Mur'dah's Got Ball

Xanadu Weyr - Rustic Treetop Café

Perched on the cliff overlooking Xanadu's beach is a gnarled and massive skybroom tree. The bark and outer layers are sturdy enough to support the thriving, brushy top, but the interior, which is hollow, contains a spiral staircase that leads to a cafe built on a high platform amongst the branches. With a panoramic view of lake, sky, Weyr and the mountains beyond, the treetop eatery offers both sheltered seating just inside the trunk and tables on the wide deck that encircles the old tree.

The cafe's decor is comfortable and rustic, but closer inspection shows the smallest embellishments to be artfully combined into one detailed masterpiece. The wood of the doors, floor and walls of the trunk have been stained a dark mahogany that lends the space a sense of intimacy. Tables in various sizes have been carved to mimic driftwood, the chairs and benches padded with oiled sailcloth cushions to provide weather-proof comfort. Each table has an aged brass lantern filled with shells and agates gathered from Xanadu's shores, the sparkling natural mosaics holding tapered candles upright in their embrace. Lamps hang from the ceiling on silver poles, the thick frosted glass carved into intricate pastel shells or swirling white-capped waves. At night the colored glass softens the glowlight to enhance the ambience.

During the day, the retractable doors allow leaf-spattered sunlight to fill both the outer deck and the smaller interior with green and gold light, as well as allowing pleasant breezes to cool the interior. On clear nights, farviewers perch on the elaborately carved railing are free for use to enhance the gorgeous view of the stars over the Caspian Lake, the Sea of Azov beyond and the rock formations of the Weyr.

Happy turnday to me, happy turnday to me, happy turnday to meee-eee, happy turnday to me. So hums |Mur'dah as he sits at a table, enjoying a - gasp - ale. Dressed in casual clothes, the wingrider clearly took the day off to relax and lounge around the beach and now he's having a little drink. He's visited Marel already, this morning, and given her his gift of flower themed lighting sconces and spent some time with her, but now it seems like he's on his own for the evening. Thus. The ale.

The past few days haven't been easy for Darsce. Not particularly because she's been busy - she's always busy these days - but because of…something else. Nevertheless, she's remembered what day it is and has managed to pop over to Ierne briefly before looking for her half-siblings. She's not sure whether they'll be together or not. Can't hurt to try though? So with two brightly-wrapped boxes, one under each arm, she goes searching. First the Wandering Wherry. No luck. That draws a frown. She'll have to make the hike across the Weyr to the Treetop Cafe. Ah well. She's getting her exercise! And so it is that she makes her way up those stairs and peeks inside. Success! Or is that half a success? There's one of them anyway. She makes her way over to the table, stacks the two gifts on the table, one atop the other and takes a seat opposite her brother. "Happy turnday, Squirt!"

Mur'dah turns his head because only one person calls him Squirt. But rather than look happy to see his older sister, the brownrider looks guilty. Maybe it's the ale and maybe this is why he's all the way up here to enjoy it. Should have gone to another weyr, or one of the holds to have his celebratory ale, perhaps. "Hey," he says, darting a glance at the ale and then back at her. You mad?

Why would Darsce be mad? The look she gives Mur'dah is equally puzzled for the guilt she catches in his expression. She makes no comment about his ale, in fact, the waiter stops by and she orders some concoction that, yes, has alcohol in it. "Will you having dinner? My treat." The gift? It's a big square package and she nudges it his way. You want to open this now or wait?

Mur'dah looks relieved when she doesn't yell at him, taking a slow sip of his ale. "Sure," he says eagerly, even though he just ate. He's a growing boy! Man. Whatever. Teenager. Then he eyes the box with a grin, reaching out to take it and tear it open.

It's his turnday. He's allowed to have ale if he wants to. He can have it every day if he wants to, Darsce isn't going to lecture him about it. Him stumbling around drunk all the time would be another story though! So she will wave over the waiter with one hand and push Mur'dah's box over with the fingertips of the other hand. The box, he'll see when he's torn off the bright yellow paper contains 2 things: On top is a folded suit, the material of the matching tous and jacket a lightweight grey linen sisal blend and a shimmery black shirt to be worn with it. There is also a black leather belt and dress shoes. All bear the stamp of one of Ierne's finest clothiers. "I thought you might want something nice for the wedding," she explains. Underneath, at the very bottom is an electric gadget. It's globular in shape and has an array of buttons on it. How peculiar.

Yes, well. Life is black and white when you're Mur'dah. Opening the gift his eyes widen in surprise and then he grins with a soft laugh. She got him…something for her wedding. How amusing. "This is a beautiful suit," he remarks. "Thank you. I'll wear it proudly for you." Clothes. At least it wasn't socks and underwear? The gadget is lifted though, carefully, and turned over in his hands. "What's this?"

