an answer is given. And so his brain marinates in the inquiry. Would he still want to write it if it was something that, in the end, only he would have read? Words pulled from the heart, printed on paper, and tossed aside? As he ponders this, there are small things that his body does in the meantime. The arm against her lifts to curl around her shoulders. Not so hands-off, but that's ok, right? She'll let him know if it isn't okay. She said so before. Fingers touch at the fabric of her sweater, on the upper arm where they press and unpress and slide down and up as he picks through his thoughts. "I think I do," he answers after minutes have ticked by. "I think I'd want to…so I'd know that I tried. Shards, there's so much I wanted to say to him then. I never got the chance to, y'know?" He adjusts the grip on the bottle that he still holds, tightening and untightening his hand around the glass. "I don't know what he thinks. Can only imagine what he's assuming /I/ think about all of this. I'd want this letter to clear the air. Get rid've assumptions, y'know?" His mouth twitches, though instead of taking another swallow of the sweet and sour drink, he offers it to her. "Whatever that is, it's good," he says with a headnod to the bottle.

Soriana did say so. She's also said a hard question, and she knows it, so she doesn't insist on an answer right away. She does lean into his side, letting that hand brush over her upper arm. Her own hand settles against his leg, most of the way to the knee. Just sort of resting there, because if she's going to lean in this far, it has to go somewhere… and she is, in fact, going to lean in this far. She waits for his answer, and when it finally comes, she nods. He does. Well then, that answers the question, doesn't it? But she just nods, and waits for the rest of Ka'el's answer. So that he knows he tried. So that… her mouth twists, a sort of sour-fruit expression, and she nods. "Not saying stuff is…" A shake of her head, and then a nod. "Yeah." It sucks, is what it does. So. "Then you should write it. I don't know…" what he'll do "…what he thinks. Or what he thinks you thinks. Or…" A shrug, and then a lean in at the end of it, because the shrug's definitely not meant to remove Ka'el's touch. "But maybe he'll read it." Or not. "And maybe he'll write back, and even if he doesn't, maybe he'll think about it." Maybe. There's a lot of maybes, and Soriana is thoughtful as she reaches over to accept the bottle Ka'el offers. "It's from Eastern. We got a shipment for the hatching, only it was too late, so it's just sitting there now." Being pilfered (er, requisitioned) by junior weyrwomen. She has a sip.

There have been a lot of maybes popping up into Ka'el's life. Maybe his father will take the time to look at the letter, or maybe he won't. Maybe Ka'el will trust himself enough to allow his relationship with her to regain somse of the intimacy that it once had, or maybe that part of it has been too badly mangled by flight memories to be rebuilt. Maybe. It's a heck of a word that holds just as much hope as it does despair. Ka'el listens to her, his eyes somehat distant as possibilities manifest in his mind. What if his father does write back. What would he say? "I miss him," he admits without meaning to, though perhaps he didn't have to andt his is one of those obvious things that has been a secret only to himself. His eyes lower to her hand on his leg, and after a moment he leans over to touch his lips to her cheek, then jaw in slow and lingering kisses of affection. "I know it sounds stupid. I'm nineteen. I shouldn't need … I'm not a child. But … sometimes in these random times, I come up with things I want to ask him. Things I couldn't think of askin' anybody about, or think've ..uh, situations I want to know how he'd handle. Especially if I'm in that situation. I miss him most then."

Soriana certainly doesn't seem surprised by Ka'el's admission. She nods to it, still leaning in against him. Her fingers move against his leg as he kisses her, her head staying tilted forward to let him trace with those touches as her own… wander. Not far, just a brush back and forth over the thigh near the knee… but they move against him, bunching up the fabric of sweatpants with small motions. She listens, and she nods again. "I talk to my mom, still," she offers back. "Not just weyrwoman stuff." Really, more often, she talks to Esiae about that. Her mentor's the one who gets asked about what paperwork is for which thing. Her mom? That's different. "It's just… there's stuff she knows I don't. And she knows me…" A pause, and then a half-smile. "Well. Some. Not always, anymore." Soriana's not the girl she was. "But she still knows me better than a lot of people." Even if Ka'el's parents… "Even with dragons." It changes things, but it doesn't change everything. She sighs. "I know it doesn't help." It's not her mother Ka'el has to deal with. "Sorry."

He's not sure why, but hearing her say that she speaks to her mother makes Ka'el feel … relieved. The burden of things isn't all on her shoulders when there's a mother there to offer guidance and help carry that load. Those personal things beyond paperwork and protocol and the correct terms a weyrwoman should use when speaking to specific people. Soriana is Wonder Woman. Strong, independent, and able to fend for herself. She certainly doesn't need him, but knowing that she has somebody, that she does in fact rely on her mother for what could be the hard stuff that even a superhero could use a sidekick for…that eases him. "It helps," he counters, looking at her. "You help, an' I shardin' forgot how much. Just you bein' here helps more'n anybody else has. I forget how to be myself sometimes." His lips faintly curve up into a smile, still tasting the tang of Eastern's drink on his tongue, though he doesn't reach to take the bottle back. He's happy to allow his free hand to do other things, like reach over to graze fingertips to the side of her neck as he kisses her lips briefly, lingering just long enough to convey affection, yet not long enough for that affectionate touch to grow into something more lustful. "I'm going to write that letter. Tomorrow." Not tonight. Tonight he has her, at least until she leaves (and he follows her to her ewyr to make sure that the goblins of the night don't snatch her up!) "Too much about me," he says smirking. "Haven't seen you in forever and days. What's new?"

Yeah, it helps. Soriana nods to that part, with a crooked sort of smile. There are some things you just can't tell parents. There are others that it's hard to tell anyone else. The smile goes on as he does, with a sideways quirk and then almost a laugh and then a wistful twist at the end. "You're the you you are." See how helpful she is? Okay, so maybe more helpful is the part where she kisses him back, leaning in enough that her fingers slide toward the inner side of his knee, palm resting on the top of it before they slide back again after the kiss. "Be easier tomorrow," she agrees about the letter. Because he'll have had time to think about it. Because it won't be night. Because she won't be here distracting him, because the night goblins will have… er, not carried her away, because Ka'el isn't going to let them do that. It's good of him, because otherwise, she'd probably be doomed, given how careful she's not being. "Me?" she replies, then laughs… and takes a drink. The orange stuff isn't boozy in the slightest. Still, Sori needs a drink. "Busy. Way too busy. There's been everything with the storm, and the paperwork keeps getting sent the wrong places, and…" She sighs. "I should have stayed away all winter." Not that she was given the option. Or would have. But… sigh. "It's just a mess."

