Maybe you can call it progress?

Xanadu Weyr - Garden

An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place.

On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.

Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.

The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also alluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic.

Let's call it 'a lovely late evening,' shall we? The setting is idyllic, so we may as well make the rest of the surroundings comply, with a sky smudged in the purples and crimsons of sunset, making a watercolor loveliness that nicely compliments the impossibly pretty gardens. There's the slightest chill in the air now that evening's coming on, but that shouldn't ruin the prettiness of the surroundings. Taking advantage of this secluded loveliness is one Jonteim, using the stone archway over the stream that feeds into the koi pond as a place to sit, one foot dangling over the water, the other flat on the stone, while he tears of a piece of bread and throws it to the fish, enjoying the thrash of silver-and-gold bodies while they argue over who gets the doughy tidbit.

Clad in a swirl of whites, silvers and pale blues Chrystyne stands no chance to blend much into the garden colors. The white and silver coat is on though open to reveal the long sleeved pale blue tunic edged in silver and tucked into baggy brown pants. Stepping into the garden area she has gardening gloves on and could be here to do a late chore that wasn't done during the day when it should have been done. Jonteim's secluded loveless is about to be not so alone once she sees the other candidate sitting on the archway. Approaching him she gives a wave. "Hey there!"

Walking along with Chrystyne, Briari is dressed in a simple blue shirt and a pair of loose fitted brown pants. Nothing spectacular for her for a change. It seems that she is here to help Chrystyne with a few chores as well as she carries a small bag over one shoulder filled with tools. It's Spring time so it's a good time to plant some new seeds as well. As her friend calls out to Jon, she gains a visible frown upon her face, followed by a listless sigh from between her lips. ".. great." She mutters to herself.

That swirl of paleness amid the splash of color out here is a natural attractor for the eye, even if it's only a from-the-corner glimpse, and Jonteim lifts his from the thrashing water, his look hurriedly distracted, like he "Thought you were a goose or something. Hey," the greeting tacked on as an afterthought, apparently meant to include both Chrystyne and Briari. She may not be thrilled to see him, but - like the aforementioned goose - her presence doesn't seem to ruffle his feathers any, and he goes back to tearing the last pieces of bread for the fish. "Procrastinators unite?" with a dip of his forehead to their tools and whatnot.

Chrystyne spares a sideways glance at Briari as she catches the mutter. "Wassa matter?" she mutters back just before they get closer to the other candidate. "Guess that depends on if your procrastinating or just myself. Briari's helping me do the chore I shoulda done earlier." a crooked grin touches her expression briefly as she peers towards Jonteim. "Seen ya around the barracks but don't think we met officially or anything. I'm Chrystyne."

"Nothing." Briari says in a resigned breath as she shoves her hands into her pockets as they walk closer. "Hey, Jon." She gives a jerk of her head upwards in a quick nod. "You want to help us out?" Her stance seems almost guarded as she shifts her weight from foot to foot. "We got a lot of weeds to pull and some seeds to plant. Hoping to create a nice colorful bed once it blooms."

Jonteim repeats the name, "Chrystyne," in a 'pleased to meet you' tone (though he spins the pronunciation so that it's obvious that he thinks it's spelled more like Christine). He throws the last lump of bread into the pond and offers his hand, dropping both feet over the water to make it possible to reach a little farther while he adds, "Jon." With more zeal than it really requires, he tells Briari, "Absolutely don't," want to help pull weeds and plant seeds.

Chrystyne arches a brow at Jonteim's emphasize on the wording though really if it's Chrys or Chris it both /sounds/ the same. At his refusal to help the girls she crosses her arms over her chest to level a look that's only slightly annoyed. "Suppose this is your chore then?" she juts her chin towards the water and the bread eating fish. "Couldn't hurt ya to help out ya know."

""Great! Well, see you around then, Jon. Have a nice day." Briari loops an arm around one of Chrystyne's to give a bit of a nudge and tug, followed by a light bump of the hip. "So, anyways, I have a great idea of how to organize the colors in the bed. I was thinking of creating a rainbow effect, maybe bend the bed a bit so that it has an arch. Would be very attractive."

Although Jonteim helpfully argues, "Might," to the possibility of getting hurt - eyes on the rakes and spades and stuff - he doesn't argue the case any further, nor does it seem that peer pressure (or even the possibility of two blondes) is going to lure him over. Instead, the girls are left to do their chore in peace under the darkening sky, and he's left to enjoy the change from sunset… to twilight… the streaks of color replaced by the first sprinkle of stars overhead. Once full dark settles, he swings down from the bridge, calling toward the girls, "Best pack it in soon. Gardening in the dark can't be good for your eyes."