Well, cough. If he looks further, the clothier threw in a pair of dress socks and undies that wouldn't show panty-lines? Just wait until he tries those hip and butt-hugging trous on! It's a sexy, manly suit and he'll sweep some pretty girl off her feet, no doubt. "You get to keep it afterwards," says Darsce with a knowing smirk. "Wear it on some date. You, uh, know what those are right?" Cue more smirking. Her drink arrives just then and she orders a salad with some grilled chicken, waiting for Mur'dah to order something and that waiter to go on his merry way before she answers. "Push one of the buttons," says the Queen of Button-Pushing.

Mur'dah snorts, eying his sister. "/Yes/, I know what a date is." He's just never been on one. Skipped right to the good stuff, he did. He orders himself a sandwich and fried tubers, leaning back in his chair before he does as told - pushes one of the buttons.

Oh! Oooh he pushed the PINK one. That's Darsce's favorite! Not really. Darsce leans back too, sudden-like - and claps her hands to her ears. An ear-piercing sound fills the Treetop Cafe. It sounds like a siren. And it keeps on going, the discordant notes rising and falling. They're… going to get thrown out of here, aren't they?

Mur'dah yells when it starts to shriek, and he frantically starts pushing ALL THE BUTTONS. "What the HELL!" he tries to yell over the noise.

Fingers poking manage to hit the pink button and blessed quiet is restored. But he's also pushing the others - the green, the blue, the yellow, the blue, the purple… in quick succession a flashing white strobe light illumines the entire room in a flickering surreality. Darsce makes some moves - made comically jerky in the on and off light before his frantically-pushing fingers turn it off and then red and blue revolving lights take over, swirling spotlight effect all over the ceiling and walls. That doesn't last though, because… pushing. Of buttons. One of them starts a fast-paced drumbeat in a cool rhythm before it shifts with those flying fingers and the push of another to a more syncopated and jazzy beat. That is all too-soon silenced and the last button - the purple one emits a spray of light towards the ceiling that patterns the expanse with tiny stars that slowly flicker on and off randomly appearing to be twinkling. It's actually a very peaceful effect, compared to the others. Darsce? She just retrieves her drink. And sips it. She's sitting with Mur'dah at a small table. There might be people at other tables, or they might be rapidly evacuating the place by now.

By the end of it Mur'dah is just carefully, CAREFULLY putting that ball of strobe light DEATH on the table. "Wow. A suit and a…ball…um. A headache ball?" Awesome. "Am I supposed to push all the buttons and toss it into Ka'el's office and then block the door? Thanks, Darsce. You get the best gifts…" Cough. He reaches for his ale (BLESSED ALE) and gulps at it. "Where'd you find that thing?"

If some are rapidly evacuating the cafe, there is at least one who's arriving? Fashionably (or really) late, but Kiena's making an appearance none the less. Though when she comes walking in on the tail end of that colourful light display, she may have regretted it! Waiting until whatever it is or was to stop, she'll move away from where she's pressed herself against the wall by the entrance and make her slow and careful approach. Now it's not so much because of that mysterious object but just general wariness as she scans the room. Not that it's too difficult to pick out Mur'dah and Darsce sitting at the table and she offers both a slight wave and small smile.

Darsce nearly gleeps at Mur'dah's words, staring at him like he just suggested kicking a nest of insects that will swarm and sting everyone in sight. "Shit, no!" Oops? Sorry diners. She hisses a quieter, "He's bad enough- No! Just. No." She sips her drink a little faster. "Ierne," she answers between sips. "It's a party ball. You're supposed to push one button at a time, not all at once. You're lucky it didn't explode." What? She's marrying a techcrafter. How is a tech-like… thing a surprise? Their plates arrive just then and Darsce lifts the boxes, both the one opened and the still-wrapped one to set on the floor. The waiter warily places their dinners and departs. Kiena's wave is noted and the headwoman lifts her chin in a casual greeting. "Hey," she says to the woman with total seriousness, "Would you like to join us? My brother could use a date. It's his turnday." And then she smiles. Hello, irritating big sis here, she's kidding, but you're still welcome to join.

Mur'dah smirks, giving Darsce a grin that's half malicious and wicked, and half innocent. What? He'd /never/ do that. He was kidding. Right. Sure. "How's he doing as Weyrleader?" he asks, mildly curious. Or at least pretending to only be mildly curious. He leans back when their meal arrives, and then he sees Kiena. "Hey! You made it!" he says with a grin, before trying to kick Darsce's foot under the table. "Knock it off, I invited her. It's not a date!" But he's blushing. A little. Sigh.