She'd most definitely be doomed. Ka'el should start charging her for his services! She practically owes him her life, since most assuredly by now, if it wasn't for his diligence, she'd be dead and gone in some horrifically tragic way. "Meanin', we are all the usses we are?" he snickers. "Understood." A smirk follows and lingers as she catches him up on the riveting tale that has been her life the past however many days and sevens. Paperwork! Storms! The paperwork done because of storms! And, alas! The paperwork lost within storms and careless people! Gasp. "Uh huh, you're right," he agrees with a solemn nod. "You should've been one of those creatures that sleeps the winter away an' comes out once the snow is gone and the warmth is back. Just think how blissful y'd be now. Your ears wouldn't be full of static. Your fingers free of paper cuts.." He shakes his head sadly, though he can't fight the grin for long, and he's back to kissing her not long after that. He can't help himself. Drawn to her like a magnet, or more closely, like a man long-lost in a desert wasteland is drawn to water. Maybe it was the feel of her hand that has him leaning into her again. He's at the side of her neck, a vampire searching for the vein of life. Lips pressing, softly suckling. Teeth nipping, ever so subtly. And murmured words forming in-between. "Would've sucked for me, though. Worst winter ever." Yeah, his hands-off approach is working wonderfully! He hadn't said anything about lips-off, though.

"Unless we aren't," Soriana notes - but it's with the teasing tone of joke. There's serious truth to be had there, about self deception and hiding and all that, but she's not going there. Not right now, not tonight in Ka'el's warm weyr with a warm Ka'el. "Holed up in the caverns somewhere…" if she were a burrowing creature. "Hiding in the shelter of…" She hehs, and gives her head a shake. "Nah, see, that'd be if I set up a cot in the stores." Which she is not about to do. Too much like camping out on the sands. But maybe next time it'll be winter when Luraoth rises? Which reminds her. "Haruhi's been acting proddy, too. You know anyone who'll want eggs?" Because those she can just hand over and be done with. Well. After the flight that creates them, but she's had that experience before. It's not nearly so bad, easy enough she can mention it in off-handed fashion without moving away from Ka'el. It's less of a concern than… "The radio's still not working right. And of course Jethaniel hasn't been able to look at it, and it's just…" Ugh. Stupid things, with their being broken and giving her ears full of static. Unlike Ka'el, who's giving her lips full of kisses. She trails her fingers along his leg, moving… up, this time. Not very far, but definitely up along his thigh. It's probably not going to discourage him from those kisses, but then again, she doesn't want to! So that works. "You could come join my cave. Hiding there until spring…"

Proddy Haruhi? Maybe that's where Alloy's off to. … Eh, nope. Alloy is holed up in his favorite place on cold nights: burrowed beneath Ka'el's bedsheets amongst a cavern of pillows! Not. Movin'. Nope! Not even for near-proddy Haruhi! Til she goes calling and flaunting her shiny self to all the males that dare not ignore her magnificence. "Mmm.." Ka'el makes a thinking noise at the mentioning of eggs. "Maybe Niko. She likes Alloy quite a bit. Everybody else I know already has a firelizard or two. … Who knows. They might want another one. Oh!" he grins, his laced kissing pausing for a moment. "Kiena. Ask her. She has two girls. Ellie and Ezzie… Maybe they'll want one. They're a bit small, though." Maybe too young for firelizards? Kids. He knows next to nothing about them and their abilities! Though the thought of them reminds him of something else that has his grin faltering somewhat. One of those 'I'd ask my dad' sort of things, though he doubts even his father would have much of an answer for him. There's a small amount of hesitation, lips hovering over the curvature of her neck, close enough for his exhales to be felt. But … no. He tucks it away, and his lips press to her skin again, and that arm that's been looped around her shoulder vaguely tightens its hold, subtly trying to angle her body towers his own as he tucks his head to press his mouth beneath her chin, upon her throat. "So we can be cave people?" he grins. "Hidin' from the light like whers?"

Which is to say (or Haruhi would say, anyhow) all the males. Because who would dare to ignore her? But, well, the firelizard's not there yet. Her hide's just showing the signs, during her oilings. Soriana nods to Ka'el's first suggestion. "Y'can ask her." She still hasn't met the elusive wherhandler, but Ka'el's recommendation is enough to garner an offer of egg. Some people plan and scheme to get benefit from their firelizard's progeny. Soriana? Heh, she doesn't have the time. The mention of Kiena gets a tilt of her head and then another nod. "Yeah, okay." Small? Eh, that'll be up to the mom. If all else fails, Soriana will just dump the basket off at the harper classroom before weyrbrat lessons and let everyone scramble for it. Though… "Huh. Didn't know she had kids." Shrug. It's not like she knows the bluerider very well. Or does much with kids. Maybe they're some of the ones that go climbing around on Luraoth sometimes. Really, the gold would probably have a better chance of recognizing the younglings in question than her rider does. Her head tilts as Ka'el's hesitation is noted, her hand pausing - but her head doesn't get far, and her hand doesn't actually move away before there are once more lips and a tugging arm (it's still almost hands-off. There's a hand on, yes, but it's mostly the arm that's doing things, right?) that draws her in to kiss his forehead in passing and then nuzzle in at his hair. She shifts a bit, her hips twisting and finding themselves in a not very tenable sort of position, not if she's going to lean in and - "Yeah. The Whers of Winter." Didn't she read a book with that title once? …it wasn't a very good one, she doesn't think.

Ka'el is not protesting her hand placement either. He's obviously aware of it, as thankfully he is not numb from the hips down, and likely has noticed a shifting from near to the knee to further up from the knee. And that is a perfectly fine thing to happen, for it's her hand doing the touching and not his (technically) and all this is is a conversation with a lot of closeness and kissing happening in between comments and phrases. Perfectly tame! "Me either," he comments on the Kiena and kids bit, though he keeps those caged away thoughts just as caged away as before. For another time, maybe. Or for him to figure out on his own. For now, his curled arm is indeed moving her, angling her towards him. It's an awkward angle he has her in, he knows, but it was supposed to stop there regardless. Angled enough for mouth to mouth kissing, although he's very much liking the touch of her against his hair and lips to his forehead. "Nah, that sounds too gloomy," he says, wrinkling his nose. "I like The Wild Whers of … Wicked… Wishes." Alliteration is key to any good group name, you see. Even if the name makes no sense to the group at all! And at this point he was going to kiss her there in their awkward position, but instead that arm of his decides to keep pulling at her, and his other (with the hand that has been kept marvelously to himself for the most part) joins to wrap around her lower half to assist with the pulling, aiming to turn her body to face his and pull her onto his lap.

