It's Not a Joke!

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

It's a beautiful summer day, despite the heat, and many folks have taken refuge indoors. The tavern is one of those places, where icy drinks are served and folks can stay cool. Mur'dah ducks inside, shrugging out of his jacket and peering around. Someone mentioned Kiena was in here, but Mur'dah isn't positive, so for the moment he stays near the door, squinting into the dim room.

Kiena is, indeed, in the taverns and it won't be hard to find her. Just follow the sounds of singing from the far back corner and noticing that there's a knot of people there, most of them wearing Smithcrafter knots but a good number being riders as well. She's either leading or co-leading a song, some witty and satirical tune that is crass but in a very clever way and also annoyingly catchy. When it finishes to a chorus of laughter and hands thumping the tables, Kiena's slumping back into her chair, legs stretched out as she enjoys one of those icy drinks. Must be break time?

Mur'dah grins when he sees her, but it quickly falters. Nervous now, the brownrider puts on a smile and approaches, sliding into the seat beside her. "Hey, beautiful." That can't be a good way to start, can it?

Kiena doesn't catch that nervousness, too pleased to see him joining her and quick to slip an arm around him and lean in close enough to kiss him soundly. THAT is a better greeting! Has she been drinking? Her icy drink doesn't look alcoholic. Maybe she's just in high spirits from the company she keeps! Company that now turn to their own conversations, while she grins at her weyrmate. "Hey, handsome. Where've you been? Glad you could join me! We finished our projects early. Figured it'd be alright to spoil myself and kick back a bit, eh?"

Mur'dah grins, bolstered by her energy. Maybe this won't go so badly after all! Especially not as he returns the kiss happily. "Duties!" he answers, his arm around her shoulder now. "Sure thing, you deserve to be spoiled and kick back." His grin is briefly wicked. "Was down in Ierne."

If Kiena was feeling truly rebellious and devil-may-care, she'd crawl right into Mur'dah's lap — oh who are they kidding? Of course she does it and the response from some of the other Smiths and riders are low cat calls and whistles to which Kiena just flips a rather rude gesture in return and is answered by good natured laughter. Taverns are relaxed, right? It's not like they're in the living caverns! "That's what I figured! And since I'm no prissy girl, figured a few drinks with the boys here wouldn't hurt." At his wicked grin, her brows lift and she misinterprets his message and smirks crookedly. "Chasing greens?" she drawls with a low snicker.

Mur'dah is startled and, let's be honest, pleased when she slips into his lap. Around his arms go, circling her waist, and if a hand drops to grope her behind, well…this isn't the living caverns. He laughs. "Greens? Nope!" And…better now than never, right? "I bought some land! Beautiful seafront property. Got it for a screaming deal. Want to move to Ierne?" Look at his handsome, cheeky, hopeful grin! Dimples. See the dimples?

Kiena grunts softly when his hand sneaks around and she'll playfully bat at it while snickering some more. Quit it (don't)! "Oh, good! Was going to tell you that you'd have to wait, as I'm enjoying myself here," she muses with a wicked grin of her own. Tilting her head back, she'll peer at him and her brows will rise up in surprise but she laughs and it's the laughter of disbelief. Nah! He didn't. "Very funny," she teases him and that cheeky grin and the dimples? Get a little pinch from her hand before she pats his cheek. Good one! "Seafront property. Right…" Nope, she totally thinks this is a joke.

Mur'dah's grin doesn't falter. He just nods, and grins. "Yeah! It's beautiful, wait until you see it. We can build a new house, Ujinath will have a wallow…the kids can have their own room, I can build you a forge down the path a bit. We could…do anything! It's a lot of land. A ranch, maybe, or a little bed and breakfast…"

Kiena's grin falters though when she catches on that he's actually not joking around and being quite serious. "Woah, woah…!" Her hands come up in a warding gesture and she just stares at him. "You're not kidding? Your for shardin' real? You bought land!?" And they're moving! Kiena blinks and then scowls at him and it's around then that some of her companions start to carefully sliiiiide away. You know — over there… somewhere… safe. Sorry dude, you're on your own! Enjoy your angry weyrmate! "Mur'dah, what were you thinking!" she hisses under her breath at him. If he plays his cards right, she'll calm down once she's over the initial shock of it all. Wasn't it her who mentioned being an independent rider once, not so long ago?