Kiena comes to a slow stop at the end of the table, facing both Mur'dah and Darsce, to which she addresses first with a slight nod of her head. "If you don't mind—-" she asks before starting a bit and eyeing the young woman for a moment as her brows lift up and up. A date? What? For a moment she looks ready to sputter indignantly, but in the end only bursts out laughing. Just a little bit! Poor Mur'dah. "That'd be a costly rate if you want me to date him," she drawls jokingly and then promptly sobers, flashing Mur'dah a crooked grin. Just kidding! "Invited, yes. And I'm sorry I'm late." No reason given, just is. "I'm Kiena, senior apprentice Smith and rider of blue Ujinath." she'll offer by way of greeting to Darcse. Nice to meet you? Pulling out a chair, she will sit herself down then and notably something wrapped in cloth will be shifted from beneath her arm to settle it hidden on her lap. "Happy Turnday, by the way." Kiena's smile is a little more sincere this time to Mur'dah, before she's glancing about for a sever.

Oops? Darsce smirks at Mur'dah for that kick. Invited but not a date? Okaaaaay, she'll go along with that. But then, he's asking her that question. She level's him with a look. How's Ka'el doing as Weyrleader? Seriously? "You're asking the wrong person," she mutters loosing her smirky grin entirely. "Ask your mother that one." To her credit she says nothing disparaging about the young weyrleader. Bite your tongue, Darsce! It's hard, but she pushes unpleasant thoughts away and forms a smile for Kiena, it's a small one, but genuine nonetheless. "He might be worth it? What'll you charge by the hour?" Light banter. She's kidding, says the wink she flickers at her kid brother. "Darsce," she adds, "I'm sorry we didn't wait, but Mur'dah was playing with his ball (yep, she just totally said that!) and I suspect forgot to tell me he had others joining."

Mur'dah arches a brow at his sister, but he doesn't press. He just shrugs and sips his ale, only to cough again, blush, and then flash Kiena a grateful look and crooked grin. And then kick Darsce under the table again before he's rising and pulling out a chair for Kiena, sprawling back into his own. "Thank you," he says to the bluerider, "glad you could make it. Yeah, Darsce got me this ball of death thing," he says, nudging it with a finger. "Don't push the pink one though. It's horrible. You take this, your water bed and some of my mushrooms and your head would explode."

"Hourly rate, huh? That depends on what kind of 'date' we're speaking of." Kiena drawls with a teasing smirk that soon sobers again. "Well met, Darsce. And don't worry about it…" Kiena murmurs, only to have to hastily bite back the next snickered laugh for that little quip about the ball. "I wasn't entirely certain I could make it and to be fair, I may not have given an answer." There's a brief apologetic look given to Mur'dah for that and perhaps for the earlier teasing too. She'll take the offered seat gratefully. "Glad I could make it too. A… ball of death thing? Is that what was making all the light?" It's eyed curiously while she snorts, locating that pink button but smartly keeping her hands folded in her lap. "I thought the joke was the 'red' button is the one you don't press? And my water bed is no where near that bad!" Common now!

Darsce ows, sends Mur'dah a short glare and promptly tucks her feet beneath her chair, hopefully out of kicking range. She's sipping her drink when- water bed?? She splutters, iceblue eyes widen admiringly at Mur'dah over the rim of her cocktail. If he knows the bluerider's waterbed he's far smoother than he appears! Her drink is lowered, her napkin reached for and lips dabbed. "That kind of date?" This smilingly to Kiena while her headtilt indicates her brother over there. "It's a party ball," she explains again, her gaze flicking to those silently twinkling stars still projected on the ceiling. "There's a red button on the bottom," she muses, "I've no idea what it does." Does Mur'dah dare push that one? The waiter, meanwhile returns with a menu and a, "May I get you something to drink, Miss?" for Kiena.

OOC NOTE: When the red button is pushed the ball does this —->

"I don't have to pay for it!" Mur'dah protests, /eying/ his sister and then darting a look to his friend, and then - thank FARANTH - there is the waiter. "Kiena? Would you like anything?" he asks at the same time the waiter does, with a laugh. He orders another ale for himself because his sister drives him to drink. "Yeah, it makes light and sound. Not sure what it's for, but it's a cool little gadget? I'll have to surprise people with it…" As for her water bed, he just grins crookedly and winks. "There /is/ a red button?" he reaches a hand towards it but then hesitates. "Maybe I'd better try that one later. Outside. Like…on the Red Butte or something." And then he grins at Kiena, and then he's looking at Darsce, eyes wide and innocent. Though even when he looks innocent he looks like he's up to something.

Kiena doesn't have a drink yet to sputter with but that doesn't keep her from shooting Mur'dah a look for his comment in a sort of openly gaping way as she struggles not to outright laugh again. To Darsce, she recovers enough to look (failingly) innocent with her returned smile. Whatever would she mean by 'that kind of date?' Next she's being asked both by the waiter and Mur'dah and snickering, she places in an order. "Ale, please? Strongest you have." She might need it. Glancing back to both Darsce and Mur'dah, she tilts her head a bit and then looks down again at the ball. So harmless looking! "Huh. Never heard of a party ball before." She'd probably be poking and prodding at it by now, but seeing as it's a gift and Mur'dah's at that, she keeps her fidgety little hands to herself. "Oh, now that sounds like fun! Surprising people. Wait," Eyes dart back to Darsce. "So there's buttons but no one knows what they do?" Now Mur'dah's considering the red one and Kiena leans back a bit in her chair, as if to brace… but no, he decides not too. Whew!

