Xanadu Weyr - Docks
The main dock of Xanadu Weyr has a T shape, the central pier extending out and then splitting into two branches. That central dock extends slightly past the branching, making a square often used as a staging area for supplies or simply as a spot to sit and relax.
Pointed away from the main beach, there's the dock where ships moor. The fishing vessels who make their home here are joined by trading ships and the occasional personal craft, bobbing on the waves.
In the other direction, there's an area used by the dolphineers. There's a shack with supplies, extra fins and breathing gear hung against the outside, and a large raft moored to the dock near a ladder. It floats low in the water, easy to clamber on or off, and on it is a Dolphin Bell, the rope dangling into the water to let the dolphins summon their crafters.

It's early morning. Early enough that Rukbat has just started to rise, and red paints the sky in grand, vibrant slashes across the horizon. For the superstitious sailing sort, it's a warning of weather to make the seas an even more treacherous place. Still, though, for whose whose lives center around those vessels moored for the night, there's already bustling about the docks. Every once in awhile, a booming voice overlies the rest of the background noise of various jumbled conversations, the clattering of equipment and the clunking of crates, baskets and netting weights. The tide is low, and the hours to come will see it steadily rise to pave the way for the larger crafts to return to deeper waters. Kaellian is here yet again, almost as if this has become a routine stop. And routine in the manner of being in a place so frequently has never been on this particular man's agenda before. The ship he was seen boarding the couple of times before is not here, oddly enough, despite his presence. He stands talking with another couple of men, though the only one seemingly pleased with the conversation is Kaellian himself, what with that crooked grin he almost always seems to have amidst the roguish scruff and shadowed lines of his face. The other two simply look stern, impatient to be done with whatever the discussion entails. "-A sevenday. Maybe two." A scrawny older man, barely over five foot in height grumbles quickly, tugging at his neckline. "A seven." Kaellian responds, as if the man had offered an option, not an estimation. The taller of the pair hands Kaellian some little coinpurse before they both turn away and climb up onto their boat without a second look behind them, leaving him to look after them with a grown, subtly pleased and evermore arrogant smirk that narrows his too-light eyes. Soon enough, he moves to leave the spot too towards where docks meet beach's sand, turning as he tucks away that purse into his tunic, the top few buttons open to display a few inches of dark haired chest and silver'd chain 'round his neck.

And if it's so early, why is Risali here? Because make no mistake: despite the fact that booming bass and thundering drums are eerily absent from this setting, Risali is there. She's there in a dress again, in thigh-high socks, and boots, and a jacket harboring her hands as she walks because, despite it being summer, there's still a chill in the air — perhaps a drop in temperature owed to time of day and that impending, treacherous weather intent to make the seas so wild beneath her skillful manipulations. And there she is at Kaellian's side, brows raised, grey eyes lingering where coin purses were tucked for safekeeping even as Risali tips sideways on one foot and knocks her shoulder into Kaellian's arm. There's a deviant smile to chase away re-introductions, to lift her gaze up, up, up, to delineate that roguish face and find sea-blue eyes where her own settle as she stage-whispers, "Are you going to buy me a drink with that?" Fingers come up to gesture without making contact, nose scrunching before Risali bites down on her bottom lip and looks away — towards the sea, towards the clouds, towards that line of the horizon where Rukbat rises, and bleeds, and drowns out the shadows with her light (or, perhaps, gives them more depth). A beat, two, three, and softly, "It's pretty, isn't it?" The sunrise, she means, and maybe she catches that that might be awkward because that mischief is back in a smile that comes as she tips her head back to find Kaellian's gaze with her own again, as she tilts her chin up to indicate forward. "Walk with me?" And there she goes, already on the move, putting one booted foot in front of the other, walking with the kind of confidence that goes beyond what one might expect from a Weyrwoman. She can hold her own, she's a fighter, she's not the kind of human who will cower and bow and obey. You can tell a lot from posture — if you're trained anyway. Perhaps, despite all of the rambunctious antics of one over-enthusiastic queen and some persistent bad ideas from her rider, there's a reason she can carry the weight of running a weyr on her shoulders. But she doesn't wait. Kaellian will either keep up or be left behind; it makes no difference to her. AND HE HAS LONGER LEGS ANYWAY OKAY.

