Time for a Swim

Xanadu Weyr - Meadow


A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of buildings, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.

Stables and a smithy are settled on their own plots, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a fence can be seen to the north.

It's one of those rare gorgeous spring days at Xanadu Weyr, where the sun is shining brightly and only a puff of cloud occasionally obscures it from view. The temperature is also along the warmer side as it's just after the peak of the day. Phylicia is sprawled on her back in the meadow, close to the river bank. She looks to be in her forest-wandering clothing, as she enjoys the lazy breeze either waiting for someone or playing at being a slacker for her afternoon lessons. Estevan is curled up on her stomach, snoozing, while Ciaran is nowhere to be seen.

The warning comes in the form of two flits, popping in from *between* at exactly the same time. A tiny green, called Truth, trills in happiness, all but doing aerial cartwheels through the sky before her older sister, Reconciliation, chides her into some semblance of calm, the sunlight brilliant on her golden hide. The two flits ghost down to the ground at Phylicia's feet, Cila bugling a solemn welcome to the young woman.

Phylicia wasn't sleeping, though her eyes were closed against the glare of the sun. So as the pair of lady 'lizards enter with their chittering, her eyes slide open as Estevan rouses from his nap to trill merry greetings to the two ladies, slinking off the side of Phy's stomach and trotting over to them and offering another trill. The girl is sitting up now, a few pieces of grass clinging to her back as she grins down at the two ladies. "Afternoon to you too Cila, Truth." She says, stretching one hand out towards the pair. "He's coming now?" It sounds like she's been waiting for a bit, but she doesn't sound cross about it in the least.

The answer to that question is heard a moment later. Heavy wind-laden wingbeats reach the ears of anyone in that clearing, and a moment later, a massive brown, Kherissni in his saddle, crests the treeline, backwinging to a steady decline in one of the meadow's clear spaces. Somewhat doubled over in one of the rear harnesses, his long hide coat pulled tightly about him, is Tenebrous, looking just a bit pale around the gills. "You did better that time, little Fetch," the rider can be heard to say. "Didn't even vomit after we came out this time." Tenebrous looks up slowly, his eyes full of baleful irritation. "I'm delighted to know you're concerned with my progress," he deadpans before shaking hands begin to undo some of the buckles on his harness. To this, the rider simply snorts. "I could give a damn about your progress. I just get tired of cleaning your sick off of my damn dragonsaddle."

Phylicia squeezes her eyes shut as the massive brown lands due to all the dirt his wings kick up. After the brown settles she gathers her feet up under her, leaving Estevan to chat with the two ladies as she tries to dust off her back and rear succeeding only slightly. Taking a careful look - and listen - she makes her way over to the browns side and waves enthusiastically for a few moments. "You need any help up there?" She calls up, her good mood isn't dampened too much by the fact Ten is looking a bit green. As she waits for an answer she runs her hands through her hair, frowning momentarily as she comes away with a few pieces of loose grass. "Or should I go back to lazing around while you get your bearings?" Yes, she's teasing and her tone clearly reflects that.

"Remind me again why I didn't drown you while we were in the springs all those months ago?" Tenebrous slides down to the ground with something approaching practiced ease. That much of his past he has retained; being on dragonback is something he's no stranger to anymore. "Oh yeah," he deadpans. "It's because you had such a pretty mouth." A large, running satchel is lugged onto his back and he shoots his apprentice a look of biting affection. "It's good to see you again," he calls over to her. Then he makes a motion with his free hand and his two flits leap into the air, the little green eyeing Estevan as she takes off.

Phylicia's smile is back to being bright and unfaltering even as he jokes about drowning her. "You know you wouldn't." She says with an impudent grin as she quickly sneaks under that outheld arm to give him a hug if he doesn't draw away first, before pulling away. Estevan is left sitting for a few moments by his lonesome self before he launches himself to Phy's shoulder, the girl moving her head to the side just in time not to get buffered by the brown's wings. "It's good to see you too." She says a bit more on the serious-happy side as she starts trailing back to her own satchel. "So, would you like to tell me what we're doing?" Aka, she packed what he told her to, but there likely wasn't much more to the note.

Grumpy as he might, Tenebrous' arm circles Phylicia without complaint, and after a second's hesitation, his other arm wraps around her as well. "Yeah, you're right," he murmurs, smiling into the top of her hair. "There's a shortage of perfect breasts in this world, after all." He shakes his head. "Not…sure where that came from, but…" He shrugs, loosening that embrace. "We…are going home," he says quietly. "And you're going to start learning about my garden."

Phylicia would likely be purring with happiness if she were a feline, but since she isn't a wide smile will just have to do. A quirked eyebrow is sent his way though as she laughs, a light rose hue tinging her cheeks. "You're crazy and delusional." It's been rumored as such, but she's just confirming it in a way only a friend can. "They're not." But then she switches the topic to something not quite so embarrassing. "You keep a garden here?" Why that should surprise her is an unknown, because its not like a person wants to go tromping through the entire forest for an easily cultivated plant.

