It's Complicated

Xanadu Weyr - Garden
An arch woven from the tendrils of a willow tree stretches overhead lightly creeping with ivy as one steps in from the meadow into this sanctuary of green. Cool gray flagstone carefully spaced enables a soft velvety moss to thrive within the cracks, and creates a single wide pathway that fluidly breaks off into two paths of stone once free of the natural arbor. It is a wonder this place, and meticulously tended from the way it seems not a single leaf is out of place.
On either side of the main path expansive grassy patches are trimmed short and edged behind with natural tan colored stone selectively chosen to stack just right. Beyond these are a line of fine puffed shrubberies in vibrant green intermingled with flowering bushes of brilliant pinks varying in hue from the very light to the very dark, which causes the occasional snowy white blossoms of other scattered here and there without worry to simply pop out of the scenery.
Directly in the center of the garden is another wall of intricately stacked stone, this of muted grays, creating what from the air would prove to be a perfect circle. It's been set high for safety, but not so much as one would not be able to lean over it to admire what lies beyond, either standing or sitting at the smattering of benches whose backs are set every four feet along it. Flush to the ground inside it's protective stone outcropping, is an enormous twenty foot wide fish pond. Within one can glean the metallic glint of playful goldfish, the unhurried cruise of fat koi, and even a frog or three among pale yellow and white flowering water lilies and their thick green pads.
The trees surrounding the entire garden were planted to give the impression that they had always been here, not only lending to a rustic look, but also alluding to the beauty that can be found among the wilds if only one might just look for it. Species vary from the ordinary Birch and Pine, but the flaming red capsules of the Indian Shot to the robust orange spokes of the Firewheel tree suggest the spice of the exotic.

There has been a lot of noise coming from the area where Niko and Ricki call home - and dust and curses and everything else one might expect from a construction project of any size - though the blue and green riders and their dragons have not being coming - or going - from the area. However, it seems the vacation (and technically possibly 'honeymoon') has drawn to a close, for the green half of the pair is settled in the sun chatting with her gold bff, while Ricki is in a similar spot - sprawled on the wall surrounding the fish pond in the garden, relaxing in the fading afternoon light, eyes closed everything just comes and goes around her.

Are booms of, « THINK ABOUT IT ICZOBYTH. WE WOULD BE THE FIRST GREEN AND GOLD BABY MAKERS. IT IS A SOUND PLAN. IMPOSSIBLE IS JUST A WORD SILLY, UNIMAGINATIVE HUMANS USE TO MEAN, 'IMPROBABLE.' » really a conversation? It's an awkward one if it is, and maybe Risali is escaping that, or being driven by it, but whatever the cause is, she is here now. She is in the gardens, dressed in pilfered clothes that definitely don't belong to her because those look suspiciously like some of D'lei's shorts (that she has had to belt tight), and that tunic could really belong to either of her weyrmates, but is definitely too big for her. OF COURSE, WHEN YOU ARE THIS SMOL, WHAT IS NOT TOO BIG FOR YOU? SHUT UP. So here comes Risali, giddy, almost-drunk energy that sees her bouncing on the balls of her feet and halting when she spots ONE RICKI. Between duties, motherhood, and being a weyrmate, Risali hasn't found much time to herself, which means she hasn't found any time for other people, and maybe that is why she pauses on the precipice of some very terrible idea and then moves forward anyway. Mostly because that looks like it feels good and Leirith said it was a very GOOD idea. GIVE HER A MOMENT. TWO. … OKAY THREE. But there, Risali has pulled herself up on the wall beside Ricki and made it a point to keep space between them where she might usually hook arms and love on her because they might fall. "Leirith is proddy," she starts off breathlessly, probably just so that Ricki knows whatever happens next is heavily influenced by that bombastic personality. AS IF RICKI DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW.

« TRY HARDER. -That- is what I have to tell my Ricki, when she says it is IMPOSSIBLE. And I was right! » The much smaller green is (thankfully for everyone in the Weyr) much much quieter than Leirith, though certianly that must make for some interesting onesided eavesdropping amongst the residents. Regardless, it seems that Ricki has given up and just tuned them out completely, which explains her surprised jump when there is a voice oh so close. A long moment to balance - and thankfully not splash into the pond - and Ricki takes a few deep breathes to steady her breathing as she pulls herself upright to sit on the wall. "That.. actually explains so much. Iczy is -beside herself- right now." Glancing at Risali more intently - taking particular note of her clothes - this time, she tilts her head. "Everything.. ok?" As ok as one can be with a giant proddy gold in your brain, that is.