Mur'dah falters, blinking a bit. "I…thought you'd be happy. It was a /great/ deal, I had to jump on it right then. And didn't…I thought…" he lowers his voice now, "I thought you wanted to move to Ierne…" Though he's getting a miserable feeling that he misunderstood that.

Kiena is still scowling at Mur'dah but when he starts to look as miserable as he's feeling, she relents a little bit and then scoffs. "Yeah, but…" Wait, what? She just blinks, dumbfounded for a moment as she struggles to absorb everything he's just dropped on her head in a matter of seconds. Shifting off his lap so that she can sit next to him and face him better (as straddling him would be pushing it — even in a tavern!), she leans forwards and takes his hands in hers, gripping firm. "Mur'dah… Yeah, I had thought about it! But this should have been something we talked about and… I'm just shocked…" And a bit angry from it but hey, who accepts THAT much change to their lifestyle with a happy smile? "… is this what YOU want though? Xanadu is your home." Please don't say he did this for her!

Mur'dah looks even more miserable when she moves away, but his hands are quick to take hers. "But…it was /such/ a good deal, wait until you see it, it's /beautiful/ land and I got it for such a good deal…" He trails off, glancing around the tavern and then back with a small shrug. "Xanadu…isn't the same," he finally says. "I'm ready to try something new, Kiena. I'd…I had hoped you'd be happy with this."

Kiena isn't going anywhere and she'll lean up against Mur'dah's side, keeping one hand holding his with her fingers laced together with his, leaving her free to slip her arm around him. She's warming up to the idea? "What's wrong with it then that it was such a good deal? I'd think folks would be all over a seafront chunk of land, especially in the south!" she mutters, tilting her head to peer up at him. There's a catch, right? Her expression softens and she sighs, hugging him against her side briefly. "Yeah, I know it isn't." She knows why too and she knows that there's no sense in bringing up those wounds. "I had… no idea you were interested. And it's not that I'm NOT happy! I brought it up first, didn't I?" she smirks and then exhales softly, "Just that it's so sudden! You just surprised me with it and I thought maybe it was some… impulse thing because you knew I'd like it but it wasn't something you wanted…"

Mur'dah shakes his head. "Nothing wrong with it as far as I could tell. They just needed to sell it quickly. Wanted the full price in marks." A quick, cash sale! "It's sudden because it was a good deal. And beautiful land. You'll love it…" He trails off, taking a slow breath. "I thought we /both/ wanted it."

Kiena quirks a brow, still suspicious about such a good deal and the need to pay in marks up front but she'll keep her mouth shut on that for now. "I didn't think you wanted to leave Xanadu at all, Mur'dah and that's why I never brought it up again. Didn't want to force you…" she mumbles but now she's beginning to smile again. Okay, getting a little warmer about the whole idea! "So… this is what you want? For real?"

Mur'dah is quiet for a moment. "I've been thinking about it a lot," he finally admits. "Xanadu…isn't home anymore. I'd rather it stay a good memory. Of happier times. While…we build something that's /us/."

Kiena tilts her head, "Have you?" she asks quietly. Do tell! She frowns and then looks down at her hand and his twined together and resting against his thigh and in his lap. Xanadu isn't home anymore. Kiena's felt that way for months now, perhaps even longer but she ignored those feelings and restlessness because of her love for Mur'dah and not wanting to take him away from his home. Not force him to make the decision between the two: her or his home. Now, though? "… I didn't know, Mur'dah. I thought you were still happy here. I had no idea… And you're serious then. We'll be — building from scratch?" She heard that right, right?