Tenebrous snorts. "Of course I do. And you will too, before it's all said and done, if you don't inherit mine, that is." He does glance at Phy's chest for a moment, giving it a clinical glance before just shaking his head. "Where do you think I get most of my fresh supplies?" He gives her shoulder a little squeeze. "And Stormhaven needs to be … cleaned."

Phylicia's cheeks turn to a true rose-pink color as he continues to look at her chest. Then she squeezes the hand on her shoulder in return and her smile turns a little more gentle rather than bright before she scoops up her pack and slings it over her shoulders. "I know, I know. I just wasn't thinking." Like that's an uncommon occurrence sometimes? She gives her satchel another tug to try and settle it comfortably. "Anyways, how are things going?" She asks, meaning about the Istan or wherever wanderings.

Tenebrous starts off towards the woods then, sighing. "Not thinking? You might as well loosen your belt right now then. The adonis is in full bloom now, and I don't think I've made you seriously uncomfortable in the better part of a turn." His pace picks up slowly into that ground-eating trot that he likes so much. "They're going," he calls over to her easily. "I'm here, you're here, we're learning." Then he looks straight ahead and murmurs, "I've been asked to attend the hatching at Ista in a week…to stand as support for a … friend of mine."

Phylicia gives one last tug before she's satisfied how it lays before she takes off into a trot next to him, her eyes on the ground just behind his heels. "I'm not /that/ bad today." She protests lightly. "I just didn't think b'fore I spoke." And one of these days while she's doing laps in the forest, she needs to remember to stretch her legs to the point she is right now. "Are you going to?" She's just trying to make conversation, not being nosy, really!

Xanadu Weyr - Forest


In sharp contrast to the treeless, carefully manicured look of the main clearing, the forest is full of trees, and maintains most of its natural look. Wild flowers grow in their seasons, bordering the road leading from the main clearing as weaves its way between the stands of trees - wide enough for traffic of all types, even draconic. Leading off are several smaller, less worn trails, which branch outwards, making their way to private residences and other attractions - the theater for example. The road, though, continues on eastward, to the feeding grounds and the mine, and beyond that, to the coastal road out of Xanadu's territory.

Amongst the normal weyrs scattered amongst the trees, there is one that is undergoing construction. A large, four-sided structure is protruding, supported by thick wood beams, bearing a ledge, and four large clock faces. It towers over the trees, creating quite a sight for arriving riders.

Tenebrous breaks through the treeline with practiced ease, feet moving deftly over the terrain. "I … honestly don't know," he calls quietly. "I think I should. I'd like to." He swings around a wide series of trees. "She's been very kind to me. It seems only fair that I try and be there for her. Especially if she fails to impress." He shakes his head a little, drawing his hood just that much lower. "I've been there before," he calls somberly.

Phylicia can only imagine the sullen lines his face is falling into as he pulls the hood lower, but she's busy with keeping up with him. Her eyes are primarily on the ground, though occasionally after noting a few few of clear area, she'll look up. "Well you should then, since you want to." To her, it sounds like a simple enough deduction. She swings around the same series of trees, almost losing her footing for a moment, but a quick stumble and she regains her balance without really losing any distance from him.

Tenebrous breaks for the deeper woods now, moving along one of the larger game trails for ease of footing as long as possible. Once he nears the part of the pathway where he would normally dive into the undergrowth, he slows, taking a more measured pace to keep safe. "Doing what you want has consequences, Phylicia," Tenebrous calls tersely. "A lesson well-learned. The bigger picture of a thing must always be considered. Still…" He all but vanishes into the woods. "You may be right…"

Phylicia takes the slowing of pace for a moment to take in a deeper breath, shaking her head to herself as she exhales, looking at the area he disappeared into. With care, she starts to follow, pulling gloves out of her pockets and putting them on. "Well what would the consequences be this time?" She calls out after him, keeping that wary eye on her footing. "You possibly enjoying yourself?" But she doesn't know the situation at all, really.

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest


The wooded areas closer to Xanadu Weyr represent a compromise between man and mother nature, but to the west, no such arrangements have been made. The deep woods between the Weyr and the mountains are less traveled, the wider paths fit for man and beast less present. The noises of mankind are barely audible here, brief ghosts on the wind, and the quiet thrum of forest life presses in on all sides. The snapping of a twig, a bird's cry, the low cadence of insects; all of these things seem louder. Closer. The deeper you move into the trees, the more it becomes obvious that you are passing through nature only at her allowance.