"Huh," is Soriana's only further comment about Kiena's kids. Because, you see, she doesn't much actually care. There are more pressing questions. Like how she's going to sit on this couch with being drawn in against Ka'el. That one, she answers by deciding she'll half-kneel, and her head lowers down toward his to perhaps consider some of this kissing thing in more detail… but then there are other questions, like, what is she going to do with this bottle in her hand? It flails for a moment, and then she leans away from Ka'el for a moment - nice torso twist - in order to set it down on his endtable. Well, more exactly, on the papers he had there. Oops? Maybe it was one of those wild and wicked wishes that a wher wrote. Because they do that? And so will Ka'el, but least he hadn't actually written that letter yet. Soriana laughs. "That's the sequel?" she says of Ka'el's suggestion. Really, though, she's not all that worried about either group or the papers that'll be getting a bottle-ring, because Ka'el is drawing her toward him again, making her position even more unstable until she lurches to correct it by tossing her leg over his and straddling his lap. The motion ends up being a sudden one, and for a moment, Soriana's eyes widen in surprise, looking at Ka'el. He's no closer than he has been, in a 'here are their faces' sense. He was just recently closer, in fact, back when they were kissing, but there's something about this that ends up being very close-feeling. Probably it's got something to do with that part where her legs are spread over him and she's got her inner thighs pressed to his outer ones. This is very… something. "…hey," she says after a moment, and she reaches with fingers that are slightly damp from the bottle to brush along his cheek and then dip under his ear to go back into his hair. Yes. This is definitely something. But… wasn't there a kiss to be had? She remembers rumors, so that's why she leans in to see if they're true.

This is going to turn out to be a big mistake, Ka'el knows it! How does he know it? Well! Soriana is on his lap. He wanted her there, and he didn't really try to discourage himself from giving in to temptation and getting here there. And now, here she is with her thighs on either side of him and their bodies pressed in all the right places. This is far too close to the fantasies he's had since he's allowed himself to fantasize about her again, and let's face it. He's a nineteen turn old male with a girlfriend he hasn't touched .. in certain ways .. since … well. Does the flight count? Months upon months upon months ago. Fantasizing has been what's gotten him by! But even Ka'el's noble will can crumble when faced with the real thing. Flesh and warmth and lips and eyes. His hands rest gingerly upon her hips as he looks at her, an impish smirk on his face. "Hey.." he answers in return, doing his best not to focus all of his attention on just where the weight of her can be felt. His throat lifts and drops with a swallow, and eyes halfway close at her touch. Steady breaths, Ka'el. This can happen without any escalating of…anything, right? .. Sure. He's kissed, and within his chest his heard squeezes as he kisses her back with a little too much gusto. He eases off a little, his press becoming a little gentler while the hands on her hips slide around to her back, and his finger gradually move against the fabric of her sweater, pulling is up slightly. A little more. Just enough to expose an inch of skin on her back. An inch and a half.

So very close. Really, it's a few pieces of fabric and an angle away from - but Soriana's kissing Ka'el. That's not a fantasy. The part where her body changes angles slightly in the course of that kiss, because Ka'el's hands are sliding along her back (make that a few pieces of fabric, full stop) is… but she doesn't stop it. She doesn't pursue the kiss when Ka'el eases off, but she does continue it. Gentle lip-touches, her fingers combing back through his hair. Her other hand finds a place on his shoulder. Yeah, that'll do as a place for it - for now, as his hands brush over her lower back, touching at her sweater and then edging it up. She doesn't stop that, either, though she surely feels the touch and the warm of air against her skin. There's a shirt on under the sweater, a light one for if the heating in the caverns gets to be too much, but it's stuck by static to the wool and comes along easily as he lifts it. Her hand on his shoulder slides down, over his back. That brings a change of her hips too, a subtle little adjustment that he probably wouldn't even perceive if it weren't for how close they are - but they are. A few pieces of fabric. That's all. And Soriana isn't telling him to stop. (She told him she'd tell him to stop.)

And he remembers that, too. She'd tell him if things were too much and she was feeling uncomfortable or unsafe, and she would say stop and he would do so without hesitation. He promised he would, and she promised she would tell him. So there should be no fear now as her skin is exposed and his fingers get their first touch of it, warm beneath the layers of fabric both thin and thick. Because she hasn't said anything or done anything that would cause him to think that this was not good. His body certainly believes it's good. Very good. That kiss is intoxicating. Her mouth tastes like the drink from Eastern. Sweet now, like a dessert to be had and his tongue seeks more of. His hands, both of them, slip beneath the bottom edges of her shirts and slide up her back. The feel of her skin shouldn't be so exciting, but it is, rising goosebumps upon his arms. Or maybe that's in response to feel of her fingers combing through his hair? Or that vague little shift of her hips that has him curling his toes as she moves against him in that perfect spot that has his own hips squirming. This is not (but very) good. He can feel his body beginning to tense, though it's not exactly…a bad tensing. More of an eager sort of stiffening as other regions of him do the same, and with this sort of closeness he'd be insane to hope that she wouldn't notice. The kiss deepens, some of that gusto that he reined back returning as his fingers press and vaguely curl against her skin. A noise is made in his throat, a low brief sound.

Soriana's lips have been too busy with kissing to say no. Not that she'd be kissing him if she didn't want this, right? And she certainly is kissing him, lips not just meeting but pressing back to his, parting to taste orange-sweetness and the faint bitter and the taste, under it all, that isn't from the drink in the slightest. Her tongue and his can taste each other and compare the flavors. Maybe it's sweeter in her mouth? Maybe in his? She seems… willing to find out. She seems willing in general, her fingers sliding down over his back, moving over the shirt but still feeling the shape of him. The muscles, built up in the smithy and refined by his time in Galaxy. His scalp, under her other hand. The hair thick around her fingers as they trace to the back of his head - she's definitely not drawing away, not if that hand back there is holding him as she kisses - and what else could it be doing? Well, it could be moving the fingers in little circles. It is moving the fingers in little circles, as her lips press and her hips shift and Ka'el's fingers slide up under her shirt and feel her muscles, less developed (she works at a desk, most of the time) but still present. His hands don't have fabric in the way. Hers do. And there's fabric where - yeah, she notices. Her lips go still for a moment, drawing in a breath without pulling away, and then she kisses once again. Gusto? Yeah. She's got that. She'll have that. She wants it too, emotions and sensations and fantasies that have had too many of the wrong associations for her to… think about. Not when she's thinking. But she doesn't have to think right now, does she?

