Waiting Game

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

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

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

Summer in Xanadu is probably pretty nice. Nicer than some places, for sure. While it might have its rainy days, or it's OMG-Humid days, today, at least, sees a pleasant breeze off the water that makes the sunshine pleasant. It's the kind of day that draws people outside. Or, in the case of Shiloh, draws him to the Treetop Cafe and its outdoor deck for lunch. He's at a table for two, but there's only one plate; a mostly eaten entree that was probably delicious, to judge by the fact that very little remains of it. But it isn't the food that holds the Beastcrafter's attention but the view. Except it isn't the ocean that he's skimming with squinted eyes and pursed lips. It's the crowd inside; the sea of faces that come and go and don't pay him any mind.

The pleasant parts of Summer are definitely a plus, especially when one's job requires wearing heavy riding leathers as Evi is today. Walking with a stomp up the stairs, the jade green-clad wingrider arrives and halts in the door, searching the crowd with a flick over each individual, as if looking for someone in particular. Sweeping one end to the next, she eventually deems to move out of the entryway and towards the food. Gathering up a small plate of fruit and vegetables, there's a hastiness to her actions, eyes examining every incoming person warily before she starts to the seat picking process. Wandering, there's no apparent rhyme or reason why she passes over some open spots before arriving near the brown haired beastcrafter, "Hello, um, may I sit here? I'll only be a moment." Fast speaking, there's a bubble beneath the surface of each word, and she sways from side to side like a canine might wag too much energy to be contained in one greenrider.

It is not until her approach that Shiloh's gaze lands and stays on the green-clad greenrider. Certainly he saw her before — he's been watching the crowd for a while — but it is not until she moves toward him that the interest becomes more than just passing. A sigh for the question, though it isn't her that inspires it, and he scrubs a hand over his face while motioning toward the chair with the other. "Be my guest. I've been waiting long enough." Dry. Somewhat rough. A little self-deprecating; like maybe there's a joke and he's the punchline. "Not for you," he adds a moment later, when the implication of his words seems to hit home. "Someone else. But, don't think they're gonna make it." So the chair is free, and Shiloh is granting her access to it. "Apologies," comes a moment later, as he straightens a smidge. "Not trying to be rude."

Standing still with tense anticipation, she's spring-loaded as if staying still is nearly impossible for her to accomplish, eyes fixed on the man before her. Plate gripped in her fingers, waiting to move until every last word is spoken. Even after she allows a moment, though her eyes do roll at the apology, and there's a wrinkle to her nose, cheeks raising up in a partial, tight, smile. "I don't know how you'd wait for me, seeing as we just met, well sort of met. I guess this counts as a meeting." Rambling slightly without a real care for what comes out of her mouth, bubbly and forward. Placing the plate down with a quick nod, acknowledging its place on the table before settling in, she flicks back to the door. "Did the other person know you were here? And, for what it's worth, I've met rude, and I doubt you could pull it off. You'd have to practice a great deal; rude can be an art form." No trace of humor, her words flow and curve with bounce seen mostly in children, even as she scoots around to cheat her body toward the door, vigilantly glancing at each person. "Is this um, person, someone special?" She's bound and determined to prevent silence, even if it means being profoundly awkward.

"I think for it to count as a meeting, we'd need to exchange names." Shiloh is probably teasing. "And yeah." To whether the other person knew he was here. "They should've." But he doesn't seem terribly surprised to have been stood up; nor particularly upset by it. Shifting in his place, gaze still flicking toward the door like maybe that mysterious someone will show up. But no dice. "Not really an art I wanna cultivate," he agrees, a little touch of smirk at the corner of his lips. Another sigh; another scrub of hands over his face before he settles back in his chair and crosses his arms over his chest. Casual. "Could say that." Now he's being a little rude. Maybe not as rude as Evi has experienced, but certainly not very nice, though there's a quick flash of chagrin for it. "Yes," comes a more respectable answer. "They are." His gaze settles on Evi once again as he circles around to opening remarks. "I'm Shiloh."

"Names are a big deal." Evi says with a shrug, lips pressing to one side of her face in an unvoiced thought before, pulling her feet up and crossing them underneath her rear. She's planted here, for now, one hand laid out flat on the table while the other takes up the job of pushing the fruit around the plate. "Communication sucks because it requires a good listener. Maybe this other person isn't one." Offering this up with a quirk of her head, hmphing out a squeak of contemplating before making a pop with her lips and pressing forward, "You would need practice, and maybe raw talent. Rude can be useful, sometimes necessary really." She's somewhat oblivious for a full moment or nonreactive as she watches the man, then the door again. "Special people, in my experience, are the hardest people." It's a quiet comment, still watching the entrance with a hint of longing, eyes glazing, and the loose manner in which she conducts herself stiffening. "You may call me Evi so that it's an official meeting and such. So, Shiloh, is this person worth it?" A long cleansing breath is taken, body sinking down as she probes in—nothing like a good distraction.