The cover of trees is more severe in this area of the wood and only occasional shafts of sunlight lance down through the canopy, the sky visible in brief patches. A rough path has been blazed to the east, back towards the Weyr, and west, towards the mountains. It does not appear to be a heavily frequented path, but the few who have chosen to pass through this area appear to use it more than other avenues available. Only the very foolish or the very experienced would ever wander far from the path.

"More waiting," Tenebrous calls from deeper into the woods. "And do you know what I've learned over these last few months, Phylicia? After twenty-some odd turns…" He stops, half hanging from a low branch. "I'm tired of having to hold my breath every time I make a choice that involves someone I care about. Which makes the lesson of prudent decision making a bitter pill indeed." He swings from the branch a little, gathering his momentum for another loping trot.

Phylicia comes to a semi-abrubt halt as she nearly runs into Ten who's … hanging from a tree instead of trotting. A moments look of perplextion crosses her face before she shakes her head, even though she is listening. Her breath huffs softly though its something easily caught. "Well, hopefully you aren't holding your breath around me." She replies, not having anything else to actually say in response. It sounds like a bitter pill, one that she hasn't had to swallow. She rocks back slightly as he swings before she exhales heavily and starts off again, without the help of a tree branch.

Tenebrous snorts, breaking away along a path leading to a clearing. "I haven't had to make a choice that could alter a huge portion of your life , Phylicia. I seriously doubt I ever will. Besides." He vanishes along the path. "You smell too good to hold my breath around!"

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest Clearing


Between stepping over tree roots and pushing your way through ambitiously high bushes, you almost stumble into the clearing before you. Some bizarre force of nature has pushed the trees outwards to form a rough circle that is nearly one hundred feet across at its center. Low grass covers its interior, and curious looking bushes appear to have been transplanted from elsewhere, forming an isle down it's middle. Their blooms are vibrantly colored and each bush has a strong, pungent aroma that suggests something beyond the ordinary about the flora in this area.

A large patch of earth off to one side is home to a circle of stones, ash in the center, and a sturdy log has been dragged before it, possibly as a makeshift bench. The earth has been freshly turned in several locations, suggesting that something was buried within the last month. All in all, it appears to be a delightful camping spot. It would be almost idyllic, except for the subtle presence of animal tracks found near the circle's edge and around the makeshift fire pit. The tracks have clearly not been made by man or dragon kin.

The path that runs east-west through the forest can clearly be seen here, though it begins to turn north near the west end of the clearing.

As if being Phylicia's mentor doesn't have that certain opportunity to alter her life, but she doesn't argue the point. She breaks into the clearing after him, looking at his back. "You really are delusional, Ten." She half-laughs as her cheeks are flushed slightly both from running and some of his odd comment. "I don't smell like anything." Except maybe on rare occasion lavender. "I think you're smelling the scenery."

Tenebrous stops in the middle of the clearing then, turning to face her. "You smell like hide and cloth, and flesh, and warmth and sweat, and sweetness. You smell like…you. Like company. My cave used to smell like you, when we'd wake up in the morning." HE shrugs. "Or, I'm delusional."

Phylicia comes to a halt again, this time in the clearing. "Definitely delusional." She teases with a grin. "Because I didn't think sweetness had a scent." She hopes its obvious she's just teasing him before her face turns a shade apologetic and guilty. "It gets lonely there without company, and I haven't had - much - reason to get away lately." She starts forward this time, moving to the other end of the clearing.

Tenebrous arches a brow. "Been spending more time with young M'nol, have we?" He follows after her at an even pace, neither gaining or slowing. "Stormhaven will be there when you and I have turned to dust, Phylicia. While I'm certain she will be glad of our company, I doubt you have any reason to feel guilty."

"And what if I have been?" Comes Phylicia's response in the form of a question, though her grin basically confirms the fact anyways. She pauses at the edge of the clearing, in the direction that would lead towards Stormhaven. "It's such a beautiful place." She says with a small shrug, as if that would explain why she's feeling slightly guilty. "Which direction is your garden now?" Since she's not sure she's actually seen it.

Tenebrous chuckles. "You're standing in it." He gestures to the bushes around the area, arranged in such a strange pattern. "This was where I stayed for a long time before I got up the courage to brave the trail that leads down to the falls. I didn't bother transplanting any of my specimens since they grew so well here, and they're on higher ground." He gestures to each bush in turn. "Illex, Adonis, Meadowsweet, Borgios, Numbweed, Lavender and many others…all clear, untainted samples, maintained by me, when I have time." He eyes her. "As long as he treats you with the respect you deserve, and that's all I'll say on the matter."

Phylicia doesn't dance away as if she's standing on something, because she knows she's not. "Wouldn't do for them to be drowned in heavy rains." She nods as she thinks of what would happen to them down by the waterfall, if the waterfall itself didn't drown them. "And you purposefully brought Adonis here?" Oh, that plant shall have a special little place of dislike in her heart for all time. She wanders back into the clearing, obviously taking a bit closer of a look to see how the plants are arranged. "He tends to spoil me." She supplies with a grin and a small shake of her head.