A very small voice in the back of his head is trying to tell him something, but Ka'el isn't listening to it. The only voice he cares to listen to is Soriana's, and she's not saying anything. There's definitely things to be heard though. The sound of her kiss. Her breaths. The shifting of clothes against clothes and bodies against cushions. The pausing for breathing within the kiss are slight, for any moment of separation is a moment too much his opinion. Now that he's pressed, he wants to press closer. Closer than what they already are. Harder. Tighter. There's a twinge of doubt. That same worry that reared its ugly little head that moment on her porch in front of a new pile of wood. The 'what if' worry. What if he loses himself? What if he hurts her? What if she changes her mind? Will he be able to pull himself back after diving headfirst into lustful waters? And.. His heart shudders as the kiss intensifies on her end, and the what ifs are forgotten. Hands find the fabric of the back of her undergarments, and they slide towards the front, pausing at her sides. The voice in the back of his mind speaks an unheard warning again, and he brushes it aside as his hips slightly lift and gradually drop. It's too late now. Too late for him to realize that things within himself have escalated far, far too fast, and the heat that he feels is his own risen body temperature and not his heating unit. Too late for him to practice deep breathing to settle the hard thumping of his heart, and it's far too late for him to try to ignore any of the wonderful things that Soriana is doing to him. Shit.. Shitshitshit! What was that advice he gave M'kal and Mur'dah? Think of V'dim! V'dim in … sexy lingerie or striking a sexy pose or… damn it. It's too late for that too, for images of V'dim manifest into images of Soriana and that doesn't help matters at all. His grip about her is suddenly tighter, and his tensing stiffens his entire body. The kiss is broken as he pulls his head back, yes opening momentarily before he succumbs to closing them again, teeth gritting. "Sori…" his voice is tight, her truncated name spoken through clenched teeth as he holds her body against his slightly trembling one, a low groan escaping his throat as he… Wait, is he… did he just..? Oh yes. Yes he did. -.-;

Closer and closer until there's nothing between them but, well… nothing. No fabric. No space. No… anything. And there's a similarity, to this pressing together, to when dragons rose - but there's also difference. The touches weren't as slow. The kissing wasn't - there wasn't much kissing at all, was there? Oh, there were mouths, but this, with the tongues pressing back and forth, this wasn't what they were doing. And there was touch, with Ka'el's hands on her back, and sliding down to her hips, but this trace along the edge of her panties instead of yanking them down? That wasn't a part of it. The touch is different and the feelings are… the same, yes, but they're also different. Dragon-lust isn't the same as human-lust. It's more… this is more personal. It's more about Ka'el. That's what Soriana is thinking about, is Ka'el. She's thinking about the feel of muscles as her hand drifts toward his spine, the tousle she leaves behind in his hair as her other hand drifts forward again, grazing past his ear on the way to - she hasn't decided. She doesn't have a chance to decide, because Ka'el doesn't manage to think about V'dim enough. Soriana in lingerie? Isn't exactly going to help him, because it's a very easy step (just one piece of cloth) from lingerie to nothing at all, nothing at all in between a shifting Sori and the Kale she's … not kissing anymore, because he's drawn back. Her fingers stop. She breathes in, which is probably good for the part where she's thinking but also makes her chest move, so maybe not so good for Ka'el, and… "Mmmh?" she says, more noise-in-throat that word. Okay, trying again. With actual words. "…yeah?" …one word. She'll take it.

That … definitely wasn't supposed to happen (yet). <- This particular thought didn't cross his mind as it was happening, mind you. As it was happening, Ka'el had intensely good thoughts that matched the intensely good feeling that shocked throughout his body, and his mind went blissfully blank to make room for the sudden wave of pleasure. But .. that wasn't supposed to happen. Not right now. Not before clothing could be peeled off and places could be re-explored and he could re-introduce himself to parts of her body that he has longed to get reacquainted with. And now, as the peak of his unintended…well, peak begins to decline, the realization of it sinks in. He closes his mouth, which at some point had come open and stayed that way, and opens his eyes. He feels an instant flush of heat to his neck and face that has nothing to do with arousal and everything to do with utter embarrassment as he stares at her. So perfectly settled on him, just like his fantasy. Her chest touching his and her groin… and behind the layers of his clothing, his groin.. Oy, that definitely was not part of the fantasy either! He cringes, wishing Pern would open up a hole that'd swallow him up and make him disappear for a good long while. Anything would be better than having to face the truth… with Sori staring him in the face. Does she know? It doesn't seem like it. Shit. "I…" Shit. "I've gotta …uh.. To my room to…get something." Effing. Lame.

The closed eyes are a not-unreasonable thing. Sure, Soriana might expect to see Ka'el's eyes open to look at her, but closed eyes are reasonable. He might be focusing on the touching. The open mouth, well… it's a little funny, but hey, she's panting a bit herself. She's not going to object to that. He doesn't have to look perfectly composed and dashing. She can still run her fingers along his back, and along his cheek. The cheek that goes… bright red and hot. Thaaat right there is the unreasonable thing. The funny look on his face? Yeah, whatever, she wasn't thinking very coherently. The flush, though, is… okay, given the full set of circumstances (or is that the 'completed' set, from Ka'el's side?) it's very reasonable. Given the Sori's side version of 'second base' … it doesn't fit. (Didn't have a chance to.) And… well… the cringe doesn't either. It's weird. Her face does a wrinkly thing with confusion, where her forehead lifts and scrunches in at the same time, and her lips tug to the side. W. T. F. … also, that first letter? It - as she comes to a conclusion that makes her forehead lift up all the way instead - may stand for WHERE'S tonight. For, uh… "Yeah," she says, and her hand slides off his back, the other one leaving his cheek. One of them rests on his shoulder as she lifts herself up and swings her leg back from over him. No more lap-Sori, and her hand slips from his shoulder. A sideways glance, which - were it to be summed in a word - could probably be expressed as, 'really?', and then she reaches for the bottle of orange drink and tips it up. Glug.

Run away. Run. Far. Away. He's got to get out of there, for every moment he lingers is a moment longer that he has to watch Soriana try to sort out her expressions, none of which look very pleasant. Or happy. Or as sultrily captivating as they did just minutes before. And finally, finally, after what seems like hours, she lifts her body off of him. He probably could've taken his time with getting up to meander to his bedroom. It would've looked less suspicious that way, and probably would be less hurtful. But for all he knows, when she gets up there might as well be a neon sign pointing to his crotch flashing bright green "LOOK WHAT HAPPENED DOWN HERE!!" that's uncovered. He doesn't bother to glance down at himself. Once she's up, he is too and makes a beeline for the sanctuary that lies behind a closed door. The words "SorryI'llBeBackInASecond" tumble out of his mouth as a mashup of jibber before he's inside and the door is closed behind him. He implodes. "Ffffffuck!" This is NOT said aloud but instead tensely and wordlessly mouthed as he strangles the air with his hands. Alloy's head pops up from within a mountain of pillows. Chirp? Ka'el feels as if he could do ten things at once. Punch a wall, kick pillows, say every curse word that he knows and a efw that he could probably make up. Kick his bed. But what he ends up doing, after expelling some of that anger by throwing some pillows around, is changing his pants. -.-; Cursing all the while, mind you. And when he's done and cleaned up and all that great stuff, he sits on his bed and pulls at his hair, which feels far less great than when Sori did it. How can he go back out there? What in the shell happened? Will she even be out there? He wouldn't blame her for stalking out and leaving without a word. "Shards, get your shit together.." he quietly coaches himself. Inhale. Exhale. He rises, not sure how much time that's passed since he sat. A handful of minutes, probably.