Mur'dah nods. "Ever since you mentioned it," he admits, "I've been thinking about it…just wondering, imagining what it'd be like. Independent riders, Kiena. We've plenty of marks, we could do whatever we wanted." He shrugs. "I'm happy enough. I'm not miserable here. It's comfortable. But…I think it's time for a change." There's a small smile, and a nod. "The land is wild. Nothing built, it's all jungle."

Independent riders. For Kiena it was just a fantasy and dream to hold to half out of amusement and mostly out of desire. No Weyr structure and a life for them to lead on their own terms. She's slowly absorbing the shock of Mur'dah's news and him admitting that he'd thought further on her suggestion. It will mean more change, BIG change, but it will be a good change this time and one of her choosing. "So we restart then and it's… ours? Entirely?" she murmurs, eyes glancing out towards the taverns and it only sinks in then that she'd be leaving all this behind. Not that she can't visit!

Mur'dah nods. "Ours. I mean, we're part of Ierne but their rules…I have a copy of their documents and things back at home, their rules are pretty simple. There's structure, but it's not nearly as rigid. You can't do /anything/ you want down there." It's not a wild town. "But we could have our life, our home, our land. Our shops or whatever. We're on the sea, maybe I build a dock and trade with my father's family."

"Well, yeah there's rules… It's not like we're going rogue or something," Kiena mutters with a smirk. So she has some reading to do when they get back to the weyrbarn? "Our life… our home." she echoes and with a low exhale, she grins tentatively up at him. "You make a good pitch, Mur'dah. You really think we can do this?" A dock? She snorts softly and gives him a playful nudge. "How about a forge?" she drawls and then frowns. "Guess this means I'll have to be reposted until I'm Journeyman…"

Mur'dah nods, "Of course a forge, I said that…" Earlier, as part of his 'GUESS WHAT I DID' moment so he's not surprised she missed it. "I know we can do it, Kiena. We've the two of us, marks, and our dragons. What can't we do?" Mr. Optimist. Forever.

Did he? "Oh," Kiena chuckles. So he did and she missed it but she can't really be blamed. Her brain was skipping tracks back then but now she seems to be on course. At least she isn't raving mad? "Listen to you!" she says with a snicker and a hint of a grin, giving him another playful push to his chest with the flat of her hand. "Always the optimist, eh? You're making it seem like this is nothing!" Maybe it is? Kiena seems to consider that and dig briefly into her own feelings now that she can sort them out. "You know… it feels right. It'll be hard but…" It feels right. Is she nervous? Yes. Excited? YES! Scared? Definitely. But she's not alone and she will squeeze Mur'dah's hand tightly.

Mur'dah shrugs. "It can't be /that/ hard," he says with a low laugh. Then he is grinning. "But…?" he prompts, his heart thudding. Is she going to say yes? Or does he have to unload a piece of property that he's already fallen in love with?

Kiena does her sneaking back into his lap serve as an answer? Because that's what she does, at first, resuming where they'd left off before he dropped that news bomb on her. Relaxing against him, she'll let the silence stretch a wee bit longer before putting him out of his misery. "Yes. Let's do it!" So it's settled then. "How are we going to do it? Pack up and go? We've no where to live yet in Ierne. What of the girls and Thien?"

Mur'dah wraps his arms around her again, giving her rear another grope. He beams when she agrees, and then leans in to kiss her, swift and firm. "Well, I was thinking you could stay here with the kids and I could travel back and forth, get things started on the house…"

Kiena bats at his hand again when he gets frisky with the groping, chuckling and returning his kiss. She'll lift her neglected drink and drain it, eyes briefly scanning the tavern and satisfied when it's apparent that they're being left alone to their little nook in the corner. "Ha!" she scoffs, laughing and giving him a look. "Yeah, right! And let you have all the fun? Forget it. I want to help!" Of course she does.

Mur'dah looks surprised. "Really? We'll be…well. Living in a tent, unless we travel there and back every day…." Why is he surprised she wants to help?