Tenebrous mms. "Guilt will drive people to do strange things. I can't think of very many people that it doesn't affect." He smirks. "Adonis is a valuable, medicinal plant, Phylicia. It has valid uses, as long as you don't, say…step on it." He gestures around the area. "Harvesting and preparation will begin here, and we'll branch out as we need to. For now, however…" He starts towards that steep, dangerous trail…

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest Trail


The trail that runs through the forest becomes more difficult to follow here, the ground more treacherous. Dead leaves and loosely packed earth make footing harder to find and the trail frequently doubles back on itself at sharp angles, often dropping downward at an alarming rate. Much of the path's borders are choked with tall, leafy vegetation, making further exploration a dangerous prospect at best and nearly suicidal at worst. At various intervals along the path, the ground along the upward slope appears to have been ripped away, carved out by some massive force of nature. Bare earth is visible in ugly patches of wet and dry, the gnarled roots of trees reaching out hungrily like the claws of some arboreal nightmare.

The farther down one travels, the louder the noises of the forest become, until they seem nearly deafening at the bottom of the gorge. Looking up the steep trail to the southeast, it becomes obvious that, if anyone were to fall down that slope, no one would ever be able to hear their cries for help.

Phylicia pokes her tongue out quickly in a silent raspberry as she starts to follow him down that dangerous trail. "Is there anything that hasn't taken to growing back there?" She asks after a few moments of navigating the trail. Taking very little time to look up from her footing, though its almost to the point where she wouldn't have to look if the vague path hasn't changed. "And I don't think it's guilt. I think he just likes doing it." She argues lightly. "He did it before the whole … thing."

Tenebrous chuckles quietly. "I will be guided by you in that. You would know better than I, after all." Down the path they wend, talking as they go. "Most plants actually take very, very well to transplanting because of the even climate and rich soil here. Every once in awhile, I'll go borrow some dragon dung and bring it around here, but for the most part, the ground is remarkably fertile. About the only thing I can't grow here are waterplants, and anything that specifically resides near things like trees or downed timber." Then his voice trails off as the two near that ancient, sturdy oak. Tenebrous walks over to it slowly, reaching one hand out to rest on its trunk, his face hidden under that hood.

"You, guided by me." Phylicia murmurs not so quietly. "Why do I see that one ending badly?" Is joked as she takes a few more steps before she realizes that he's stopped by that ancient oak. For a minute or two she watches him, yet unable to do so because of that bloody hood. "You okay?" She asks tentatively. She takes a few steps closer, which is enough so she can take a look at that first branch.

"Yeah," Tenebrous murmurs quietly. He stays touching that tree for a few more moments before starting away again. "Nothing worthwhile is every painlessly accomplished in this world, I think," he offers in a level voice, leaping down the last few tiers with deft steps, swinging around trees to do so. "Judging by the feel of things," he quips at the bottom, "This is pretty worthwhile…" He moves through that stiff, brush barrier between the trail and the passage to his once and future home, his face set.

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest Waterfall


"How could I have possibly missed this?" Anyone who frequently travels the deep woods between Xanadu Weyr and the mountains to the west might ask themselves that question upon stumbling onto this place for the first time. A waterfall, easily a hundred feet tall, dominates the immediate area, commanding attention. Like something from a storybook, it stands before you, flanked on either side by sentinel trees and mountain brush mired in stone-spotted soil. Water cascades over a beaten rock face at its peak, flowing down in a white-capped torrent to crash into a small, crystal clear pond below.

Not content to remain where it is, the pond appears to have carved a great trench into the earth, through which a stream now flows, traveling further west towards a massive rock wall in the distance. The stream bisects the area, and a narrow point some 30 feet away from the pond itself makes for an easy jump to the other side. The shore around the pond's immediate edge appears to be mostly soil and large slabs of rock, but that gives way to a grass field after only a few feet, a touch that gives the entire area an idyllic feel. The air is fresh and clean with the bite of cool mountain water and the tang of forest life. It is alive, this place.

Phylicia takes the trail at a slightly more sedate and controlled pace than his leaping. "I'd agree to that." She agrees as she comes out from the brush a few moments after, though his stream of thoughts doesn't seem very coherent to her. "What's pretty worthwhile?" Hey, she's just along for the ride, though now and again she likes to know what's going on. Breaking free of the brush, she takes a few long moments to appreciate the image of tranquility offered.

"Homecoming," Tenebrous says after a moment, his voice thick. One hand absently pulls his hood away from his face, revealing a still-tanned exterior. It's a bleak expression for him, but his eyes tell the story, of longing and memories that should be pleasant, but have turned rancid instead. "Right now, I'm pretty damn alive."