Ka'el's departure doesn't really count as a meander. It's more a bolt. A hurried flight away from… her? Soriana removes the bottle of orange drink from her lips, but keeps it partly lifted as she watches him go. This time, it's just the sweet of it, not any mingled flavors of lips. Or at least, it won't be once she finishes washing them away. Maybe there'd be a sign if she looked (though it's probably not neon green, and if it is (or if it's flashing) he should probably go see a healer) but she doesn't. She's watching his motions, quick and hurried. She would watch the expression on his face, only he's not looking at her. He's darting inside and shutting the door, and Soriana sits on the couch and has… yeah. Another sip of orange drink. It's time to wash all this away, but it doesn't… really help. She sets the bottle down again, and rises to her feet. Sitting on the couch? No, she's… kinda done with that. She's not sure where she's going, exactly, but she's definitely going. She takes the bag of nuts and carries it toward his little kitchen. It can go… in one of the cabinets, sure. Maybe he'll want a snack later. It'll keep. She doesn't really want it. Okay. There. It goes there, next to the pack of crackers. (Bachelor kitchens.) That's handled, and Soriana stares at it a moment before moving on. Back to the wicker coatrack-chair, and she puts her hands against the back of it and eyes her coat. It's cold out there, but her coat's warm. She could put it back on and go out again. She'd probably get eaten by the ice goblins, but… her head tilts, looking to Ka'el's closed door. For a long moment, she regards it. Her hands reach up, adjusting her sweater and the shirt beneath - they've gotten… tugged around. Not where they're supposed to be, anymore, because Ka'el's hands were… she glances to her backpack, still open. She closes it up, because that's something to do with her hands, and they linger on it as she looks back to her coat again. … and that, pretty much, is where she is when Ka'el once more approaches his door.

He's up. Standing up. Gray sweatpants have been traded out for black sweatpants, but everything else is the same. He's eyeing that door that stands just a few feet away from him, wondering if he should even bother approaching it or if the best course of action would be burrowing himself underneath all of those blankets and pillows and hiding away til spring. Just like they talked about. Kind of. And when the warm weather is here, all of this will have just been some bad dream had in hibernation. His fingers slowly ball and unball fists, and after another moment, he's heading to the door. Opening it. Heading out with his eyes immediately going to the couch, finding it abandoned. He half expected that, and so the startled jump of his heart is unreasonable. The sudden onslaught of dismay, irrational. He initially starts to turn for the front door, but his eyes are drawn to a peripheral glance of something in the kitchen. He looks there instead, and there she is. His Sori. His … totally unsatisfied..totally…aggravated Soriana. And if she finds out what happened, tack on 'unimpressed' or 'largely disgusted' to that list. He follows her eyes to her jacket, and his lips pull to a frown. "Don't leave." He takes steps her way, passing through the living room and to the kitchenette, pausing closer to her than intended. He tries to meet her eyes, though even if he does, his gaze doesn't (can't) last for long. It's embarrassing. Humiliating! His cheeks flare at the reminder, and he frowns at the wicker chair. "We barely see each other…" Not that much looking is being done right now, but.. "Don't go already."

Yeah, Ka'el has had to change his pants. That's… …that is definitely a thing. Soriana glances in his direction. Don't leave. Huh. Her lips quirk, but it's with a strange expression on the rest of her face. Not quite a wrinkle of her nose, but there's a tautness to her upper lip. Not quite a lowering of her eyebrows, but it's because there's a stillness around her eyes instead of a smile echoed there. It's a weird expression. Weirder still to see it on Soriana's face, because it's definitely not a usual one there. Her eyes will meet his, sure. They'll even linger there, once he looks away, to watch his face and… sigh. "Yeah. We've been busy," she says, and gives the bag a nudge to set it back more firmly against the table. Not that she was lifting it… exactly… but… she turns away from it. "So." Here they are. Him in new pants. Her in… never mind that. "What've you been up to?" It's back to small-talk conversation.

Ka'el didn't think to grab anything to sort of … justify the "I need to go get something from my room" excuse he made before. Uh .. maybe the thing he needed to get were new pants? Yeah, sure let's go with that! Though the look on her face that he saw seemed anything but amused by the situation, and that has him cringing all over the place inside. The last time she gave him a funny look, not exactly this look, but a look that had no business marring her face like this one, they fell apart so badly that all the king's horses and all the king's men had a hell of a time putting them back together again. There are too many fractures and cracks and mars on the surface of them that have been taped and glued and stitched back together. Another break in trust, another reason to doubt the other person might be the fissure that destroys everything beyond repair. … Does he risk it? Does he risk keeping quiet and staring at the floor while that look on her face goes on and on til it etches itself too deeply to be erased? … What has he been up to? He looks up at her, his face a rosy color, his eyes..wanting to look anywhere but at her, but he forces himself to. At least for now. Gulp. "I hadn't…seen you in a long time." Which they've already established, yes. Gulp again. "And I..uh…You're very pretty." Neither of which answers her question. Or relate to one another in any sort of logical way.

Which only raises the question of why Ka'el needed new pants. Because his old ones (that, given like… ten minutes? Soriana might have been getting him out of) were… what? The wrong color? Yeah, no, that doesn't exactly help. Soriana's gaze remains on Ka'el, watching his change in expression. The hangdog look is… not really the one he's supposed to have, either. It's not a good look on him. Ka'el's supposed to be smirking - or serious, but not like this. This is… ugh. This is the look when… she shakes her head slowly, stopping the motion as he looks up at her again. (Forces himself. He's got to force himself to do it.) So. "…yeah," she says. It's been a long time. Not that long, if they just count seeing. There's the caverns, every so often. There's the occasional moments when they even have a conversation, it's just, with the storm and how they've both been busy after it, and things before that and, it's just, "…what with everything." It's been a while. (A long while. Especially for kisses like that.) And? …she's pretty. Soriana can't help but arch her eyebrow for that, an ironic sort of 'really?'. It's the look of 'are you trying to flatter me out of being mad?', but it only lasts for a moment before both eyebrows rise, and she says it out loud. "Really?" Only it's not the dubious ironic tone. It's the sincere questioning tone. The one that involves a flick - a mere flick - of her eyes to New Pants before they lift again.