There are calculations and plans being crafted, thoughts warped and churning as he made that turn to leave the docks. This.. this was business as usual, but with an added layer of caution. Fingers toyed with the outer skin of that little purse as it disappeared beneath his black tunic of numerous silver clasps and flared wrists, counting by practiced and expert skill. He'd not be underpaid, mind, for whatever that transaction was. But where numbers and charted courses had encompassed his thoughts, the sudden presence of Risali goes unforeseen. Yet, that has come to be no surprise. Kaellian pauses in stride as she joins him, his hand left in the folds of his tunic for a beat longer than would be expected, and is removed holding a thin, leather-wrapped flask. A soft sound rises from his chest, a huffed breath of what seems to be humor. Those eyes of winter-touched ocean, where warm currents bring serpent's charm to frigid edges, turn down to her. A heavy dark brow rises, partially hidden by strands of hair fallen 'cross his face. Curious amusement, with no delay between her question and the appearance of that flask, "You need only ask. There is always rum." At least, there better always be. It's lowered, the engraved 'CK' on the flask's face a silver that matches the rings of his fingers, only more worn from too-frequent use. "Aye." If he's caught that she's speaking about the sky, he hasn't looked at it to give indication, since he's still watching her. Too intently, too intensely. His imposing nature characterized by the darkness of his attire, and the overbearing ownership of his space. The squared shouldered posture, the poise of one too-used to authority. Her request is met with a twitch of the edge of his lips, "This isn't to meet your dragon, is it?" Is it? He needs to be prepared for that, though there probably is no possible way to be prepared for either the weyrwoman or her queen. He lets her go, lets her gain a few paces to observe her as he has before. Maybe this time a bit differently, given it isn't in the midst of screaming or singing. Or whatever mixture of both has occurred near the waters before. Then he's in line to follow, his booted footfalls evident by softened by the sands in her wake. If she lets him, he'd catch up in a dragonslength, otherwise, he follows in truth as shipfish behind a fisherscraft, if only a bit more daunting in nature.

AHHH, a flask. A flask the grey eyes settle on, where they linger for maybe a moment too long before Risali is flicking her attention up. "That doesn't count," she tells him, amused as she WALKS OFF. Without the rum, no less (which is a very terrible choice, but one that's made and carried through with strides that carry her sure-footed but not quick enough). There's a huff of laughter that escapes her for questions of Leirith — a hiccup of sound that lasts the duration of that first expelling breath from her lungs and then ends as Risali looks over her shoulders, as she twists on heels and stumbles backwards through the sand so that she can fix that deviant expression on Kaellian and then turn away from him. It wasn't a yes, and it certainly wasn't a no, but Leirith is still curiously absent from this unanticipated rendezvous on Xanadu's sandy beach. And for a while, even after Kaellian catches up, they just walk; there's no words to ease the awkwardness of silence, no questions to fend off that absolute nothingness found in a lack of conversation; Risali just moves, because she always seems to be in motion until — "What is your name?" Risali finally breaks it, grey eyes seeking out sea-blue, holding for a moment before she looks away, looks away, keeps her gaze fixed towards where they are going and not where they are or where they were. "I just realized that I've never asked and well…" A beat, two, three, as those eyes find him again. "We keep running into each other, so I suppose I should have something to call you other than 'Hey you,' or, 'That strange man by the boats.'" WHAT IS THIS? RUN KAELLIAN. IT'S A TRAP.

A deeper chuckle arises, one that would be felt more than heard if in closer quarters. The flask is held out even when her attention moves on, as if he would leave the vice open to consideration just that much longer. There's no follow up to the comment of the rum, though it bids neither an affirmative nor negative to the promise of something beyond the alcohol he always carries on his person. Kaellian very clearly steps slightly quicker when she stumbles through the sand so elegantly(?), but lets her be when she doesn't fall bum-first into it. If there is a sense of the awkward in the silence that becomes the space between and around them, the man doesn't seem to be bothered by it. He matches her speed, coming just close enough to be just about shoulder to shoulder. It also is apparent how much he watches her still, only eventually letting his gaze turn to their forward path. And probably their general environment in his periphery to watch for the mustard-gold hide to appear out of nowhere as she had managed to do before. One forearm rests on his cutlass' hilt, the other at ease at his side. It's a patience he's demonstrated before, and just as easy as it was then. "Kaellian." He answers in kind, too readily to be a lie- or else he's just that good at lying. "But if 'strange man by the boats' is easier on th' tongue, by all means." A few seconds pass, then, "I've been fortunate enough to have heard your name, though it appears it is.. common many come chasing you down for various reasons." Maybe more for her safety? "To what do I owe this honor of a walk?" His thick accent and odd formalities are not concocted in sarcasm, though dry sarcasm does chase the most of what he says. Rather, they are all too natural, too ingrained to be anything more than, well, him.