Sweetly Darsce agrees, "You’re right, Squirt. You don't. It's your turnday. My treat." She eyes his 'innocence' with skepticism, just shaking her head and drops her teasing with a slow smile. He obviously doesn't need any help from her! That kind of date? Why, the party ball, the 'shrooms and the water bed, of course! But she doesn't remark further on that. Instead, "Ierne's shops have a lot of interesting things, Kiena. And I think Mur'dah pushed every one of them except the red one." But whew, indeed! Because siren, strobe lights and drum beats, quite enough stimulation for one night. Oh man. Surprising people. She can only imagine! "You need to throw some parties now," she says to Mur'dah as Kiena makes her order.

Mur'dah catches Kiena's look and just gives her an apologetic smile. He knows. He's sorry. He'll pay for it later he's sure. But at least she doesn't look offended? Not yet anyway, as Mur'dah gives Darsce a wide eyed look for her suggestion, gaping and shaking his head. "I…" he manages, a bit strangled as he darts another look at Kiena, a bit horrified by the implication his sister just made. Cough. ALE. "Parties? Maybe…but the last one I threw didn't go so well so. Or, wait. No, I've had one good party. The /first/ one wasn't good. I still think I should toss this into Ka'el's office. Late some night, when he's working. And then go to Reaches - OH." He just remembered. "Found a family that Jeth liked to work the camilid herds Mom's bringing over. Nice family. There's this one girl…Raeleigh, she'll be coming too. Early, maybe, I'd like you guys to meet her. She's about my age. Energetic, but if she's coming ahead of her family I'd like her to get to know some people."

Kiena is far from offended, if her quiet laughter is anything to say for it. If she were uncomfortable, she'd have slipped away by now! She'll keep up that innocent act too, though it's hard for the bluerider not to wink at Mur'dah when Darsce teases once last time. In the end she just goes for it, followed by a lazy grin. "I've never been to Ierne! And here I thought Western's markets held bizarre things. Perhaps I will visit the Weyrhold the next chance I get." Which may be never, given her work habits. "If there's one thing I learned about tech baubles is that the last thing you do is push all the buttons." she muses. "That'd be like me grabbing all the chemicals for smithing and tossing 'em into the pot." Only that'd react explosions and not amusing and fun lights. So not the same! "What happened with the first party?" Kiena asks curiously, eyes darting between them again. Ooh, do tell? Then she eyes Mur'dah, only to begin snickering again. "I dare you to do that to him!" she says with a wry grin. What's the worst that could happen? As she listens politely to the discussion of a family moving in, her drink arrives and she thanks the waiter in a low murmur. She sniffs at the ale delicately (what, does she expect poison?) before taking the first sip, eyes still focused curiously on the other two at the table. "Long way to move!" she murmurs softly.

What? He's a red-blooded teenage boy. And there waaaaas that not-so-innocent eyeing between them. She's just… milking it a little. Oh and then it's Darsce's turn to nearly choke as Mur'dah persists with the tossing into Ka'el's office and Kiena encourages him. "Take me with you?" she begs her brother with a strangled wide-eyed plea. Because she's pret-ty sure she'll get blamed for that and things are bad enough between her and the weyrleader without her being involved, however indirectly. She only half-hears about the High Reaches family, nods vaguely. But then he mentions a name. And details. One shapely brow lifts, "Energetic, huh?" More with the smirking while her hands raise, disclaiming responsibility, "I wasn't there!" For either of them.

Mur'dah slouches a bit in his chair, relaxing as the ale takes hold. "Ierne? Never? It's a great place. I modeled there when I was younger. Neat area, lots of different things for sale. You should go." Then he laughs. "But how else will you know what it does? Oh, my first party…" He coughs. "I'd just gotten my mess of a weyr and I was tearing out greenery and burning it. Didn't know some of the greens I was throwing into the fire were mushrooms. The smoke kind of…addled people's brains. Mom was furious. We had a fun time though, but. I'd never do it again." Then he grins crookedly. "I think I will." Because why not? Ka'el is his best frienemy, he could probably use the light hearted prank. Or he'll hate it. Mur'dah never knows which Ka'el he's going to get. "Yeah, Darsce. You have to come with. We'll have Kalsuoth ready to go in the bowl, so we can make a break for it…some time late at night when he's working…" Griiiin. "Very long, but the weather here is so much nicer than Reaches. They're buried in snow…shards. Higher than my head." Then he glances at Darsce and coughs. "Yeah, she's..well. She hit Kalsuoth. Like…/ran into him/. With her body. I thought she was dead. But she wasn't." Clearly. "You'll come to the next one, Darsce."