« YOU ARE ALWAYS RIGHT, MY ICZOBYTH. OUR HUMANS ARE DISAPPOINTMENTS. » Annnd maybe that's why Iczy now has a very large GOLD HEAD on her. Because Leirith likes it and this is clearly how a rhinoceros would flirt, so GAME ON. If Risali had the presence of mind to look repentant for almost making Ricki fall, she might have done so - or she might have even laughed. But now she doesn't even acknowledge it, staring forward until Ricki moves and - SCOOT SCOOT SCOOT. Risali hooks an arm through the greenrider's, shifts to press her body closer despite the awkward angle and presses her cheek in against her shoulder, against her hair. There's an almost hysterical laugh of, "Faranth," on a choked exhale, and Risali actually shivers because why just make it awkward when you can make it supremely awkward. "You feel really good." Give her a second to recover, to soak up sun and Ricki and try to tuck even closer before she exhales. But she doesn't let go. Instead she forces herself to focus, fights her way through that haze of gold and make babies to find some of herself in there. Even if her legs are swinging like she's had too much coffee. "I meant to tell you congratulations." AND THERE IT IS. Risali's smile goes momentarily fey before it disappears on the hiccup of a giggle. "Congratulations."

There is somehow no squeak of protest from Iczobyth as she is squished - the green seeming to just.. give up and sprawl - Afterall, Tsari isn't much better, though he is half Leirith's size. Ricki, though, Ricki squeaks as Risali is suddenly scooting close, blushing darkly at Risa's shiver and words, though she doesn't attempt to pull away, even as she gets even closer. A glance now and then at Ricki, and her mouth opens and closes like a fish, pondering words, before Risa speaks, and Ricki is left to smile widely. "Thank you.. I.. I think its all cause of you." She adds after a moment, even as she absently shifts to try and settle an arm around Risa's back - and hopefully stablize them both so there is no splashdown from those swinging legs.

"Because of me?" That's genuine confusion marring Risali's brow, lingering when she draws back just enough to tilt her chin and look at Ricki. But her attention lasts seconds, her focus lost again even if she's still present for the conversation. "I don't know what that means," she admits honestly, on a huff of laughter that sounds with half attentiveness. "But I don't think it's right. I think… Garouth likes Iczobyth and so he chased her. And Leirith likes Iczobyth, but isn't properly equipped to do what dragons do, so she cheered on both of them. That was…" A beat, another hiccup of laughter, "All your dragons, and all you two." RISA DID NOTHING. That she is aware of, anyway. Burrow.

"Because of you.." Ricki agrees, even as Risali is staring at her, and looking and sounding confused, before the goldrider starts going on about Garouth and Leirith, and Ricki is shaking her head hurriedly - and her shoulders, though a little wobble in her seat upon the wall has her stopping *that* right quick. "Oh! Oh, no, not…" Ricki is back pedalling, "I.. I thought you were talking about Niko." And then Risa is burrowing again, and Ricki is absently patting her back, leaning into her slightly. "I, yeah. Nevermind." Pause, "But I, uh, guess thank you for that too?"

Now Risali looks confused (again), lifting her head just enough to not be jarred by vigorous headshakes or shoulder-wobbles before planting her face RIGHT BACK ON RICKI. See, Risali doesn't actually know what happened. Not yet, anyway. "What about Niko?" A beat, and a slow, happy smile. "He feels good too. You should both be here. And Kyzen. And D'lei." Because then she could just SURROUND HERSELF WITH FOUR PEOPLE TO ENJOY THE TOUCH OF and that wouldn't be awkward at all. "But no. I… I meant congratulations on the flight." A beat. "Did you… are you pregnant?" WHAT. HER MIND IS ON BABIES AND THE LAST TIME SHE SAW N'KON, HE WAS TAKING PREGNANCY PHOTOS OF HER. It is not a stretch Ricki, okay.