For jokes about names, Risali flickers another deviant smile Kaellian-wards, but she simply repeats his name to him. "Kaellian." She tests it on her tongue, mulls over it for a moment and then… continues walking. There's another huff of laughter for his knowing her name, a shift of her shoulders upward as that nose scrunches and — "When you do I what I do, the trick is coming by people who aren't chasing you down." Or don't know your name, but Risali has been fortunate enough to run into quite a few who don't know her name until it's repeated by another. Perhaps she enjoys the anonymity in so much as she can be anonymous; she is still absent one very revealing knot, after all. As for the honor that bid them walk down the beach, well. Risali pauses in the sand, goes still as if she is trying to find words and perhaps can't settle on which ones to use because Risali has always, always been terrible with people, and then she exhales. "You…" A beat, two, three as she shifts again, as she turns to face him, as grey eyes trace eyebrows and map the path down the bridge of his nose to his lips. "Remind me of somebody." And grey eyes find sea-blue again, no hint of humor, no mischief, but certainly less confidence that what she might usually present herself with. The words come soft, hesitant almost, but firm in their formations. "He's a good man. A very, very good man, but he wasn't always." And the edges of her mouth curl, a tick of her mouth that lacks humor, that comes as those grey eyes jump between sea-blue as if she might search into his soul or find an answer to whatever questions she has there. But for as much as windows are the eyes to the soul, Risali either finds nothing, or is unsure of how to interpret what she sees. "'Don't argue,' he told me. 'Never deign to deny. Meet insults with laughter.'" And her eyes are holding now, even as she continues, softer. "'Weakness is a guise. Wear it when they need to know you're human, but never when you feel it.'" And softer still, "He taught me that scars are good reminders, and that anything worth doing always starts with a bad idea." There's a hint of humor in her smile, perhaps a glimpse as to why she does the things she does, even as it falters, even as Risali's eyes jump between Kaellian's again. "He's the kind of man whose charm was used to deflect, who found self-deprecation in lieu of honest answers, whose humor were a disguise for lies he didn't want you to see." And now Risali's eyes are on Kaellian's lips again, holding. "But he was a good man, Kaellian. Are you?" And a jump again, her gaze finding his, holding.

"I wouldn't have guessed the night I found you yelling at the sea." Guessed about who she was, that is. But the comment is made in jest, his crooked smirk making the darkness of his face lighten just a touch. That hardness lessen just a little bit. But it's cemented there, firm and deep, cast long and dark by paths taken. "Aye." This time, the affirmative comes with a sigh, as if there's an understood truth in that. He might not be a weyrwoman, but there is some hint of acknowledgement. Of experience in the matter.. probably more of being chased down than anything. Or having a name known by the wrong people. "Even a'dragonback, I imagine it's nigh impossible for one such as you to escape." He muses, then with seablue eyes that remain ahead of them, "That is what a ship is, you know. Freedom to do as you please. Take the horizon and all that." You might not get there as fast, might be a little more.. 2-D than with dragon wings, but for one who doesn't know any better.. "A night a'board one might grant you leave of the chase, if for a little while." The offer is subtle, more conversational than question. Something that can be left or caught up on. Would it not be the inkling of insanity for him to invite a weyrwoman onto a pirate ship? It must be in the appreciation of whatever he's seen, felt, told by the way she's carried herself, the pieces of the puzzle he's caught inbetween (or with) the crazy up until now. When she continues into the traces of something deeper, Kaellian falls quiet, stopping beside and slightly in front of her, close enough that he has to look down, meeting her gaze with the mysterious depths of his own. He's uncertain for the cause it, but information is as precious as a chestful of marks, the most rare and weighty of treasures if collected just-right- thus his expression is schooled, a well-practiced thing. "Do I." Not a question, simply a prompt for her to continue. The morning's ocean breeze rustles against his tunic, against his intentionally messed hair as she compiles those lessons. But when she culminates into a question, that schooled look of his falters. His left hand, wrapped in that black cloth and fingers decorated so in bloodrings raises to scratch at the base of his earring'd ear. It's naught but an idle motion, a tick of his, "This man was someone important to you, I take it." Avoidance of the question is obvious, but it has caused some tension to filter into the muscles of his neck, his jawline a little more tense than it had been. "Was it so important to you what he was called, if others thought he was such a 'good' man?"