It seems that Chrystyne had finished up her chores and had headed off to grab some dinner, while leaving Briari behind while she was 'in the zone' so to speak. There are a few candles set up on small pieces of stone so not to burn the place down. There is a large bag of weeds filled to the top, and it apperas she is currently digging into the rich soil with her spade, carefully sprinkling seeds in a specific manner. Glancing upwards at the sound of Jon's voice, she pushes herself up and dusts off her dirty knees. "Yeah, you're probably right." Picking up a candle, she blows it out.

Surprise registers, albeit briefly and difficult to detect now that it's dark, when Jonteim realizes that Chrystyne's slipped off, but no questions are asked. Instead, veering off the path that leads directly back toward the Weyr, he stops to collect the bag of weeds, knotting the top of it closed so there's less chance that their hard work to pull them all will end up just spilling out on the path while he goes. Content as he was to leave them to their own devices while they worked, he and the bag wait at the fork in the path, wordlessly patient for Briari to collect her gear and catch up.

Gathering up the tools and binding them together with a piece of twine, Briari flips them over to settle against her shoulder. She looks surprised as Jon picks up the bag of weeds. After blowing out the rest of the candles, she starts off after him, though cautiously. "Thank you." She says softly once she does catch him, walking awkwardly in an odd waddle with the weight of tools and her shoulder bag dangling upon her. There seems to be a hint of emotion in her voice within those two words, though it may be hard to nail down exactly what it is. Nervous energy? Fear? Sadness? A mix of the three?

It's probably even harder to nail down when a person is the sort that's happier just to take them at face value, to accept them with a nod that acknowledges that he heard them. Jonteim's got the bag in one hand, and it's obvious that Briari's struggling there, so he offers his empty hand toward the tools, explaining simply, "For balance." The need for which he illustrates by leaning theatrically to the side with the bag, like it's weighing him down so heavily while he walks.

Glancing over towards him, Briari says, "If you're sure.." Stopping, she shifts the bundle of tools off her shoulder and looks to move them over towards him. "So, you like ducks?" She asks curiously as she attempts to make conversation. "I wish we had more of them in Monaco Bay. I think they're kind of cute. But, we have a lot of pigeons, which aren't as attractive."

Jonteim's sure enough that he takes them, pausing only a moment to do a change-over, bag in his left hand, tools in his right. It does legitimately even out his stride, even though he's shaking his head - right around the time Briari asks him about ducks, so maybe it has more to do with that than with the added weight. There's a false start to answer on his part, then a pause where he just walks a few steps, then he decides to go with, "Do you really wanna talk about ducks?"

Frowning, Briari lets out another sigh. "Just trying to make conversation." Clamping down on everything else that bubbles to the surface, she shifts her own bag upon her shoulder, then grows quiet as they continue down the path. Instead of talking, she just stares straight ahead with a stoic look upon her face.

There's another headshake, and Jonteim asks, "Why?" It's a legitimate question on his part, one he asks with honest bewilderment rather than anything icy or acidic. "A fine evening, nice little walk, why not just enjoy it instead of…" He pauses at the path that leaves the garden, getting his bearings in the shadows to remember which way from here to midden heap (for the bag of weeds). It also lets him order his thoughts before he concludes. "Just seems like you're pushing a lot." With a shrug.

There is an incredulous look upon Briari's face as she looks over towards him for a moment, before giving a shake of her head. Chewing on her bottom lip, she shoves her hands into her pockets once more, she grows absolutely quiet with only the sound of footsteps heard beneath her.

Since that's what Jonteim was after, a quiet walk, he can't very well go complaining about the sudden silence. Given that he holds a look on Briari for a second or two after her own incredulous one, he can't be totally oblivious to the fact that her being silent and his being silent mean two totally different things, but. When the path forks, the one side leading toward a place where he can dump off the bag of weeds and the other across the meadow toward the Weyr and the barracks, he turns down the former, keeping up his version of silence without a hitch.

"I have it from here, you can put the tools and the bag down. I'll just make two trips. Thank you." Briari says in a quiet voice as she stops at the fork in the road, looking to the barracks for a moment. "Have a nice night." She dusts off her hands again, then holds them out for the tools.

Jonteim's 'nope' is in the way he shakes his head, in the lack of a break in his stride when he heads off toward the rubbish heap (or whatever). "Need the walk anyway," he excuses over his shoulder, proceeding to look very absorbed in the niceness of the night - peering up at the steadily increasing number of stars, leaning to pick out a pair of dragoneyes glowing off in the distance somewhere, that kinda thing - while he manages his adopted chores without trouble.

Shrugging her shoulders, Briari turns and heads down the other path back to the barracks. She continues to rub her hands together, working the dirt into little 'dirt worms' between her palms, then wipes them off on her pants to rid herself of their pesky annoyance.

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