"You modelled?" Kiena trips slightly over the unfamiliar word, brows lifted in surprise. People do that? "Sounds like I've been missing out by not going." she drawls and lifting her mug she takes a longer swig of it only to cough as she chokes a bit on the last swallow. "Addled… brains? Like being drunk or something? Some party!" If she only knew! Darsce's raised hands disclaiming responsibility earns a low chuckle from the bluerder. Noted! Lowering her gaze, she eyes the party ball again and smirks when Darsce pleads to go with Mur'dah. "Oh sure, leave the rest of us to suffer!" she teases, unaware of any tensions that may be lingering about. "That I can agree with. I visited High Reaches Weyr once in the winter. Was there for… a day? It was enough!" Kiena wrinkles her nose then when Mur'dah goes on to explain just how much snow they deal with. Ugh, no thanks! "She was alright though?" she asks with a slight flinch (that must've smarted!), since he stated the girl wasn't dead but didn't clarify if 'uninjured'.

"More like high," snorts Darsce to Kiena with an eyeing of her brother for that. She only ever gets one kind of Ka'el and the happenstance of that was purely unintentional and dismayingly the opposite of what she'd meant to do. And she cannot undo it. She just sliiiides down in her chair a little bit, sipping her drink at the thought of a prank gone wrong. "I'll wait for you in the clearing," she mutters uneasily, hoping that'll be enough distancing of herself from the fact it's the gift she bought Mur'dah that'll be blamed for Weyrleader-death-via-heart-attack. Nevermind buns of steel - this one hopefully has nerves of steel. He's smithcraft? Maybe he does? Buried in…snow? Yeaah, she doesn't particularly want to go to the High Reaches, but she needs an alibi! Speaking of the place and this… squint, accident, "Raeleigh was it? How'd she manage that?"

Mur'dah nods to Kiena's question. "Yeah, a little bit. Not for long though, but, yeah. We should go sometime. It's fun." Another sip of ale, another nod. "Kind of like being drunk, I'd think," he's never been drunk. "It was a crazy, happy, don't care about a thing feeling but then it went all wrong and the hangover was awful." Then he laughs. "You want to be in on it too?" he teases right back. "She was fine, yeah, thank Faranth." Because /that/ would have been bad. "But anyway. I'll introduce you guys when she gets here, so she knows more than just me. And she was sliding on the snow on this board thing. Came around a corner and saw us there and she just bailed. The board went this way, she flew right at us and Kalsuoth caught her and we all fell over into the snow." Hand gestures are used as well, to demonstrate just what happened. "But she was fine."

Kiena can only give Darsce a puzzled look and not even have to speak the words her expression so clearly reads: 'what's high?' "Like takin' fellis, then? And that does sound like drunk to me." she points out as Mur'dah elaborates. "At least, I tend to get that weird crazy happy if I've a bit too much to drink. All boneless and sort've numb." Buzzed. Yet she seems to be nursing her ale with no effect to her cognitive powers yet. "I'd like that, I think! At least you're familiar with Ierne. I'd likely get lost or miss all the good stuff." Kiena muses and then laughs as well. "In on pranking Ka'el? Damn right I'd get in on that. I could uh… hmm. Distract him so you two can escape?" she suggests with a grin and then teases as she glances between them both. "Could tell you when it's safe to come back, too." Glancing about the room, she fidgets a bit in her chair and shifts something carefully in her lap but otherwise appears focused on the conversation. Again, her brows lift. "A board? Oh… now I get it." Her eyes will follow the gestured demonstration and as for meeting the girl, the bluerider nods with a crooked smile. "She sounds like fun!"

"They might whistle and a few might make offers you'll want to refuse afterwards, but the pay is good," says Darsce in an aside to Kiena, leaning to the side to flick an assessing look over her frame. "I can arrange it if you want some extra marks." Easing back into place, she sips, not commenting further on the effects of smoke or booze though iceblue eyes are troubled, uncomfortable with the topic. It's not stopping her from enjoying her drink though! She lets out a little, "Ha!" at the idea of it ever being 'safe' for her to come back. "I'll just be a bystander in this." Can she send Ka'el an anonymous note to duck randomly? Mur'dah's story draws a wide, wide smirk and she teases, "Just what you've always wanted, Squirt - a girl throws herself at you. And what happens? Your dragon catches her." Snicker!

Mur'dah leans back when their food finally arrives, quiet until the server is gone again. "Let's go to Ierne then. Modeling or not, it's a nice place to just go hang out." Then he snickers. "What, backing out already?" he teases his sister. "Fine, I'll go in alone. I think I just wait until he's working alone one night and just toss it into his office, on, and run. Maybe kill the lights too…" Then he eyes his sister and snorts. "I..well…" What can he say to that? It's true! "She's nice," he finally mutters lamely, digging into his food. "She didn't throw herself at me," he adds a bit petulantly. "It was an accident…" But he's blushing. Just a little. Probably remembering that /outfit/ she was wearing. "Maybe I'll get to go tell them tomorrow, if the paperwork is done."