"And what would we do on your ship?" Risali inquires, mischief again in the subtle pulling at the corner of her mouth. "Would you teach me how to sail and dance with me?" IS THAT A CHALLENGE? … In a way, but there's no 'yes' or 'no' to confirm or deny whether or not she would, in fact, go aboard a ship overnight. No, now she's delving into those things perhaps better left unsaid, things she asks, observations that she makes without her dragon in sight (or mind); without guards to accuse, or to arrest, or to interrogate. No, it's this tiny, fierce woman facing a man they both know is more capable than she. And still Risali is not afraid — not when tension filters, and finds his jaw, not when her gaze fixes on that tension and lingers there because — "There it is." A whisper, a half smile that holds no humor and dissipates before it can truly form. "He did the same thing. I hit too close, didn't I?" And grey eyes jump up again, to find sea-blue, to jump between them while she soaks up his question and debates an answer to it. She's not so good with words, much like she's not so good with people, and so it takes a moment for her to answer. But there is no hesitation despite the delay; simply a pause to formulate thoughts and translate them into something that might make sense. "Is. He is important to me, and no, it didn't matter to me. Who he was and what he became are two pieces of the same puzzle. One piece haunted him and the other made him feel shame." A beat, two, three, and softer, "But it mattered to him. And it mattered to other people, too. It mattered to the people who didn't understand that good and bad aren't always black and white, but come in shades of grey. It mattered to those people who wanted to feel safe in their homes, tucked away in their ignorance, happy to believe that anybody different than them is a monster." And Risali is moving again, stepping closer, perhaps so that he can hear her when her voice drops to a whisper. "And now those happily ignorant people call me their Weyrwoman. So what are you, Kaellian? Are you a good man?"

"Whatever it is you wish." That is the beauty of it, isn't it? There is no better teacher of sailing than the moods of the ocean, no better music to dance to than the sea, no better lullaby than the rock of the ship cast to and fro by the waves in the depths of the night. There is also plentiful alcohol and pilfered pastries, and a piratical, womanizing man who would lay thick his charm, and who teases the line of potential life-ending danger of such an offer to a woman of her status. But that is not what jars him. Danger, adventure, that is easy. Facing questions of himself is far less so. His jaw works for a second, before that smile, that rapscallion's grin fades it. It's a little more evident this time that it covers exactly what she called it to, those lines at the edge of his eyes gone in the resolution that restricts his expression from giving away more. His tongue traces his teeth, and he shakes his head, finally letting his gaze leave her, looking away- down the beach. A breath through his nose is less humored this time, but eventually he looks back when she continues on the man she's recalls and shares. For the one who was more than willing to breach distance, he doesn't move again to meet her when she makes the effort to do so. "People say many things they don't mean." His already gravel-touched voice falls lower, the darkness of it curling just beneath, as if it's a warning- does she really wish to go here? "And mean many things they don't say. To make exceptions of one that means that much to you is one thing, but for a stranger is another." And is he nothing more than a stranger. The term monster brings a coldness to his crooked grin that tastes more agreeing with the word than mocking of it. He shakes his head slightly, slowly, "And what would you do if I was a monster, Risali? What would you do, knowing that is at the doorstep of your Weyr?"

