Simple Words

Xanadu Weyr - Wanderin' Wherry Tavern
It is often whispered in the crowds that converge here, that a certain Weyrleader was asked what he wanted in the remodeling of the pub that was not so long ago given a refreshing. He muttered back over the rim of his ever-present mug, "I don't care what you do with the place, just so long as there is plenty of ale." With that in mind, cask after cask of ale lines the walls of the tavern, the remodeler's idea of a jest. As they age, the casks bring a real rustic atmosphere to the pub, along with the deeply wooden flavor that seems to be the theme throughout.
The lighting is dim, as it should be in all good pubs, and the tables and chairs are plentiful. A long mahogany bar, intricately carved with runner beasts, stands vigilant duty at the head of the bar, lined with stools for those patrons that seek the bartender's company.

The sun's setting marks the end of the workday for most residents of Xanadu. Weary souls take to the caverns for supper for relaxation and social time. Others retire to the taverns for the same with a little more liquor involved. The spring night is cool and dark, with clouds blotting out the stars and moons above. The Wanderin' Wherry is busy, as it tends to be in the evenings. The air is filled with the chatter of both men and women who mill about at tables and around the bar. Ka'el] is in not one of them. The young Weyrleader instead emerges from a back room behind the bar, following one of the bartenders, a man older them him with a salt and pepper scraggly beard. The two are in conversation that lasts until they exit that room. It's busy! Busy enough for the 'tender to need to get to work. "If you'll be 'scusin' me, Weyrleader. I'll be gettin' yer stuff to yas within the seven!" Probably sooner, since he's dealing with a Xanadu official! Ka'el grins and nods, waving him off towards an impatient looking patron while he himself begins to exit from behind the bar.

Arabet is at that bar, a slim figure in snug striped pants and a trim leather jacket left open over the generous scoop of a low-cut shirt. Her posture languid and leaning, a hand inattentively lingering by a half-empty glass, she's been watching the room with bland interest but now that the two men emerge from the backroom, it's the younger that has her attention. She says nothing, but as Ka'el goes to pass her, she sticks a boot out, high enough from her perch on the stool that she's unlikely to trip him, but certainly meaning to catch him at the leg and draw him to a stop. Her blue eyes lift to his face, a slow, cool smile curving at one side of her mouth. And rather than offer him some kind of greeting, she just arches a brow at him. Remember her?

Ka'el is indeed stopped by the roadblock that is a booted leg, coming to an abrupt halt just centimeters before contact. A brow is arched as he turns his head to the right, eyes sliding over to a woman. Familiar. The initial frown of question relaxes from his face as the connection is made in his memory. "Our Xanadu customs usually don't warrant sabotage as a greeting," he says, his grin crooked as he turns towards her. "But, seein' as you're a new face, I'll let that slide. This time." His grin remaining, he moves enough to lean against the counter, eyes glancing at her half-empty glass before settling on her face again. "Don't tell me…" he says, holding a hand as his hands furrow in thought. "Ar…Arobi?"

There's a silent 'ah' on her lips for his helpful tip about their local customs, a grin for how he lets her get away with it, if only this time. But there's no sign that she's going to interrupt him as he hunts his memory for her name, just waiting patiently with a tip of her head and the hang of dark, tousled hair. "Drink?" is how she answers first, a glance skimming past him to see if there are any booths or tables open where two people might imbibe in conversational comfort, since the stool beside her is occupied. It's only after that that the woman corrects him: "Arabet." There's a flick of her eyebrows, impressed by how close his guess game, even if he didn't quite land on the mark. But already she's lifting a finger to the bartender, trying to catch his attention so that some orders might be placed.

"Ah!" Ka'el snaps his fingers at the given name. So close! "On the tip of my tongue, it was." Or…well, maybe more like on the back of his tongue. Hidden beneath some tastebuds. He would've found it eventually! … Maybe. Eyes flit from her to past the bar's counter, to the barrels of ale and bottles of liquor that are stored behind it. Hmmm. He came for a drink, didn't he? Albeit not to partake here, but…one probably won't hurt. "I think an ale'd sit right this evenin'," he agrees with a nod. "On me." He moves a hand to tap at the side of her glass. "You'll want a refill?" He smiles to both her and the 'tender as he comes to take their orders with instructions to put it on the Weyrleader's tab. "Come," says Ka'el, nodding towards the masses and the tables peppered within. Most are occupied, though there are a small few that have yet to be claimed tucked away in the back, "you'll have to tell me how Xanadu's treatin' you so far." He pushes away from the bar so that they can go claim a table.