Phylicia watches as he pulls his hood back, and sighs faintly at what she doesn't see in his face, but instead in his eyes. For a moment she gets distracted as she looks around and a few steps to her right puts her at a patch of purely ornamental wild flowers. Careful fingers pluck one from its stem and she walks over to Ten's side offering him the bud. "So is this place." She offers quietly with a soft smile. "But in a more … peaceful way." If he doesn't pull away, she hooks one arm around one of his, giving him a gentle tug forward. If he does pull away, she'll just stand there until he's ready to move.

The time for stubborn appears to be past Tenebrous now, and he follows Phylicia forward without hesitation. "I used to have nightmares," he says quietly. "About this place…someone accidentally starting a fire here." He smiles slightly. "There's all this water. I just need a really big bucket." He follows wherever Phylicia leads, content to simply move alongside her for now, sifting through good memories and bad ones But she's right… This place is alive. And living things heal.

Phylicia's smile is a bit more felt now as she just randomly takes him around the edge before starting to circle back and walk along the pond's bank. The mention of an uncontrolled fire sends a shiver down her spine, but she continues on at a sedate walk. "A bucket'd be easy enough to get." She says with a grin, as slowly but surely she's leading him towards the 'walk in' entrance. "'Cause a fire would be horrible!" Aka, she can't blame him for having nightmares.

Tenebrous shakes his head with a weak little laugh as they near the rockface and the edge of that pond. "Yes, Phylicia. Fire is bad, I believe…that was my sentiment." He gently tugs at her satchel, murmuring, "Would, ah…you mind if I looked at your bag for a moment, please?"

Phylicia turns her head to look at him for a moment, blinking in obvious - but mild - confusion. However, with no arguments she slips the satchel off her shoulders, holding it out to him. "Just no unrolling my clothes." But a small smile is still playing at her lips, because her mentor hasn't completely withdrawn. "I think I packed all of what you wanted me to." She's used to pop quizzes about her education, but this seems to be a new angle of the term. But curiosity tends to be her downfall. "Why d'you want to look?"

Tenebrous eyes the satchel for a moment, turning it over in his hands. "Phylicia," he offers calmly, "You should trust me when I say that I have…nothing but concern for your clothing right now, though you can rest assured…" The satchel gets dropped to the ground behind him. His own joins it a moment later. "…that I didn't ask for your satchel to look at your clothing." He even has the courtesy to smile at her right before he reaches his hands up and rests them on her shoulders. "This is going to be different with clothing on," he murmurs seriously. And then he shoves.

Phylicia is a little slow, as she watches the two satchels be dumped on the ground. Her head cants to the side slightly as she keeps on watching. "What?" She doesn't entirely catch the last thing he said as he places his hands on her shoulders and shoves. She yelps in surprise and her eyes fly wide for a moment as a hand scrambles to grab at his wrist or arm, but she misses her grip. She flails momentarily in hopes of getting her balance, but then curls up into a ball as that fails and her feet slip off the ground. For a moment she just seems to hang above the pond's surface before she splashes into the depths, and not too long after she emerges, looking akin to a drowned rat, even in her expression, though she's trying not to laugh. "Oh," And she tries to wipe the hair out of her face. "/You/ are in so much trouble!" The only reason he doesn't have a tidal wave coming his way is because her dry clothing is behind him.

Tenebrous actually smiles now. "Not…nearly as gratifying," he murmurs to himself. "But it'll do." He spreads his arms. "Spent the last sixteen turns avoiding trouble, young miss, and that didn't really work out, so I thought I'd try something new. You seemed perfectly willing to go along with it when you handed me your satchel." Then he touches one finger to his chin. "Speaking of that…" He bends over a little, grabbing her bag by the strap, and kneels with it beside him on the edge of the pond. "What…did you pack in here?" He begins unbuckling the main flap, mirth clearly visible on his features.

Phylicia manages to pull off a pout, even if she is dripping water and more often than not she's shaking her head to rid herself of droplets, or wiping her face with a hand. Thankfully at the point she's at, she's tall enough to stand and only be up in to her shoulders. "Like I knew what you where going to do!" Is protested before her eyes go wide again, and her cheeks flush. There's nothing incriminating in there - or there shouldn't be at least - but..! "Nothing that'd interest you!" And now she's hoping she doesn't soak the rest of her clothing as grabs a hold of his nearest arm and yanks with all of her slight might towards her. He started it!

"That's a virtual guarantee that I'll be interested," Tenebrous protests with a half-laugh, his free arm deliberately releasing the satchel and pinwheeling in the air. "Respect for your teacher, Phy, respect for-" And then he goes over, flopping face first into the pond with all of the grace of a speared sturgeon. He surfaces a moment later, sputtering, "I meant to do that! I fell in deliberately!"