Whatever it is you wish. Risali's eyes linger, remain, but she doesn't answer Kaellian with an affirmative or a negative yet, just simply, "That can get dangerous, you know. I have a lot of wishes; you should ask my weyrmates about it." BECAUSE BLESS THOSE POOR MEN, they have to live with this. They have to stare down that tiny woman with too much black hair that curls in loose ringlets when its down, messy but somehow not; this force of nature that stares an apex predator in the eyes and doesn't back down — not from subtle threats, not from warnings, not from men she has no business standing so close to. Still, Risali waits until Kaellian is done to answer him. "That's why I don't listen to what people say, Kaellian. I listen to what they do." A beat, and she continues with, "And it depends on the kind of monster lingering on the doorstep. Is it the kind of 'monster' who hides under the guise of being a monster in order to survive, or is it the kind of monster who leads men to their deaths and enjoys watching the light leave their eyes?" A beat, and then she's leaning forward, perhaps in answer to that unspoken question of whether or not she wants to go there. "Because if it's the latter, I'll kick that monster's ass." A… smile? Maybe she has no sense of self preservation, or maybe she just doesn't believe that he's a monster. "From here, all the way to its ship, and then I will set it on fire and watch everything burn while Leirith laughs and tells me what a badass I am." DON'T TEST HER, KAELLIAN. And while she stares at Kaellian for one, two, three moments, allowing silence to emphasize her point (she can't kick your ass, Kaellian, though she might be able to hold you off for a while), Risali eventually caves. "Come on then. Help me up." HELP HER UP WHERE? Why, up this little cliff-shindig overlooking the sea, of course, the one she is brushing past him to come face to face too, already finding footholds and handholds and turning to look at him from over her shoulder because she is smol and she needs a boost, okay.

There's no remark on her weyrmates' plight, for his seeming offer will linger there, in the open, with no evident expiration. It is much like darkness itself- it does not need to push. It just needs to be, to exist. To lure as an option and to be exactly that addicting after the fall. It's so easy to fall, so easy to be captured by vices and submerged, unable to find the surface again. Kaellian straightens slightly, and that guise isn't so stable. The charming warmth of his eyes, that scoundrel's charisma, is all but lost to the chill that lives in the halo of them at that sensitive string she plucks. Like an instrument played too well, the notes something of a siren's song, singing true keys that so quickly get under his skin. Ultimately, he doesn't answer her directly. Perhaps it's because he cannot say into which category he falls, for the manner in which he views himself is so corroded, so warped over time, there is nothing to which that salvation of reason for his actions to speak to. He stands still, eeriely still, except for the slow brush of his right thumb over the back of rings. "If you are so familiar, I will let you then be the judge in the end if I continue to intrude on your territory. You let me know what you decide." There is little doubt what he could encompass, and in the moment there isn't much effort to hide it. Then she goes on to explain her method of remedying the situation, and that brow of his rises again, likely believing her more than doubting her ability to do so. "If you set fire to it, there would be no dancing on its decks, you realize." What a loss! Also, while he may physically be able to take her, there's a very large part of him that would prefer not to invoke that level of Risali and Leirith wrath. Maybe a little bit, but not monster-kicking levels. The request makes him glance away from her, up towards the cliff face. His expression furrows, "What for? A secret hiding place of yours?" He might even roll his eyes as she's already climbing, but that's a secret since she's not facing him anymore. And the gentleman side of him has already cupped his hands to help her up. "Fine, up you get."

"I have a feeling you might try to devour me," Risali answers that silence on a whisper, grey eyes jumping between sea-blue because offers without expiration deserve some kind of answer — even if their longevity is unspoken. And in the face of that chill, Risali smiles — not the smile of a woman gloating in victory, not the smile of a woman who believes she is bearing witness to something humorous, but the kind of smile that's halfway to a grimace; that says maybe she's familiar with that chill, too. That she knows, without having to say that she knows, that she is treading gently over landmines and thin ice, both of which can be dangerous if tampered with. And while Risali might seemingly be fearless, she's not stupid; she knows when to let the chill settle and when to push. So instead Risali focuses on Kaellian's words, watches his mouth as he speaks them and then moves away because moving is what Risali does. "A pity," she answers around a smile. "I guess I'll have to make a pyre of it and dance while I burn." A LITTLE DARK THERE, RISA, but nothing that deters her from starting her climb and definitely missing that eye roll VILLAIN. RUDE. She finds his hand with her boot, and uses it to boost her. And yes, okay, we established that she is in a dress (and not a very long one at that), so let us also establish that she is wearing short, black shorts underneath. The kind meant to obstruct view of her goodies without ruining the effect of the skirt. Risali is the kind of woman who jumps from cliffs, and tests how well she can fight against men, and shoots trees with bow and arrow between taking care of toddler children — it requires the appropriate amount of coverage. OKAY. OKAY. So up she goes, and once she's reached the top she disappears for one, two, three seconds before reappearing on all fours, grinning over the side, down to Kaellian like she's just found something very exciting. "For whatever I wish." That's her very delayed answer of course. "Are you coming, or are you too scared to climb?" Did she just… did she just make a face and stick her tongue out at him? She did. She totally did. WHO LET THIS WOMAN BE WEYRWOMAN? And there she goes again, shuffling away from view, to sit on the opposite ledge with her feet hanging over and watch Rukbat make her ascent.