Kiena looks incredulous by his surprise and just blinks at him a few times before frowning. Really? "I'm not being left here while you flit off to Ierne day in and day out," she mutters stubbornly. This is not open to arguing! "Maybe the girls can stay with my mother in Southern Boll. She's been pestering me in letter about wanting to see them. Then we'd only have Thien with us and… surely Ierne has caretakers or nannies?" Or maybe they just hire one.

Mur'dah shakes his head. "I don't know what they have in Ierne as far as that, but…they have to have something." Right? "I guess I thought…we'd take some time to do it." Not pack up and move /now/ while they have no home built. "Get the house built there first…"

Kiena frowns. "Oh." She totally was seeing it as a 'get up and run' moment but is that a surprise too? It shouldn't be. That's half her life! She's never actually sat down and discussed things and thought it all over in detail. Usually she makes the decision and GOES. "Uh, well… Guess it's for the best we wait until we've our new place built at least and are established in that sense. How are we going to resume our duties though? Should we… say anything?" Or is it there little secret?

Mur'dah slides his hand up her back and smiles. "I thought we'd build the house and then move. But duties…" He shrugs. "I don't know. We should talk to Darsce. See what we can do in regards to that. I can still do some courier work but not much if I'm also building a house…"

"Darsce?" Kiena wasn't expecting Mur'dah to name his half-sister as a source of help but she won't protest either. She likes Darsce! Always has. "And I won't be able to focus so much on Smithing if I'm also going with you to help… We'll make it work somehow. Even if it means not having rest days for a long, long time…" Joy? Chuckling, she gives him another look. "Or why don't we just hire folk?"

Mur'dah nods. "Yeah, she's the Headwoman…" Isn't she in charge of weyr assignments? "Well, I want to hire some folks but I want to work on it myself too. Build our home…"

Kiena rolls her eyes, "I know her rank! Jays, my memory isn't THAT terrible." she drawls with a smirk. "Alright, so we'll talk to Darsce. Hiring folk may be good to get their input but not necessarily for the labor and work," she points out, literally, on his chest with her index finger. Poke, poke! Not that she doesn't trust Mur'dah's skill but if they're building a home and a business? Best to be sure the structures are sound.

Mur'dah shrugs. "Or for work. I'm not great with plumbing or electric, but I can build things. I learned a lot on my first barn. I want to work on it too. Just like I did for the barn." He knows what he's doing. He's got a plan!

Kiena isn't either and just the thought of what those two words entail goes right over her head. Anything remotely 'tech' related that isn't part of smithing usually does. "Yeah, I think it's safe enough to say we'll leave that to those savvy with the stuff…" No way is she touching it! "Oh, that's right…" He built his first weyrbarn! The one here. "… what's going to happen to it? The weyrbarn, I mean?"

Mur'dah shrugs, his smile gentling. "The forest will reclaim it, probably. Fitting…" Poetic, even, and he seems more fine with that outcome than someone else living in it.

Kiena relaxes against him when he seems to be okay with the thought of leaving the weyrbarn behind and she's not about to argue it. In fact, she probably agrees with it. Tilting her head up, she will smile warmly and then with a low laugh, give his arm a playful tug as she begins to slide off his lap. "Come on. We should probably go home. You said you have stuff to read about Ierne?" Yeah. "Reading" is so what she's going to do when she gets them home.

Mur'dah nods, "Yeah, and we should start planning blueprints for the house…figuring out what we want. Design, how many rooms, I already have some ideas…" He stands when she's up, wrapping his arm around her waist and grinning at her.

"Do you?" Kiena muses as she leans against his side, grinning back as she starts to lead him through the tavern. "What if I've my own ideas and they clash with yours?" she teases with a laugh and it'll go on like that as they walk back home. Talk of blueprints and design is no doubt exciting and Mur'dah will find she'll be more and more on board with the idea the more they discuss about it. Still, it won't keep her anxieties at bay and the poor brownrider will be woken up during the night by Kiena's restlessness or worse… nightmares.

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