Phylicia giggles as he goes in only with the 'grace' he can manage. As he re-surfaces she's buckling her satchel closed only to chuck it a little farther from the edge of the pond before she turns around with a mischievous grin on her face, skimming her arms just enough into the water's surface to send that un-promised tidal wave in her mentor's direction. "You're the one who started it, sir!" She says laughingly. "And funny, but I thought I pulled you in."

Tenebrous opens his mouth to retort and is greeted with a mouthful of water. Coughing and spitting, he wobbles backwards a little before catching himself and blindly lumbering forward. "What's that?" he shouts. "You wanted me in here? You got me!" He lunges forward, his arms wide with intent to tackle her, but he's half-blind at the moment.

Phylicia sometimes needs to learn when to keep her mouth shut. Her giggling gives him plenty of clue which way to aim his tackle, and as much as she'd love to try and act like a fish, it'd require less clothing than she has on now. She gives a happy squeak as she's tackled though and thankfully takes a breath before she lets her balance go, dunking the pair of them again.

The splash is gratifying, and bubbles rise from the spot where the two go down as Tenebrous' laughter escapes his mouth in little bits of air. When they surface, it's near the waterfall, and Tenebrous moves in to wrap his arms around the smaller woman's waist. "If I weren't such a nice guy, I'd feed you to the falls," he calls to her easily, raising his voice above the water's din.

Phylicia leaves her own trail of bubbles, and when she resurfaces closer to the falls somewhere between laughing and gasping for breath. So she's actually thankful when he wraps his arms around her waist - even if she is facing him - trying not to kick him as she treads water. "But then you wouldn't have me as a friend /or/ apprentice. I'm not used to swimming with 'falls." She laughs breathlessly, pitching her voice to be heard above the falls as well.

Tenebrous tilts his head. "It's easy," he shouts. "Just hold your breath!" But he doesn't move her any closer to that massive flow of water. Instead, his hands drop down to her backside, and a moment later, he's spinning in the water and heaving her into a calmer patch of the pond. "Don't tense up!"

Funny, because tense up is exactly what Phylicia did with a rosy flush as he grabbed her tush, even if it was just to hoist her into calmer waters. She squeaks again as she goes flying towards the calmer area, laughing again before she hits the water. This time she surfaces, sputtering since she didn't close her mouth in time to avoid inhaling some of it. "Y'can't hold your breath forever!" She calls back, taking the moment's reprieve to stand and not have to tread.

Tenebrous laughs. "Ya don't stay down there forever, silly girl! I don't know much about aquatic life, but I can tell you that a fish, you ain't!" He leans forward into the water, clumsily swimming towards her with his coat billowing out behind him. "The coat's waterproof for the most part, but the rest of your clothes aren't. Why did you wear them into the water again?"

Phylicia watches as he makes his slow way back towards her, grinning. "Because /someone/," And one eyebrow arches slightly as she fixes him with a laughing look, "Didn't give me a choice." And suddenly she shivers. "And because the water isn't the warmest yet!" But she hasn't jumped out yet, instead looking him over. "I could ask you the same thing. You're still wearing your clothes!"

Tenebrous waves a hand. "Not my fault. See, awhile back, I took this girl on as my apprentice. Crazy wild little thing. Pulled me into the water, completely unexpected. One second, I'm on dry land…" Another sweep of his arms closes more distance. "The next…I'm soaked. No respect." He laughs a little. "I'm still trying to decide how best to discipline her."

"I'm not wild." Phylicia agrues lightly as she grins. Oh some people would call her a wild child, but she wouldn't call herself one. She'd call herself tame. A lighter splash is sent in his direction again, just a flicking of water this time. "And she respects her mentor pleanty. She was just getting even!" She giggles, before propping her hands on her hips as she looks at him, her grin betraying her humor. "You really wanna try that? I'll dunk you again."

Tenebrous's answering chuckle is wicked. "Bring it on, baby girl. I can do the dance aaaaall day long in here." He comes in low and…well, not exactly fast, but as fast as he can in the water, his hands reaching for her knees this time.

Phylicia sheds the coat as quickly as she can, flopping it on one of the rocks at the edge of the pool, momentarily marveling at the water that comes streaming down from it until he's finally close enough to pose a 'threat'. "You have to catch me first, old fart." She taunts, pushing herself off of the same rock her coat is now sitting on, laughing as she skims away. Hey, if he's going to call her a baby, she'll go for the other end of the spectrum. She pauses for a moment, squiggling in place which might look odd until a shoe comes flying out of the water, aimed in the general direction of their packs and her coat. Moments later, the second follows losing a sock as it bounces on the ground. "Think you can?"

Tenebrous laughs. "Strip in the water?" His own coat gets thrown up and onto the bank, and a moment later, his boots join them. His socks he's not worried about, but his shirt appears to be on the list. Beneath it, in contrast to the last time she saw him, he's tan now, fully healed but for a mass of scarring on his abs and a bit of light mottling along his back where the rope once rubbed. Lean muscle can clearly be seen now, not bulked at all, but defined from years of movement. And move he does, starting after Phylicia with bad, bad promises in his eyes. "What do I get if I catch you?" he wonders aloud.