He may be trying to flatter her out of being mad. Ka'el certainly doesn't enjoy her being mad. And maybe he should try to flatter her out of being upset with him more often, because he does tend to get her upset more than he intends to (cuz boys r stoopid) and he has been graced with a bit of charm and a few good looks here and there. Both put together could go a long way if used correctly. But right now, he's not trying to perform, and that look on his face fails to change even as his eyes flit away for a second, losing a fraction of his resolve. Must he tell her? Maybe he can get away without saying anything, and this incident could be brushed under the rug and they can get back to enjoying each other without…weirdness. His eyes seek hers again. No, he has to do this. Gulp. "No. Not pretty. You're shardin' gorgeous. I don' know if my favorite part of you are your eyes or your lips or your hands or… your ass. You've a fucking… amazing ass." A fathom of a smirk quirks his lips, then it's gone. He lifts a hand to rub at the back of his neck. "And…uh…" This is the hard part, and try as he might he can't look at her in order to continue. "Y'know, I haven't…we haven't since.. It's been a long time… And. You were on me and…The way you were…movin'.. And the kiss. And your hands. And your..body." He wet his lips, hand still rubbing his neck. "And the lingerie.." Wait, what? "You're so shardin' hot, I thought I could stop … it. But…it…uh..came." He squeezes at the nape of his neck now as he grimaces, mortification back in full.

Flattery can be good! It works better when the situation doesn't get weird in the first place, though. Flattery can avert things far better than it can dig out of things, at least with Soriana. But, well… that's not what Ka'el is trying to do. He's being serious Ka'el - which, at this moment, is seriously-embarrassed Ka'el. Her eyes - lifted brows and all - remain on him as his go looking away and come back to hers. For a moment, it seems like he's decided to go with the flattery option after all. Gorgeous. Eyes. Lips. Hands. …ass. That one doesn't fit as well with the rest. It's not so much in the Flatterer's Handbook. It's more, well, something serious Ka'el says when he's… okay, mostly, when he's being seriously turned on. Which, well, he evidently was. Past tense, and isn't that just… Her gaze stays on him, and her hands drift toward her hips. They adjust her sweater slightly. Because… those hands drift away again, going to just hang at her sides. It has been a long time, with weird and awkward feelings and conflicting arousal and avoidance and… they were getting over it. They were kissing and, yeah, she was on top of him and it was okay (no, better than okay, it was good) and she was … blink. Yes, his hands were on her underwear, but… they're hardly anything that counts as lingerie. Not that it wasn't good, but… she stares, because apparently for Ka'el, it wasn't just good, it was great… for a moment. For just enough of a moment that… "Shards, Kale." It's almost a sigh. An exhalation of the words. Because… "That's not even… We weren't… shards." It's almost flattering. In a way. Look how hot she is? Only… that's not exactly what she meant to do with him. In the sense, that, sure, it's maybe what she was going to do with him, but not like that it wasn't. Soriana's… staring. It's the 'I don't even' face. It's not mad. It's not even really upset. It's just… got… nothin'.

Those words aren't being taken very well. Ka'el's not sure just how she means them, or what she means by them, but what he hears is probably far off base. Though with the prickling feeling of shame crawling across every inch of his skin, it'd be difficult to take anything in a good way. And that shame multiplies by a thousand with those words, and he does his best turtle impression, head ducking down as if he's trying to pull it into an imaginary shell that'd shield him from them. He can't look at her, which is a good thing, for that look wouldn't help matters at all. "I know… I know," he grimaces, sounding angry and miserable at the same time. He's gotta move, and so he does, moving away from her and towards that end table to straighten those blank papers, lifting that half drank orange bottle to do so. Gotta keep busy, or he'll explode. Or cry (not really). Or start cursing very loudly (more likely). Papers are straightened. That took all of seven seconds to do. Far too fast. He sets that drink down next to them now and glances to that kitchenette table. There are plenty of papers to straighten up there. Papers with numbers and plus signs and notes and drawings on them to be straightened. But that's also the same table Soriana is near, so… no. His hands fidget, then busy themselves with straightening the pillows on his couch unnecessarily. Geeze! She doesn't sound mad. She sounds…repulsed? Annoyed. Exasperated. It's all worse than just being mad. Ears remain a bright shade of red as he straightens, rubbing the back of his neck again. Apparently he's aiming to rub it raw at some point tonight. It's too bad he's at home. He can't very well run away from his own place and go bury himself in the snow somewhere. As it is, he can only think to stand there, looking and feeling rather stupid, in the middle of his living room. Like a red turtle.

Ka'el knows, but what does he know? Soriana doesn't know what he knows. She just knows that… ugh. This whole thing is weird laced with extra weird and tied up in a big bundle of weird. He moves, and she stands where she is, gaze following him as he cleans up. Not that the place is that huge a mess, for bachelor pad - or like hers is much better. Okay, she does the dishes more often, but that's mostly because she cooks (melts cheese on bread) more often. So it kinda comes out in the wash. And… she could leave? He doesn't have to look at her like that, but he's the one who told her not to leave. So she didn't, so she's here, so… …should she go? Which is why she sighs, probably. It also has something to do with the slightly exasperated tone, and she leaves the table behind to stride across his living room and fling herself down on his couch. (Now he can go straighten the papers on the table.) Because he asked her not to leave and so she's not leaving and she is done with staring at each other awkwardly. So she's sitting on his couch, dammit. And messing with his pillows. "Okay, so. You did." That. With/without her. Her head goes back, resting against the top of his couch to stare up at the ceiling. "It's…" Pause. She considers on it, just one. more. time. If she wasn't there, and he'd thought about her, what then? Because that's sort of what it was, except she was there, and encouraging (kisses are encouraging) him. So. That's… "Okay. I guess. I mean…" A shrug, still looking up at the ceiling, and then she can't help it. She tilts her head down and looks at him. "…does that happen often?" Not exactly like that. Because she'd know. But. Him. Thinking of her. That. She's… curious.

Pft, tell him about it. It's weird! Talking about it is super weird! And her being here after is .. well, it wasn't initially weird, but now Ka'el is starting to feel a little … pervish. It's not like any of his guy friends go around talking about things like this. Having any similar experiences, and what they did after. What if this isn't normal stuff at all? And it's totally not okay to have that happen…because of a girl but not in the right way? And what if Soriana's motions towards leaving wasn't because she felt as if she should, but because she wanted to? And now he's told her to stay and she's staying without really wanting to stay? He's stuck where he is, standing there wishing he had the ability to turn invisible so that he could just melt away into nothingness and stay like that a while. He winces at her initial statement. He isn't sure why. Perhaps a tiny part of him was hoping that she'd pretend it didn't happen at all. No such luck, and then come more words. And a question that has him feeling like the ultimate pervert. Does it happen a often? "No!" He flushes again and now wishes that his skin would just fall off so that could stop happening. He takes the question literally. That was the first time that has ever happened. But… he still underperformed. Failed at his duty as a man. Now what? "But I think.. about you. When I miss you." When he's lonely. "When I wish you were around." When he wants her. That also is sounding a little…creeper, although it never has felt that way before now. She is his girlfriend, after all. That warrants him a few lusty, and sometimes not so lusty daydreams, right? "I'm sorry.." That she turns him on? "You don't have to stay the night." Now that he's disappointed her. His eyes turn to her, finally. "I..could probably…go again..in a little bit..?" he adds, unsure if that was the right thing to add, but feeling that she should know. Because… Well. Just because.