"He.. He said you told him he was being stupid. Or..something." Ricki pauses after a moment, making a face as she tries to figure out exactly what Niko -did- say, before shaking it off. "When he was taking your photos.." A pause. "He.. I.." And then there is -that question- And Ricki is scooting backwards in a hurry, shaking her head. "Oh -Shards- no!" She squeaks, shaking her head again. "No, no no.. Faranth, that would -not- be what we need right now." And now, poor Ricki is all flustered and Risa? Still left without an answer of what exactly Niko did.

Risali's brows knit together, a physical manifestation of just how much effort the goldrider is actually putting into thinking despite the fact that it's really hard to think at all with Leirith showing of those stars under her hide. And while adamant denials about babies are noted, Risali's still caught up in trying to figure out the what. "Did you and him and D'lei…?" SEE RICKI. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET MISUNDERSTANDINGS FESTER. And even though D'lei has been curiously absent from Xanadu Weyr of late, that doesn't mean that there wasn't time somewhere in there for the three of them to participate in a menage a trois. U KNO WUT I MEAN JELLY BEAN? AND THEN A VERY CONTENT SMILE. "Was it good?" Yep, she just thinks that's it.

And -that- assumption just makes Ricki turn even more red - did you know that 'maroon' is a shade of people now? - and the greenrider is quickly blurting, "We're weyrmated, that's all." Does that answer the questions? Ricki seems to hope so, because she is looking anywhere but at Risa as she tries to chill out a little, turning to dip a hand into the pond behind her. "That's what I thought you were talking about." And the question about quality time with D'lei? Well, that is enough to send her into a coughing fit, and ensure she isn't going to meet Risa's gaze any time soon.

"Oh," Risali exhales, and then laughs. She's not laughing at Ricki, and even that laughter sounds like Risali is doing it distracted because she is, because it is an effort not to be running, and chasing, and simply soaking up Ricki while they sit very still. Or, as still as they can, because Risa is still kicking her feet. "Is that all? That seems like a big 'all'." And then, more gently, but still as if she's not exactly focused. "Congratulations, Ricki. You two are going to be amazing together." And she means that, she even turns her head to look at Ricki when she says it, and notes the coughing fits and inability to meet her gaze and another smile comes, this time more muted. "Are you embarrassed?" she asks. "Why?"

Risa's laughter does at least seem to diffuse the situation, and Ricki is relaxing, shoulders drooping a bit as she takes a slow, quiet breath, lifting her chin to peek up at her friend, hand pausing as it swirls absently in the water. "Shards, I -hope- so. Its just all so confusing, and I mean, Niko, and…" And despite being weyrbred, you can tell that the greenrider is still working through some things, given the look on her face. And then as another question is asked, Ricki coughs again, shaking her head. "I just.. It was all Iczy, and Garouth. Not really me, so. Shouldn't be any congratulations for that."

"Niko and what?" Risali asks, attempts to be gentle marred only by one very invasive, one very persistent queen that thinks NOW IS THE TIME FOR BABY MAKING, MINION. NOT TALKING ON WALLS. But Risali is doing enough, has enough contact to ground herself at least somewhat. "Is it the…" How does she word this? "Lack of monogamy?" Grey eyes blink as Risali lifts her head to look at Ricki again, as if she might find an answer in the event that the greenrider doesn't answer. But then she's smiling - crooked, and distracted, but no less honest. "It could have been worse, right? It could have been somebody that you didn't know." A beat, and brows knit as Risali looks towards the sky in an attempt to tame her own thoughts. "… Or maybe knowing them is worse."

"Niko and the.." And Ricki ponders for a moment, before shrugging a little, "Hoping he isn't giving up too much of himself, for me?" She ventures after a moment, sighing softly, shaking her head, a motion mimicked by Iczobyth where she is sprawled, the green crooning absently. And then Risa is smiling, and Ricki is coughing again. "I think the worst is knowing that your.. well, weyrmate, I guess.. would wish he was there in your place. Or maybe too." Pause. "Or, uhm, wishing it wasn't a flight." Blush again, "I'm sorry, Risa, I know you and D'lei are.." Go on Rickim that's a nice little hole you've got going there.