Kiena seems to shrink back from Darsce's assessing look, unsure at first until she wills herself into relaxing again. Her frame is lean and slim, tomboyish and certainly lacking curves or much of anything, really. "Wait… this about the modelling?" she confirms, looking uncertain again. The whistling she can handle! But… "What kind of offers?" To Mur'dah, she lifts her mug and grins. "Consider it done! Next time your free, have Kalsuoth check in with Ujinath?" Taking a long pull of her drink, she snickers when Mur'dah changes the game plan and only shrugs her shoulders. His choice! Then there's a laugh for Darsce's last comment, which only continues by Mur'dah's reaction to it. "Accident or not, that's quite the opening!" she teases.

Darsce gapes at her brother. "I was never in to begin with," she says with a short laugh. Not of the prank. She just wants to avoid the sure-to- come fallout. "Besides, he hates me. I'm not giving him any reasons to fire me." Does the Weyrleader even have a sense of humor anymore? She doesn't even know! She sets her near-empty glass on the table, takes her fork and begins picking at her salad. "Yeah, modeling," she says with a puzzled look for the rider's flinch. "You're, uh, okay with people looking at you, right?" Oh offers! She wrinkles her nose, "Just some of the managers from the seedier places try to recruit. Ignore them. Or, stick with me. I used to model - among other things - before I was headwoman. I know how to tell them to get lost." Her eyes are on Mur'dah then and with his blushing mumble she just, hms thoughtfully. It's his turnday, she'll give him a break and quit heckling him. Speaking of. With a touch of unease, "I should go drop Marel's gift off." And no, it's not a suit. "How was she earlier when you saw her?"

Mur'dah misunderstood then, he thought Darsce was going to be there with him. Blame it on the ale. "Why does he hate you?" he asks with a sudden frown. Glancing at Kiena, then back to Darsce, the brownrider feels like he's misunderstood a few things during this conversation. "Kiena, we can go to Ierne without modeling. I was…thinking we'd just go visit and shop or something. Have lunch maybe, do whatever. But yeah, if you want to model too we can go to a few of the shops I modeled in, see what they've got to offer." He then looks back to Darsce. "Better," he admits with a deepening scowl and soft exhale. "I was there this morning, she seemed better." But there's tension in the brownrider's features now, that wasn't there before.

Kiena looks a little confused too for a moment, furthered by Darsce claiming Ka'el hates her. Now she has two people she knows (more or less) who don't see eye to eye with the Weyrleader and while a younger version of herself would have just brazenly asked why, the bluerider keeps her mouth shut and just sips her drink. Back to talk of modelling, Kiena's cheeks colour slightly. "Well, no… Never really gave it much thought. Don't really think I'm the modelin' type, right? Ugh. Noted about the ignoring though." That she can handle! "How'd you get started in modelling anyways? And go from that to Headwoman?" she asks, genuinely curious though she gives a slightly awkward look. "Not that I mean anything bad by that. Just… never really heard of modelling before now." So clueless she is about some things of the world. "That actually sounds like a lot of fun Mur'dah. With or without the modelling! Either goes. I think I'd just enjoy getting to see somewhere new." Adventure time! Sensing a change in topics again, Kiena finishes the last of her ale and then signals the waiter for another. Again, she does not press for details, though she does glance between the two of them with faint concern. Until the word 'gift' tips her off and she looks down at her lap. Oh right. "Here, Mur'dah. Before I forget." Or completely lose her nerve. A small flat cloth covered item is passed over the table then and set within reach for the brownrider to take.

No see, Darsce's first reaction to 'push every button and throw it in Ka'el's office' was 'shit no!' She will also blame the ale! And happily keep reminding him he's on his own with this prank idea. Mur'dah's question prompts her to abandon any attempt to eat. Her fork is set aside and she mutters, "Why? Well, it's my fault. Because I fucked everything up - for everyone - by teaching the mating flights lesson." And that's all she says about Ka'el, though she looks across the table with questions in her iceblue eyes that she clearly wants to ask but cannot. She nods to Kiena, not going to push modeling onto the younger woman. "There's lots to do in Ierne," she says with genuine encouragement even if she can't smile just yet. "I grew up there, so if you want I can give you the names of some great places to shop and eat." The question of how she became headwoman makes her stir uncomfortably and drop her eyes to her plate. A younger Darsce would claim flippantly she needed a career change. This Darsce make a pained self-directed grimace and answers honestly, "After I taught the mating flights lesson I as given an ultimatum by the Weyrwoman. Do it or go home." She lifts her gaze to Kiena vulnerability there despite her previous sophisticated airs. "I wanted very much to remain."