"If that's what the lady wants." Kaellian's answer on devouring is easily mischievous, sinister but playful, inappropriate. And careful. Because shortly after her boots are really close to his face and he didn't miss that she was not very accepting of his common use of pet names and the like before. For all intents and purposes he doesn't have a death wish, and his self-preservation is selfishly high. "And for the record, I rather like me ship. I would prefer her to stay intact." And up she goes. If there's a glance- and let us agree that he is the sort that is used to taking what he wants but also considers himself a gentleman in the same damnable contradicting breath- it's in the same unhidden, unashamed motion as the heft up of her smol self. After turns of the sort of stresses and strains on the sea and before that, it's an easy effort that sends her upwards. When she reappears, the becalmed amusement is back on his face, that easy, honey'd warmth that spins romanticized storybook adventures, edged with serpent's promise. And when she sticks her tongue out at him, there's a little bit of incredulous brow-raise. Nobody acts that way towards him, and here he is following a woman who does what no one else would dare. Except probably that cog-weilding lass. It must be the air here. But there's no threats that follow it, just a chuckle deep in his chest that turns into more of a sigh, "I may have climbed one or two before." He comments amidst the approach and heaving himself up with the hand holds, then over the lip of the cliff face. There's clinking of the metals of him in the effort, a dislodging of the pendants that were kept under his shirt to sway in front of him instead. His hands pat together, dulled by the cloth that hides the one, as he approaches where she sits. There's danger here, where either one could get rid of the other, couldn't they? But Kaellian settles beside her, adjusting the equipment that makes it difficult to sit on a flat surface such at this. He doesn't look at the sunrise, rather just at her and her expression from the closeness of which he decides to remain. "This is what you desire?"

TSK, TSK. It is either the air or the water, and to be fair, Xanadu has always harbored a reputation of breeding Weyrwomen who practically scandalize the profession with their existence. They are strong and fierce and wild — in different ways, sure, but no less of Xanadu. It might be why Risali's answer to, 'If that's what the lady wants,' is laughter. It's not derisive or dismissive; on the contrary, it's amused, as if Risali hears the dark promise in words and doesn't believe them. "Then I suggest my residents stay intact as well." There's a hint of humor in there, something devious and full of mischief. But then she waits, listens, doesn't drop her attention from the horizon when he comes near, shifting only to pull her legs up to her chest, to wrap her arms around her shins and rest her chin against her knees. It's his question that draws grey eyes to him, an answering smile that ends on an exhale of breathy laughter as she looks away again. "No," she answers softly, honestly. "What I desire is to be up high." And here here eyes close, her chin tilting up. "To feel the wind pushing up at me, bidding me to sprout wings and fly." And here she extends her arms out to either side, swaying gently back and forth as if experiencing that freefall behind closed eyes. "To feel that drop of your stomach," here she smiles around the words, "and the exhilaration of screaming at the top of your lungs before you hit, and you sink, and you resurface gasping for air and laughing because you survived. To feel the ache in my muscles when I fight, to feel the burning in my chest when I run." A beat and Risali's arms drop, those eyes open, and she focuses on the horizon. "To be a good mother to my sons and my daughter — and this one." A wry smile as one hand presses to her stomach — and she is pregnant, though either not far enough along for it to be blatant without knowledge, or one of the lucky few who carry small. "I desire to be free, and to love, and to live. That's what I want. To be happy, and to dance, and to drink, and to fly." One, two, three, and Risali's attention is back on Kaellian, studying him a moment before she dips to the side and bumps her shoulder into his. "What do you desire?"