It's a real question that Soriana is really wondering about! Which doesn't make it any less weird. She nods to Ka'el's answer, which isn't very informative for him. More just… yeah, okay, it doesn't. Which is probably a good thing? Because otherwise she'd have to keep a closer eye on his pants and wonder what she might be missing. Fortunately, this is not common. But? Her head tilts, questioning. He thinks about her, okay. That… makes sense. It sounds a little weird to go and say it, but the thought of it… sure. Maybe he hugs a pillow and vaguely pretends, when he's half asleep. That… sounds… like an apology. Well, the thing he just said sounds like an apology, and she lifts her hand toward him. "You. Kale. It's not…" But it is weird. But. She doesn't have to stay? Of course she doesn't. He could go again? But. That's… It's just too weird to try to deal with it all, and so she laughs. At him? Maybe. But her hand's still reached out to him. "Come here. And we'll talk. Okay?" In a little bit? Yeah she's not sure, because it's weird, but she's pretty sure she does want to sit with Ka'el. (What was that about pretending it never happened? Is it too late to go back to that option?)

Me. Kale. You. Sori. The two of them are such linguists! The masters of prose. Ka'el is getting the gist that allowing his mind float towards thoughts of her is..not…normal. And obviously she isn't going around thinking about him, so he'll need to .. change his mode of thinking. Maybe he'll think about someone else? Someone more attractive than V'dim, but that too seems rather… well, bad for his health (not to mention lovelife), if his thoughts ever leaked out of a certain bronze dragon's mind. Does she not want him to… allow her to occupy his mind? It'd be a grand thing to ask aloud, but pretty odd. But that sort of question isn't one that's just asked, just like the statement that he'll be ready too go again just isn't…normally announced. Her laughter has him bringing a hand to his scrunched up face. "Not … again.. there," he says as his hand slides down from his face. "I don't mean.. I mean. Not .. not in the same…way!" He definitely isn't planning on misfiring twice! Shards. How did he get himself in this mess in the first place? He eyes her outstretched hand, wary of her words. Talk? He's not sure if he wants any more talking about…any of this. Just look where it's gotten him! His lips curve downward, too unsure of anything right now to try to smile. Her outstretched hand is briefly taken before he sits down next to her. He must be going for the record for the longest blush, for it's still on his face. Or is that, returning to his face? ………………………………….. " … So… you don't…think about..things?" Things. Not him, you see. Just things.

They're poetic, is what they are. Minimalistic and… awkward. "What?" Soriana says at the 'not there'. What does he - oh! "Shards. No. Not. I mean… no." Yeah. She wasn't thinking that. Why was he thinking that? Is that a thing that he… thinks about? Does he think about things like that and… well… lingerie? Because he said something about that, back in with her ass and her eyes (which are perplexed, now) and… yeah Ka'el got himself into this by that, uh, misfire. Which he got himself into by kissing her, and, well, grinding at her, some, but not doing all that much more than kissing. And right now, Soriana just wants to talk about something else. Anything else. The assignment schedule for Galaxy. Dinner three nights ago. How many firelizards it takes to change a basket of glows. ANYTHING. … but no. Because, while Ka'el sits down next to her, he wants to talk about things, and things are - obviousl!y - very different than anything else. Soriana sighs, and thunks her head back against the top of the couch to stare at his ceiling again. This is so not how (why) she wants to be doing that. "Yeah. No. I do. It's not - it's just… it's been a long time." Since the flight. Since… "And… it's just…" Pause, and her face twists through uncomfortable before she lets it out in a sigh. "It was nice. The kissing." Before the… pants incident.

Hell, he doesn't want to talk about those things, but she said she wanted to talk! And .. well, what else could he assume she wanted to talk about but the current situation? Of course Ka'el thinks of lingerie and all things sexy! What man doesn't? Soriana should be more worried if sex never crossed his mind, but unfortunately neither one of them will see the outcome of that, for it is a topic oft visited in the brain. And now she knows. .. Er, maybe. And maybe he's not the only one with such private thoughts, and he watches her as she answers him. He's kind of relieved, feeling marginally less like a sex fiend at her admission, even if it's spoken to the ceiling. But even so, his lips pull downward at the corners as he sits forward, leaning towards her a little. Nothing is said for a long time, giving himself time to pick apart her words. The length of time since the flight (And that wasn't even a good event). Their kiss. The niceness of it. His frown faintly deepens, and he reaches toward her to touch at her arm, fingers lightly grasping. "Look at me."

Ka'el should paint his ceiling. At least, if Soriana's going to be staring at it like this - which totally wasn't her plan, when she came here tonight, but seems to have become so. Okay, so there was a part when she thought it might be, but it was probably going to involve a different part of ceiling and - augh now she's back to that again! Topics. Coming back. …coming… …dammit. She's aware of Ka'el leaning in, even sorta glances at him, but she doesn't want to say anything, so she doesn't. Not until he reaches out to touch her, and her head tilts down again, regarding him with… frustration, somewhat, still lurking in the corners of her mouth and her eyes, and wanting and… Her voice, when she speaks, is soft. She doesn't reach out, but she doesn't pull her arm away, either. "What?"

The hand on her arm stays there, the expression on Ka'el's face hard. The lines of a frown are still there, and the apologetic embarrassment has begun to diminish in his eyes, making space instead for a sharp crispness that wasn't there even when he first opened the door for her. If he had such focus a little while ago, maybe they'd be in a far different position now. "You can't be mad at me for that. We haven't in a long time. You said it, an' you're right. We haven't. I've been waiting for you like I told you I would, til the flight shit wasn't there anymore, and I've been waitin' for me to know for sure with no kind've doubt that what happened then with me wouldn't ever happen when it's just you and me." No dragons. "This whole time, the only girl I've wanted was you. No matter what, I haven't touched anybody but you. An' I'm sorry that my shardin' body wanted to have a celebration without askin' me about it first," says with a sort of scowl. Stupid body. "I couldn't help that. But I'm not gonna let that ruin this because I've been too damn faithful an' too damn patient to have you here lookin' at me like you just did." So. He draws his hand away from her arm, stands up, and then offers his hand to her.