Mur'dah nods, "I'll let you know when I'm free, Kiena," he promises. "We'll figure it out and go." Adventure time FTW! Then he looks surprised. "You got me a present? Wow, thanks, Kiena!" he says, eagerly pulling it towards him to open. What is insiiiiide? Though he pauses to glance up at Darsce, frowning. "What? You didn't fuck everything up by teaching that lesson. It was a nice introduction. I've had plenty of flights and I'm fine." His frown deepens though as he puts a few pieces together. "Wait. He doesn't blame you for how shitty his flights have been, does he?" Because that's messed up.

"That'd be great, Darsce and appreciated if you're offering!" Kiena murmurs, offering the young woman a warm smile. One that slips when she realizes she may have blundered a bit there and apologetic is her tone when she speaks again. "Oh… I see." This is awkward. She tries not to fidget in her chair as she tries to grasp something, anything, to say. "That'd be a tough ultimatum to face but… Headwoman is a good position to hold." she murmurs and to Mur'dah she flashes a quick positive thumbs up. Gotcha! "Yep. Turnday, right?" Presents! As for what's inside, that may be obvious enough when he picks it up. Even before most of the cloth is unwrapped, the sight of leather beneath may be a big hint. It's the sheath to a large (almost dagger-like) sturdy knife, the blade of a decent size in both length and width and broader near the tip before subtly curving towards the carved and dark wood inlaid hilt. Simple design but meant to be used for any day task or worn simply for the sake of wearing it. Kiena will watch Mur'dah begin to unwrap it, but when the conversation turns to the mating flight lecture, another bell goes off in the blue rider's head. Glancing to Darsce, she blanches a bit and then, of all things, looks a touch guilty as she chews at her lip. "He talked to me once in the forges…" No guess as to who she means. "… was asking me questions about flights. But this was well after I think. After all… that happened. There's only so much you can cover in the lecture. Basics, y'know?" she murmurs softly, only to start a bit when Mur'dah asks his question to Darsce.

That waiter has noticed Darsce's chin lift and her empty cocktail glass and now quietly places it at her elbow. She takes it to sip while Mur'dah opens his gift, and smiles quietly rueful to Kiena. "It…was. It's more…difficult these days." She eyes the knife, then her brother, then the knife. "Please tell me you won't shave or pick your teeth with that?" She's teasing! Mur'dah says he's had flights and he's fine. Something tight about her posture relaxes and she breathes again. Her eyes glitter in the light but she looks him in the eye. "I'm…so glad to know that." She takes another sip of her drink. Then another. And yet another when Mur'dah, then Kiena speak. "I- thanks. But…" How much does Kiena know about Ka'el's flights? She doesn't want to give out personal information about other people. So she merely shakes her head. "I didn't- wasn't credible to them, so when things went awry they didn't believe my assertion in that lecture that it was all the dragons what happens. So." And Mur'dah was there to see how angry he was with her. "And Marel," she goes on, lowering her drink to stare absently at it. "It…" Her angst and mess… "Is probably because of me too."

Mur'dah opens the package and stares at the knife, blinking. For a moment he is stunned, and then he whistles softly. "Got the whole outfit now," he mutters, lifting the blade and pulling it carefully from the sheath. "Wow. Kiena…I…thank you…I needed a new knife but…" Ka'el said he'd make him one. And hasn't. "This is beautiful. Thank you." He keeps his hand resting on the sheathed blade, staring at his sister with a deepening frown. "That's their fault, not yours," he says flatly. "I /told/ him to go find riders to talk to. I guess he did but that's his own fault if he didn't trust you, and didn't go find what he wanted to know. And how is Marel your fault? That…" Ugh. He has to stop before he loses his temper, turning to stare out to the darkened sea.

Another ale will eventually be brought for Kiena, who looks all too relieved to take it. Lifting the mug to her lips, she gives Darsce a curious glance. "Difficult?" she presses gently, though honestly the woman could simply repeat the same word again and the bluerider would be satisfied. Small talk isn't always Kiena's forte. There was once she wouldn't care if her questions and prying had others on the defensive or worse, but she's tempered over time. Burned enough and you learn eventually! "He better not pick his teeth with that! For one, he'd cut himself good and second, I didn't craft that for such purposes! I'd be a little hurt, I think." she drawls with a joking and teasing look given to Mur'dah. You hear? She's pleased with acceptance of the gift, bobbing her head in a quick nod while she grins. "You're welcome. Happy Turnday!" Another slow sip of her ale as Kiena's gaze drifting from Darsce to Mur'dah and back again, a frown slowly knitting her brows together. "I told him the same thing. To ask other riders…" she says slowly, lowering her mug to the table. She doesn't know much about Ka'el's flights. Only that something goes awry. "But…" she protests, shaking her head a bit and biting her tongue. This isn't her argument, though she only gives Darsce a sympathetic (or is it apologetic?) look.