"I guess there's always a little bit of that fear no matter who you're getting into a relationship with," Risali murmurs, brows knitting before she loses focus again and, for just a moment, she stares ahead. But she must be listening, because there's another huff of laughter, distant though it may be, and Risali attempts to rejoin with, "You wish it wasn't a flight, or N'kon?" And then she even tries to end that next sentence with, "Weyrmates?" And here comes another smile, a pull of her lips even if Risa isn't looking at Ricki. Still, it's wry, void of humor and diminishing as quickly as it comes. "Does it hurt? That Niko might wish he was there?"

A hand reaches out absently for Risa's, as Ricki ponders the words carefully, saying them softly in case the words upset a proddy goldrider. "Wasn't a flight." And then as she has that wry smile, the greenrider shrugs, glancing at the fish in the pond. "No… But.. I don't know. I am worried he is.. envious? And that I somehow hurt him? I mean, it was -Iczy-." She seems the need to stress that yet again, probably given that whole.. weyrmates thing.

Risali listens and - there. There's a moment of clarity when Ricki's hand finds Risali's, when Risali intertwines their fingers and makes a sound suspiciously akin to a whimper in her throat because that feels good even as she squeezes - maybe to lend Ricki some of her strength. But that moment of lucid clarity comes on the heels of that, with grey eyes coming into focus, with Risali tilting her head so that she can see Ricki before looking away again - this time to be polite. "You don't have to be sorry about that, Ricki," Risali offers, humor coloring her tone. "D'lei is…" A beat, and an exhale because words have never been her strong point. "An event horizon." And then she's blinking again, squeezing Ricki's hand once more as that brain works through the sluggishness of proddiness and the goldrider shakes her head. "I don't… I think…" How does Risa word this? SEE. There are so many failings in language, and this is why Risali tends to run, and jump, and climb rather than converse about something as convoluted as emotions. "I think that N'kon and I are alike. That… we find pleasure in the pleasure of our partners." And there's a shift of her body, a bumping of shoulders, another little sound that says she likes it (awkwardly), before she continues. "Besides, Niko is a dragonrider too. He knows how they work, and even if he didn't… I think that he'd probably… enjoy your experiences rather than begrudge you them." And here's another huff of laughter. "Faranth knows I'm sure he would love to get you and D'lei in the same bed, but I don't think he would want to negate you and D'lei to accomplish that." Risali, failing at making words. Annnnd, there she goes. Staring into a distant eternity again.

Quietly, Ricki lets Risa wander through her.. thoughts and explanations, peeking at her now and again, though with each look, it is a longer one, gaze lingering as she works through it. And then she is staring, and Ricki is sighing softly - but in a sort of 'Faranth help it, why is Risa always -right-' sort of way, before she is scooting closer and this she is the one initiating the lean. "Thank you, Risa.." She murmurs.

Ricki leans, and Risali leans back, burrowing in closer, holding tight as she receives her thanks and blinks, as she smiles and answers, "You're welcome." Even if she's not entirely sure what she is being thanked for. It doesn't matter. Risali is shifting again, clarity there once more as she pulls away from the greenrider, as she forces her body to put some distance between them. "Do you know why D'lei, and K'vir, and I work so well?" Risali asks, off-handed, absently as she moves to get off of the wall and turn to face her friend. As brows knit and her own hands come up to rub upper arms, as if chasing away a chill. "It's because we know that no matter where we go of who we're with, the important part is where we go home to. You're N'kon's home, Ricki. Don't forget that." And yes, she is walking backwards because even if she falls, it wouldn't be the first time she embarrassed her ding-dang self. "And if D'lei is ever willing to participate in something outside of a flight…" A beat, a tug at the corner of Risa's lips and a scrunch of her nose. "You should consider the offer." See, she is not setting up EITHER OF THEM FOR FAILURE. D'lei is his own people capable of his own choices, and so is Ricki! But perhaps Risali just wanted to ease some of that potential awkwardness, by making it clear that it's okay. "I have to go." And just like that she's turning on her heels, to make strides back the way she came and to disappear from the gardens, set on being… well… somewhere else, clearly.

As Risa slides off the wall and retreats with those parting words, Ricki is frozen, staring after her, before she is laughing softly, shaking her head as she moves to sprawl backwards on the wall, dangling her fingers back in the pond. "Shards…"

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