For whatever he's planning, for whatever reason he's decided to come here with this increasing frequency, making residents not-intact is unlikely to be the primary goal, for he's shaking his head briefly with a huffed breath of a laugh amidst leaning forward to rest his forearms on his thighs. For as much space as he typically takes up, both subconsciously and entirely intentionally, he doesn't manspread too badly right now. Just a little bit. But he straightens again shortly after, making room for her spread arms and swaying. Kaellian pauses here as he watches her, sort of taken a'back by.. well.. everything. Little in his expression states it, although the predator somewhat softens, the lines at the edges of his eyes apparent as that lopsided grin touches them in a manner that is less devilish- if he could even manage that- and almost genuine. There's a sense of recognition, a sense of something else not quite tangible. Disappointment, maybe a sadness, but it's beneath the fact the fullness of her answer is.. enjoyed. When she touches her stomach, his sea-blue gaze follows for a moment, then in the next blink, he's looking out to sea. The water now colored in swathes of reds, golds, and the hint of blue as the darkness of the abyss sinks back to the depths as the light of day infiltrates just far enough to bring the crystalline beauty to the persistent white-caps that speak still of the weather to come. Yet he sees right through that, lost in thought. Debating how much to give, what to give. It's no longer if, not in the light of either her true divulgence of something personal, or a spectacular ability to manipulate. "I once knew a lass who wanted everything of life. It's infectious, that desire. Had the whole crew enamored with her. A good thing, even with the terrible decisions mixed into it." Does this count as one? Sitting with him? "I desire-" The bitter truth is on the tip of his tongue, but he clears his throat instead. Seablue returns to look for those grey eyes of hers, "To let me finger fall upon me map, and go any way I wish to go. To turn to the horizon and sail until I see the edge of it, and see what no other has yet to see." His hand rises now to indiate the far-off, moving slightly as if indicating some dotted path to an X not yet charted, his jewelry glinting against Rukbat's morning light, " And to each place I find, to take a piece of it with me, onto the next."

Risali is certainly not one of those who minds — not the space he takes up with his presence, nor the manspreading. Perhaps part of that is because she is so small, or perhaps it's because her focus is on things that matter: on living, on breathing, on watching Rukbat and tripping over her words but still enjoying the conversation. Risali does find Kaellian, does fix grey eyes on sea-blue when they seek, watches him talk with her cheek pressed back to her knees but her focus intent, holding her breath as if she might miss a word that he says. And while she's silent for the duration of words that come after his clearing throat, Risali's smile is softer, quiet and muted and — "You don't have to tell me," she tells him, because it's okay if he wants to keep his secrets close to his chest. But her attention shifts, goes out to the water, to the horizon, as if she can see those dots and imagine where the X might lie well beyond her expertise. "Did you love her?" A soft question, curious but not demanding, remedied moments after it escapes by a whispered, "You don't have to tell me that either." Because sometimes things are painful to recount, and Risali is usually not one to pry. So just in case he needs an out that doesn't manifest as an awkward, growing silence between them, Risali tilts her head to look at Kaellian again and… bumps her shoulder into his once more. "And that's stealing, you know. What if she wants to keep all of her belongings." SHE IS JOKING, or so says that slow smile, that deviant wickedness in her expression that precedes another STICKING OUT OF HER TONGUE, and another shift of her attention towards the sea. "And the sea is great, I'm sure, but have you ever flown before?" Because they are very, very different things.

Verbally, physically, Kaellian doesn't respond to her reassurance, though it's taken. Accepted for what it is. The man is good at lengthy silences, better at observing rather than sharing- he's not so sure he'd ever come so close before. Whatever was on the tip of his tongue cast an ugly look over him, a flicker of that 'monster' if it could be so clear. He watches her eyes, searching between them for a moment, but instead of reacting poorly to the question, the sound of his tunic rustling quietly denotes a light shrug, "A story for another time, perhaps, if there should be one." Quiet moments surely can't be that common for a weyrwoman, even as unpredictable as he's found this particular one to be. There's been more information in the unspoken than the spoken, and he needs to find out what disaster it could pave before he digs himself a deeper hole should it all go south. The shoulder bump brings him back from being in his head, and her joke earns a quiet chuckle that wins more than a single, clipped breath as he has thus far. "I'll have you know, she would happily give me my prize come morning in gratitude." Is that how that works? Surely that's how it works for him. The devilish trend returns in kind, the rapscallion- though slightly muted than his first approaches on the beach in the aftermath of this sort of conversation- having placed that gesturing hand on his chest as if the concept of stealing had mortally wounded him. Then- "No, I've never been on a'dragon before. Hadn't the opportunity." Or the desire to take that risk in the channels he's thrived, amidst the rumors he's born. "But a ship doesn't talk back." Or blast minds within a 20kilometer radius, like some dragon he's come to meet.