She watches the way he deliberates, the interest and hesitation, and it brings a little something curious to Arabet's eye. But in the end, ah, yes, he'll have a drink, and the woman allows her smile to spread with satisfaction. It's more to the bartender that she nods about the refill, lifting her glass to empty what's left and pushing it toward the server to tidy up. While one hand is still so occupied, the other come up to dab a fingertip at her lip, a wry smile at the corner of her mouth as she murmurs, "Thank you." On his tab. Appreciated. She slips herself off the stool with a roll of her shoulders to resettle her jacket and then follows the Weyrleader through the crowd, moving easily in the wake he creates. She slings her bag into the neighboring seat before she sits, legs crossed and her jacket peeling off her shoulders — it's warm in here, and her cheeks show a touch of color for it, but her shoulders are bare. "Well enough," she answers without commitment. "Still learning the customs." And with that, a sly grin reappears momentarily to harken to his teasing. "And you…" A brow lifts. Everyone knows have the interceding weeks have treated him. There's a question dangling there, too, for the things that not everyone knows.

Excuse me. Pardon me. Ka'el weaves his way through the crowd, parting the waters for the both of them until they reach a table near a wall tucked away near the rear of the place. Being the gentleman that he is (or maybe is residual from etiquette training during weyrlinghood) he does pull out her chair for her before he too sits. He wears no jacket, though he is dressed nicely, as his position warrants. Black slacks and a pale blue collared shirt that probably /does/ have a jacket to it … somewhere. Likely left behind at the office. But his sleeves are rolled up to the elbows now and topmost button loosed. Off duty .. as much as Weyrleader can be, which is pretty much never. But he is at least taking a moment for himself. His drink isn't long in coming (hey, it's the Weyrleader they're serving!) and hers comes with it, both set on the table in front of them with a kind smile from the tavern maid before she disappears. He pulls his mug closer to himself before returning his eyes to her, mouth quirking up at a corner at her question. "And I…?" he echoes, sounding teasing before his eyes sweep to that last piece of his wardrobe: That difficult to miss knot on his shoulder. "Have been promoted," he finishes, nodding once. "As for our customs, I hope suspect too different than the customs of your home. Unless there's a habit of trippin' folks as you meet them?"

She has easy acknowledgement for the pulling of her seat, for the barmaid delivering drinks, but doesn't linger over either. Instead, with her jacket tucked back over the chair and her posture settled comfortably against it, Arabet leaves one hand folded in her lap as the other reaches for her glass. Her eyes sweeps over him, slowly and without disguise: the unbuttoned collar, the features of his face, the glaring knot. "You were Ka'el when we met. Smith," she recalls with a narrowing of smudged lashes. "Search and rescue." The words draw out faintly. "And no one asked." This is what she remembers from their meeting, though perhaps other things, with the way her gaze lingers near his elbow for a beat before it returns to meet his eye. "There are worse habits than tripping," she points out, not forgetting his comment, and her smile already curling. "And you didn't trip." So she'll have a taste of her drink.

"I'd like to think that I'm still Ka'el," he replies with an easy-going smile, "though sometimes it's difficult to still feel so simply when I'm not always treated as simply. Ka'el: Smith at heart. Weyrleader, by knot. You're fortunate," Ka'el says after a moment's pause of thought. "You hadn't known me long before, so the transition'll be easy, I'd imagine. Not as awkward as it's been for others." And not as all as awkward as it's been for himself. His mug is brought to his lips again and a swallow is taken, eyes drifting from her only in that moment, keeping track of his surroundings. Though when the mug is lowered, his attention is back on her. "I take it by now you've been all settled in? In the Resident's hall, I'm guessing?" It's where all the new folk end up at first! "Have you had a chance to look around Xanadu?"

"If you're still Ka'el," Arabet considers, head canted and chin tipped high. "Perhaps there's no transition at all." She touches her tongue to her lip in thought when he mentioned others who have had trouble adjusting to the extra cords on the bronzerider's shoulder, leaving space in case he'd like to expand. He might glance around, but she watches him, quiet though with a steadiness that could be forward nonetheless. "I've taken a room," she confirms, her chin dropping then, a nod of her head in some gratitude for him pointing the way on her first day here. "But," a slow smile spreading again. "I haven't been everywhere yet." Her glance wanders aside, toward unseen, and untaken, paths that have turned off her routes into unknown parts. "Are tours from the Weyrleader an extra mark?" A silent laugh shakes her breath and deepens an amused grin, the calm gaze on him again.