"I shouldn't have done it, Mur'dah! I snitched the knot to do it," Darsce explains in an aside to Keina. Why? She doesn't go into that. She can only shrug one shoulder, unsure about what other riders might have told Ka'el - or even if he talked to a rider. Darsce isn't the type to tend towards self-denegation or play martyr. But the situation is… getting to her. She mms quietly to Kiena's question then answers tonelessly, "He said he doesn't trust me not to spit in or poison his food. He doesn't want laundry or mending or anything I supervise to be offered his way." She thinks she understands why. She is frustrated with the situation, but, "It's my fault. And I can't undo it." Burned enough you learn eventually indeed! But she learned too late. Marel… she has no answer for, except, "I will do what I have to to help her." All she knows is two-maybe three riders of the class she taught are messed up where flights are concerned. There is more she could say of their sister - his twin - but she doesn't. Not right now. She lifts her drink and drains it. "I'm…going to go see her." She takes the still-wrapped gift she'd placed on the floor. "It was nice meeting you, Kiena." Then more softly, apologetically, "Happy Turnday, Mur'dah." And she slips off, stops to pay their tab for dinner and drinks before going to Marel's place.

Mur'dah touches the blade beneath his fingers and laughs, giving Kiena a warm smile. "I will treasure it, thank you. And it will match perfectly with the suit Darsce gave me. Though I'm not sure she'd appreciate me wearing a blade while walking her down the aisle." It's a gentle tease. "I really love it, Kiena. Ka'el said he'd make me a blade but he never did. So thank you." Though winning flights and Weyrleadering must have cut into Ka'el's forge time. Still, after their recent interactions Mur'dah wasn't holding his breath on the fulfillment of that promise. Then he looks at his sister again. "So what? You /did/ do it and it was /their/ responsibility to deal with it afterwards. It's not your fault!" he manages, jaw tightening as Darsce elaborates. But then she's leaving and the brownrider can only exhale heavily and sink lower into his chair, grabbing for his ale.

Kiena doesn't need a further explanation. Enough was given that the bluerider can sort of piece a little more together, but it's still not her place to ask or pry. Not now or likely ever. Her frown deepens though at the words that follow and she stares into the depths of her mug and the half finished ale within. Harsh words that even have Kiena twitching a bit on the inside but she can only shake her head again, unable to think of anything helpful to say for Darsce, save to feel some sympathy for the situation she's in. "It was nice meeting you too, Darsce. I may still take you up on that offer for ideal locations to visit in Ierne!" Kiena will dip her head in a respectful way as the young woman heads off. Blue eyes will follow her out, then turn back to Mur'dah and return his warm smile. "You're welcome." she murmurs again, only to snicker. "Why not? It can be decorative too." Honest! "I'm glad you like it. And well… never say never? You'd be surprised how fast you can collect knives. Starts with one!" And then blossoms into a collection like she has stashed in her weyr. Kiena could attest to being a dragon rider does cut into forge time. Being Weyrleader? Tripled no doubt. Nursing her ale for a moment, she allows some silence to linger while Mur'dah sinks lower in his chair. Awkward? Just a bit and she'll down the rest of her ale hastily. Pushing back her chair to stand, she walks slowly to the brown rider's side and should he not duck or move away, her hand will clasp his shoulder firmly. A gesture meant to be reassuring and comforting. "Shouldn't brood on your own Turnday." she says in a light teasing tone. "You gonna stick around here for a bit? Or would you like to go for a walk?" Meaning: she'll stick around if he wants to talk or wants the company.

Mur'dah downs his ale with a soft chuckle that ends in a sigh. "My family is fucked," he mutters under his breath, shaking his head sadly. "Shit." He looks up when she stands, looking disappointed until she comes around the table to touch his shoulder. Then he smiles. "You're right. Brood tomorrow. Let's go for a walk, got to walk off this ale or else I'll never get to sleep."

Kiena laughs softly, even if it's not quite a laughing manner. She can't quite help it and her hand will pat his shoulder before withdrawing. "Who's family isn't? Mine's right up there for being royally screwed up. Guess we're part of the same club then, or something." Yaaaay? Tilting her head towards the exit, she smiles faintly as she takes a small step back. "Let's go then. Probably a good idea that I clear off my head too! Need help carrying anything?" Anything but the party ball! She's still giving that thing a wary sort of look, what with it's many buttons and the still unknown mysterious red one!

Mur'dah shakes his head, "Naw, I've got it but thanks," he says, gathering his presents and nodding her towards the door. Ladies first!

Ladies first! Kiena snorts a little bit at the gesture, but it's all in good fun as she flashes him a quick nod and smile, slipping out the door and pausing to be sure he's following before continuing on in a slow and almost lazy stride. All the better to talk at that pace!

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