When Ka'el tells her she can't be mad, Soriana lifts her eyebrows. Yeah, they haven't. Because of dragons, and because of feelings with dragons and feelings without them. So… the brows drift down again, though there's still a question in her eyes, and then… the 'no matter what' brings a small, troubled sort of look, a twist of her lips. Because… that… was a question? Ka'el feels he needs to express that he hasn't been going and touching other people? Not that she has either, mind you, but… she wasn't thinking it, and now she is, and now he's… she glances down at his pants (black, now) at the comment about his body, then back up to him. He couldn't help it? Yeah, okay. She nods a little. Bodies are like dragons, sometimes, and as things to fuck up… that one's not all that bad. Embarrassing. Weird. Kinda… rude, of his body, but. It's not bad. It's like farts after bean chili in the caverns. Only, well, not. But… the brows lift again as he talks about ruination and then, right at the end, she frowns. "…like… what?" Her tone is a little surprised. A little annoyed. "I'm not mad." Wasn't mad. Maybe she is now. "It's just… stupid." His body. Not him. "So you came. You've done it before." With her, even. "I just… I wasn't expecting it." Not then. "So I guess…" Pause. "…that's you and me." Together. Without dragons. Or… planning. Stupid bodies. "…and what the shard was that about lingerie?" She doesn't take his hand. Yet.

Every time her eyes flit to his pants, Ka'el feels like she can see right through the fabric and to … well, his junk! It's only a little unnerving, as he can't read her mind . For all he knows she could be contemplating ways to get payback … which certaiinly wouldn't bode well for anything below the waist. "Like that look you give somebody who's gotten on your last shardin' nerve," he answers her, still with that outstretched hand. "Like you just heard the most…ridiculous, stupid thing in your life an' you're lookin' at the person who said it tryin' to figure out if what they said is true or if they really are just that stupid. That's how I see you lookin' at me." It isn't a good look, apparently. Neither is the frown that downcurves his lips at something she comments on, which elicits a shake of his head. "This isn't you an' me. You an' me is way more than this. This was… goin' from havin' nothin' to havin' everything I wanted. I got …too excited I guess, I dunno. You and me is better than this. We…" Hm, wait, what? Lingerie? Ka'el blinks at her, an honest look of confusion on his face, and it drags on for seconds. Til.. Oh! That lingerie. meh. He frowns and braces. "I…was tryin' to..er, cool off… And uh, I tried thinkin' of… someone in lingerie. But instead I started thinkin' of you in it instead and…well, shards you now how this story ends.

"…well I'm not." Soriana says. The 'sothere' is implied by her tone. Because that's completely not being mad, right? "It's like… like I baked you a pie." For purposes of this example, pretend Soriana can bake. "And you fell facefirst into it, and got a bloody nose. And it… it's dumb and it's not like you meant to but it's still… it's just stupid, that's all. And now when you say strawberry pie I think bloody noses." Okay, so maybe this analogy is getting out of control, but whatever. She looks at him, and her gaze is steady. "So you tripped." Another glance down. "Metaphorically. It's just…" She trails off, but she also reaches out and takes his hand. Just in time for explanations! Of sexy lingerie and… "…not… someone… hot?" She assumes. Because, well, trying to cool off! Right? Also the bit he said about not thinking of anyone else but her, this whole time. She frowns, briefly, then looks away from him… then back again to meet his eyes. "I dunno if I want to try again, tonight." It's still weird. "But… I can stay the night."

He ruined the pie. Pft. As if Sori can bake or would make him a pie or anything for that matter. But he gets it, regardless. "Strawberry pie isn't somethin' I say regularly, so I think your safe." Safe from bloody pie thoughts. Ka'el's not safe from Soriana glances to his crotch though, because there she goes again! His mouth twitches, but at least his hand is taken and he can pull her up. Was he imagining someone hot? "No." And there's nothing that's going to get him to elaborate on that. This night has already twisted itself into something weird and uncomfortable, and now to complete the emotional rollercoaster, he's starting to feel a little sad. She doesn't want to? Well, sure. Things definitely aren't feeling too lustful or sexy anymore, as much as he wants to try to fix that. His hand slips from hers once she's up and settles at his side. His eyes flit to the door as she speaks of staying the night, mentally checking with Kanekith, who..yup. Still outside. The greatest watchdog one could ever hope to have. "Yeah, it's late," he says, looking back at her now. "Probably not a good idea to walk all that way." He nods to his bedroom door, left ajar from earlier. "I've plenty of pillows," which she'd already know, if there are any before-flight memories fo his bedroom. "Got extra blankets once it started getting cold." All at her disposal.

Soriana can get him a pie from the kitchens? By going and using her fancy knot to demand some hapless baker produce one. But… it's just an example anyhow, and so she nods to Ka'el. "It isn't," she agrees. Or at least it'd better not be, but she'll believe him. This time. She's pulled up by him, and she leans in to brush her lips to his cheek briefly. Just for a moment - it's nothing near the passionate kissing of before - but it is a kiss. The unsexiness of his mental picture is nodded to, but… yeah, no, she's not going to inquire about it. Not right now. Maybe not ever. She doesn't need to know who the sour lemon juice… uh… yeah, no. She glances to his hand (not his crotch) as is leaves hers, then up to him again. "Okay, she says to his report about his bed - which, yep, she does remember. She's been in it. She… "Come on." She slips her arm in around his middle. She's not going to kick him out onto his own couch. She can sleep the night with him, because there are plenty of pillows and blankets, and for all tonight has been … a bloody pie of a mess … it's made it clear that Ka'el's wants for her involve groping her ass, not … other things. Also that he doesn't want the version where she's not happy. So maybe she's not in the mood for makeouts anymore, but maybe that'll change once they're in bed. Or maybe it won't, and she'll try to talk about other things and Ka'el will get the latest administrative gossip out of her before she falls asleep. But… she's willing to sleep with him, even if she's not… sleeping with him.

He's happy for the kiss, that brush of lips to his cheek which is usually all that's needed to get his heart a'flutter, but he's also surprised that he gesture was given. Maybe she really isn't mad, as much as he didn't believe her unconvincing sounding statement before. But, if not mad … she isn't happy, either. Not that Ka'el could tell from the moment of his 'oops' til now. A span of time that's felt like turns instead of chunks of uncomfortable, embarrassing, ill-fated minutes. He's ready for that couch, as he can't begin to imagine her wishing to share a bed with him. It's not an uncomfortable place to sleep. He's passed out on it on more than one occasion. Granted, his legs dangle off and he has no blanket, but that's what heating is fo-… "Huh?" Her arm is around his middle now and his focus turns to her, brows furrowed in vague confusion. She..wants him? Well, maybe not like that anymore, but.. for bed? He's nearly hesitant, feeling jumbled enough to want only his own company this evening. Sad enough to want to sit alone. But it's only an 'almost' hesitation, which in the end is an imperceptible thing as he goes with her into his room to kick Alloy off before climbing into bed to lie facing her, trying not to think of anything that's unfolded thus far. Keeping his hands and his body to himself while his eyes roam her face in the darkness as she falls asleep. And he'll stay awake for some time after, shifting his body so that he's facing away (because if she wakes up and he's staring at her that'd break the scale of weirdness) and staring silently across the moon-streaked room while contemplating a question that was asked of him before. One whose answer he didn't know then and still eludes him now. That fact has him frowning, and he closes his eyes as he hugs at his pillow, wishing that it was her instead. Goodnight, Sori.

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