Phylicia shakes her head to his comment, grinning. "Shedding the bulky stuff." She corrects him as she squirms out of the sleeveless tunic yet, but not throwing it towards the rest of her things yet. And now that there are no injuries to get in the way of the view and make her wince, instead her cheeks turn faintly rosy again. The rest of her clothing stays on, but that's likely because her t-shirt is more or less plastered to her, along with her pants. She backpedals slowly, keeping a fair amount of distance between them so she has warning to dive and flee. "I don't know." She says, being slightly coy as she floats a little further back. "What were you thinking of?" It's not that she hasn't noticed what's in his eyes, she's just unsure of how to translate it.

Tenebrous ehhs, wobbling one hand in the air. He sinks lower and lower into the water, despite his being able to stand, opting for the fluid movements of swimming instead. "I'll tell you when I get there. I promise, whatever it is, it won't be permanent," he calls over to her with a little laugh.

Phylicia's answering smile is wide as he eludes the question for now, sinking a little farther into the water herself as she continues backing away until she's nearly at another edge of the pond again. "That still leaves just about, oh, anything." She laughs at him. For a moment she pauses still, and he might be able to tell she's shifting under the water to brace her feet on another rock. But before she launches to begin the chase, she lobs her soaking wet tunic at his face and inhales deeply, disappearing straight down before shooting off, off the rock towards the falls, though she stays close enough to the edge where with a short drop she could find the bottom to shove off of again. And the game is on!

Tenebrous hahs loudly, his grin wide. "Funny how that works isn't-" And then a wet garment wraps itself around his face like something from a James Cameron Sci-Fi movie. He slowly peels it away from his face, one eyebrow arching, and murmurs, "This I did not expect." But then he shrugs, chucking her top up onto the shoreline. Then he shrugs. "Oh well." He scans the water for traces of her and then, after spying a ripping shape beneath the waves, springs after, staying on top of the water for now, rather than diving lower.

Phylicia is at least far enough away by the time he's coming after her she can come up for air and pant for a few breaths before she's forced to start swimming again. She resorts to the backstroke, her chin tucked to her chest however as she tries to keep an eye on him as she starts to skirt the froth the waterfall creates. She's obviously enjoying herself during all of this. "You having trouble keeping up already?" She teases with a short laugh, kicking up a little extra water with her feet if he ever starts getting too close.

Tenebrous follows after her at something approaching a languid pace. He's settled for the breast stroke himself, broad shoulders moving him through the water with steady, if not entirely break-neck movements. "Not so much trouble keeping up as trying to decide what to do when I get there. I'd look awful stupid if I caught up to you and couldn't think of suitable recompense, you understand." Still, as she raises her voice, he does pick his speed up a little. Breath easy in his lungs, hair swept back and a smile on his face, for a moment, he finds himself relaxed again, caught in the spell that Stormhaven cast on him when first he saw her. That he's chasing a young, nubile Pern girl in the water only adds to the mix with weebly wobbly feelings of its own.

Phylicia is still slightly breathless from her dive under the water and zooming off, though the easy strokes of being on her back are letting her catch her breath quickly. "Well, look at it this way, if you do catch me, I'll probably be too out of breath to swim off again." She notices as he picks up his pace, and her grin widens. It's been a long time since she's swam so actively, and its likely showing already, though that doesn't mean she isn't going to push herself. "So you'd have a little bit to decide before I break free." She laughs, and changes her direction slightly, starting to aim for the middle of the pond. Her cheeks haven't stopped burning yet though at least now she can partially blame it on the excursions, even if she is watching him with a playfully wary eye.

Tenebrous snorts. "Alright. I tell you what, how about I give you that break you so desperately need." His smile grows wider and his stroke switches from the breast to the crawl, letting his body stream out behind him. "Though by all means," he calls, pulling with the full strength of his body, "If you think about anything that you'd NOT like me to do, I'll bear that in mind!"

Phylicia humphs at him with a grin. "You haven't caught me yet, Ten." She calls out to remind him as he changes to the crawl. He may have strength on his side, but she's small and agile. Calling it extremely close - within a hands length likely she tucks up her legs, inhales and tenses, and sinks like a dead weight before she does the breast stroke this time, in the direction he just came from. As she's swimming towards the waterfall, she thinks about what he said. What wouldn't she like him doing?

Words and stones…Tenebrous lowers his head into hsi stroke then, pulling towards the small woman with great sweeps of his arm. He's not a speedboat, not a phenom on the water, but he's in decent shape. He'd probably make better progress if he wasn't staring just a little in the back of his mind. When she passes under water, he murmurs, "Do YOU know what you're gonna do with her if you catch her again, you idiot?"