Ka'el does not go into any further detail on others and how smoothly, or not so smoothly, they may be taking his new rank. But as for his personal thoughts on his transition? "Maybe you're right, at least when it comes to who I am. I don't think I've changed much. What has changed is how I must view things now. I've to see every point of view. Consider how any choice I make will affect everyone, not just me. That has changed, but I suppose that would have to .. for me to be effective." Another drink, this one slow and contemplative. He nods at the news that she indeed has a room, but his head vaguely cants to one side after. Her request, joking or otherwise, earns a smirk and the elevation of a single brow. "I think the price can be negotiated," he says in return. "I'm a fair sort've guy and wouldn't want to cheat you out of your wares. Though a mark sounds about right to me." He laughs, setting his mug down once more. "But you haven't had a chance to explore? There's plenty to see, especially now that the weather's warm again. … Kanekith won't want to go too far once Seryth clutches, but she hasn't yet. I could likely convince him to be pleasant enough to give you a flyover tour sometime, if you're really interested. He needs to stretch his wings, and there are .. uh, brief spurts of time that I find I have to myself."

"Who are you, if not how you view things?" Which might not be the most reassuring thing to hear for a man who is questioning how his world has changed. But Arabet doesn't seem particularly apologetic about that more unsettling line of thought. "It's a weight," she surmises from his words, her eyes starting to pick over him again as though the troubles of the Weyr were visible on him, a mark on his shirt, a crease in his shoulder. But that there are such troubles in the place she's calling home, at least for the moment, has the sooty line of lashes tightening on him. She has a question brewing, but his lighter shift to the prospect of an aerial tour eases the curiosity in her eyes. "If that's how you'd like to spend your… brief spurts." She mimics his tone for those words with a precision that teases him for his choice of description. As her brows lift in question, the sly smile shows itself again. "I'd like that. I love to fly." Which might make it sound like something that she does rarely enough that there is still something exciting about it. Her interest in the weight of the Weyr, though; it's still hanging around behind her gaze, formless and unvoiced.

Oh, she reads far too deeply into his words! Weyr troubles? Is that how she's deciphered him? Too bad he can't correct her. For all the things he is, Ka'el's no mind reader, though that would be handy ability to have with or without his fancy knot! As it is, Ka'el is a simple young man whose words rarely go any deeper than surface level. Like now, for instance. Flying and tours! He surely isn't a member of Comet (or … is he now technically a member of all the wings?) but he seems willing to do the task meant for a member of the transport team. His only problem…is time. Brief spurts of it, yes, funny as the phrase may be. He smirks in return and shrugs a shoulder at her teasing. "Well then, I'll be sure to squeeze time together to do so for you." Or try to, at least! Blue eyes flit to the main area of the tavern as more people file in for drinks and entertainment. The hour must be growing later, and he knows that that means. A breath is exhaled before he finishes the last of his drink. "As it is, the time I had now is ending, and I need to head back to the office," he says, beginning to rise. "Thank you for your company, and I'm glad to still see you about Xanadu. I'll find you for that tour."

His troubles, Weyr troubles: it's likely a blurry line where one ends and the other begins. It's just as well that he can't read her mind; it's likely a strange place in there. But hey, at least she doesn't think him a simpleton? No, if anything, Arabet appears to be flattered by Ka'el willingness, interest — whichever it is — in carting her about sometime just for a nice view of the Weyr. "I look forward to it," she answers with another light laugh, perhaps eased from her concerns about troubles by the fact that there might still be room in his schedule for such aimless activities. The shift of his gaze pulls her with it, turning to glance over her shoulder at the press of people. Then she tips a nod to him, glass lifted and her smile knowing: it's a thanks for the drink and ready acceptance that, for now, the man has other things to do. "Find me," she agrees, widening a grin at him as she watches him take his leave.

The young Weyrleader bobs his head in answer to her, his grin held and lingering on his face. "Good evenin' to you," he offers in departure, lifting a hand in a slight wave before he turns to slip into the crowd and head out of the tavern for the night. Unfortunately, it isn't home that his feet lead him. Such is the life of a Weyrleader … as he's beginning to learn. Hopefully, he does find the time for that promised tour!

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