And Risali rolls her eyes, laughing as she reaches out a hand to push Kaellian's face away. "Or drown you at sea." Because Risali is focusing on things that are easier, that don't require finesse or sharing — because she was raised by a man who evaded and dodged every honest question, every hint of who he was, every piece of knowledge that might be attained and used against him and she had learned not to pry. And for a moment, Risali simply listens, watches Rukbat bleed life into the world, watches the water shimmer and dance while the horizon stays curiously flat. "You don't have to be on a dragon to fly, Kaellian," Risali offers, and she's shifting to stand, to look down at the man who climbed a cliff face to sit beside her where they both could have been risking so much. Or perhaps only Risali. She is a dragonrider, after all. That certainly means she's less capable of the violent stuff, but she is turning her back to the edge of the cliff, smiling as she takes one step back. "Sometimes you just have to trust everything will be okay." Another step back, and arms go out as that deviant smile returns, as grey eyes find sea-blue and she breathes, "And sometimes you just have to jump." And THERE SHE GOOOOOES. One last step that sends her too close to the edge — but she doesn't panic. She closes her eyes and smiles and lets gravity pull her and disappears. EXCEPT NOT. Because there's one massive golden head, whirling eyes of blue and that pounding invasion of bass and drums that thrums with electricity and excitement. And there is Risali, laughing as she holds tight to straps, as Leirith's movement shifts her body even as she pulls herself up to the safety of straps and harness. « AND SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED A LITTLE HELP. » BEAM. « THAT WOULD BE ME, IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING. I AM THE HELP. » And there's Leirith's laughter, a crash of sound that precedes Risali calling out, "Don't get hurt on your way down!" And there they go, Leirith's wings expanding as she bounds, as she takes one massive, powerful leap into the air and sails with Risali on her back, arms thrown out to each side, hair wild as she laughs and… disappears. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME!

Kaellian is pushed, and leans away as if she pushed harder than she did, albeit it slowly. "And lose the chance to see my handsome self again?" That would be a travesty. Unspoken is an appreciation of that understanding she has. That lack of prying. That space. Pressure would make one like him walk away, maybe even draw danger into the situation more readily than it already was. The thin ice evident in his eyes from the moment they started talking, yielding only to a blackness of storm-tossed ocean to be lost overboard in. He watches her as she stands, the uncertainty of her next move a given. "I'm fairly certain you do." Drawn out words are almost a question, a what-are-you-doing implied within it. The man shifts in his place, the scratching of boot and sheath indicating his rise, unfolding to his height again a pace away from the edge. If the intensity with which he watches the beginning of her fall is increased, it fades at the appearance of the giant head of a dragon that appears over the edge. This time, he stays still. This time, he doesn't appear to fluster at the closeness of the dragon, despite the inherently intimidating nature she has to one with limited experience around dragons, and even some who have more than he. He's also not getting booped or snuffled by her, so that helps. The booming mindvoice remains just as unsettling, let's make that clear. Following those words of wisdom and clarity, and Risali getting secured in her straps, the man garbed in darkness and glint of silver bows slightly, enough that it has a flare with a hand again on his chest, head and shoulders tipped to them in an exaggerated farewell. "I think I just might manage." To getting down the cliff, that is. What he didn't reply to, however, was far more important- as it always is. To trust, to things being okay. Those words had fallen on a mind resigned to anything but, where vengeance drives a fire of a passion to do the worst of things, and past Deals sour even the most meaningful of meetings. When Leirith takes Risali away, he draws out his flask to take a long drink of it. A pattern that would continue once he's left this place and traced their path back to the docks and the landing ship he's been using instead of his tell-tale ship itself. Whatever was dredged is shortly numbed.

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