Phylicia pops up again, not too far away from him as the flow of the waterfall keeps pushing her away. Now she's treading water again, panting as she tries to regain her breath once more. Part of her reason for running would probably be so she can watch him and *cough* those defined muscled work. But her arms and legs are starting to burn with the effort of 'running'. "You look a little distracted there." She calls out between pants as she once again moves to float on her back, starting to lazily kick her way across the surface, using her arms to steer vaguely.

Tenebrous slows as well, both from his own exertions and from something else? Uncertainty? Surely not. "Thinking about skipping you across the surface of the pond once I catch up to you," he calls teasingly. "Just working the mechanics of it out in my head is all." He picks up the pace a little in an attempt to close the gap, but the drive of his earlier pursuit is gone. It's endgame now.

It's endgame indeed, and Phylicia is a sprinter with no breath left to sprint with. "You should really think about a flat stone for that, and not a young lady." She shoots back, trying to paddle herself away from Ten. The current is against her though, and if nothing else there's a prime calf and ankle to be grabbed. "We've a few too many bumps to skip well." She continues on to point out as her breathing is still labored.

Tenebrous smirks into the water. "I noticed," he murmurs, either to himself or the fish, no one knows. The calf, however, isn't missed, and a few strokes later, he's latching onto it playfully, reeling her in. One hand to an ankle. The next to the calf, and then the knee, and finally her lower thigh before he's got an arm around her waist. "Still," he murmurs to her, "It was a fun thought."

Phylicia looks a little bit awkward as she's trying not to dunk herself after he latches onto her leg and begins to reel her in, laughing all the while. Though once he gets a hold of her waist, she's able to straighten up without dunking herself any more. "So how many times did you manage to skip me in there?" She asks jokingly, raising a hand from the water to tap at her own temple. "And so. You caught me." The last is definitely just a statement of fact, waiting to see what he'll do.

Tenebrous looks at Phylicia for a moment, the smile on his face one-sided. Thoughtful. "Didn't try," he answers after a few moments of simply holding her, his tone even. "I decided that I didn't want to risk… breaking you." He tilts his head a little and leans in, eyes veiling slightly, and wraps his other arm around her in a quiet hug. "You're worth a bit more than skipping your rounded butt on the lake would risk," he calls into her ear, squeezing a little.

Phylicia smiles, not quite so one sided as his is, but softly instead. Legs work to help keep them both afloat as she returns the hug, pressing herself a little closer. "I don't break so easily, Ten." She murmurs, barely audible above the droning of the waterfall, her arms also returning the squeeze. One would also think that by now she'd have her breathing under control, but she doesn't as she gently rests her head on his shoulder, barely keeping that above the water's surface. "So nice of you to notice /that/ end of the curves." Comes a dry statement from her, followed by a small chuckle.

Tenebrous smiles. "Kinda hard not to notice with these tight pants you're wearing, you know." He releases her from that embrace slowly, eyes searching hers somberly. "You don't break so easily, huh?" Something…different flickers across his eyes for a moment before he reaches up and gives her shoulders a squeeze. "Here's hoping I never have to find out. Come on. Let's get you out of those clothes."

Phylicia looks back into his in return, her head canting slightly to the side though she's still smiling. "When did you start noticing these things?" She asks, somewhat rhetorically since she's not sure she really wants to know. And gently she pulls away to tread in place before floating onto her back once more. It's the lazy man's way to get about water. "Like you don't need to change either." She laughs at him, starting to lazily paddle back towards her satchel. "I don't suppose there's any fire wood in there, is there?" She asks after a few moments. A shiver runs down her spine again, making her pause.

Tenebrous nods slowly. "Of course. I was heartbroken when I left here, Phylicia, not stupid." He shakes himself a little, pointedly choosing not to answer the question about her curves, and makes strong strokes towards the shallow end of the pond, and ultimately, those stone stairsteps that serve as a point of egress. "I'll start a fire," he calls quietly. "I'll wave you in when it's done so you can change in private."

Phylicia offers a smile of apology, finally reaching those stone stairs herself and dragging herself out of the water. It's really just as well he didn't answer about her curves, because as it stands for the moment every one is fairly obvious as she drips onto the grass. Her cheeks turn a wonderful shade of red as she lightly crosses her arms over her abdomen. "I think… I might actually need help getting my shirt off? The shoulder-blades feel tight.." And they probably are. Either that or just uncomfortably glued to her body.

Tenebrous is already bending down for the two satchels when Phy emerges herself, and when she speaks, he turns to look. And stops. He's got the good grace to not stare though, and when she speaks, he merely nods. "As you wish." Must…hold satchels in front of hips… He turns then, slinging both bags onto his shoulders and starts up the wall. "Thank the stones for cold water," he mumbles to himself.

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