Does communication suck? There's a loft of both eyebrows for the thought, but no overt argument. Whatever Shiloh might have thought of the matter, he doesn't seem to think needs to be voiced. Perhaps because he's trying to be that good listener she claims is required for communication to happen. Or perhaps because he feels it is not his place to comment at all. But he does listen, since she's speaking and, given their proximity, assumes it is meant for him to hear. "Is it?" Rudeness. Necessary. The dry drawl seems to question this, without overtly arguing it. It's a question, even if Shiloh thinks he knows the answer already. At least he won't question her on the difficulty of special people, opting for (stoic?) silence in place of commentary. Listening, as well as he is able. "Alright then. Evi." That, which he is allowed to call her, even if it is not entirely clear if that is her name. "Worth waiting for?" comes in honest clarification, to be sure he understands what it is he is answering. "Yes."

Finding where Evi's going with her words can be a challenge, she uses many of them, and there's a bit of cryptic play that can easily get lost. She's one of those people who at least appears to think too heavily before speaking; everything voiced could be improvised. This isn't helped by her naturally impulsive physical nature. With a wiggle of her head back and forth, she nods with enthusiasm, "Yes, it can be. I mean, you have to cultivate it, though. I have a lot of rudeness experience." Pressing a bright smile into the thought with a near giggle before swallowing down a piece of melon and tapping a light patter on the table. "I am not an expert, at all, but um, well, from what I know. It's like anything, really, ok." She's not spitting this out very quickly, stumbling to find her point. "You have to decide how much a person is worth, all the time. Every person you meet, because there's only so much of you and them and if someone is worth waiting for you have to know how long, to wait. I've gone to meetings, and some people are only worth ten minutes. The right person can be worth half an hour, but… some people." Silence, stillness, she pulls both hands in and crosses them tightly in her lap, quieter and quieter, "The right person, can be worth forever." A beat and she looks up with a shrug, "So, is this person.. a forever? Or, like half an hour? It's ok if you don't know. Most don't." It's a decently deep delve for a snack conversation.

A stark contrast to Shiloh, then, who tends to weigh his words quite heavily before speaking. Or, at least, appears to weigh them heavily before giving them voice. And so he'll let her speak, whether improvised or not, with little more than a twitch of an eyebrow — the flash of dry amusement — as his contribution to the conversation. Listening. Thinking. Maybe even connecting dots. Or perhaps just letting her speak because sometimes, that's all people really need. To speak. Even if the person they are speaking to is not always the person they should be speaking to. And back to contrasts again. She fidgets. He is still. Not a statue; not quite that immobile. But still enough to be her opposite. At least in this moment. "I've plenty of experience with rudeness," is drawled once again; that dry voice back again. Because maybe his experience is on the receiving end. Of worth and waiting there's a frown; just a twitch of the lips that comes for the thought. And a pause, though maybe it isn't his answer that he's weighing in his mind. "I hope they're worth forever," he says finally, without real worry even if the caveat is made.

Not always as they seem, her attention split in so many directions the soft, verbose greenrider slowly unwinds, and the energy dims to a flicker. Watching Shiloh with a solid, assessing look that turns slightly bored as her eyes glaze in the way dragonriders will. "You have to choose when to be rude; it's a weapon." Dipping her chin and frowning down at the remaining food, taking another bite with the sour grimace of a child being forced to eat vegetables. As the answer appears, there's a soft, quiet smile on her face. Now, she's still, allowing his statement to hold the moment, giving it the floor space it deserves. "That's your answer then. When you love someone, you'd- sacrifice, for them. Even when it's not ideal for you." Suddenly older, she wrinkles her brow and shakes her head, pressing the unwanted thought away like a bug trying to crawl on her face. UGh, awful feelings, be gone. "Sacrifice doesn't entail comfort, though." As a caveat, with a scrunched grin of partial amusement.

"Can also choose not to be rude," counters Shiloh. "Just cause you have a weapon doesn't mean you gotta use it." His own meal finished, there's nothing to distract him but the crowd; the drift of people gaining his attention in fleeting moments that speak to that deeper desire to see the one for whom he's waiting, even if he has more or less given up on them actually appearing. A sigh and another shift of his posture has him leaning forward, arms to the table as he curls over them. He could be looming, if he wanted to; he's got a bit of bulk with which to do it. But that is not what he wants. Just a change in posture, even if it does nothing for the moment. "Seems to me that sacrifice suggests discomfort," he agrees. "Wouldn't be a sacrifice if you enjoyed it." A tip of his head and a tightening of dark eyes; a quick little study of the green-clad greenrider picking at her food and fighting with her feelings. "'M sorry for whatever hurt you're going through."

Evi lets the beastcrafter talk, both hands moving out to help exaggerate her shrug with a pixie grin in response. It's not apparent/who/ is rude or why she's so insistent on the subject. "Mmm, maybe so." Not arguing it as the lodestone settles in again, top teeth finding the permanent indentations on her bottom lip, their spot for longer than she's been a dragonrider. Back straight, Evi has perfect posture; if it wasn't for how much jiggling around she does, she could carry books on her head, but as he leans forward, she does as well, crossing arms around her waist, "Well, I mean, not always I sometimes sacrifice my time and isn't merely inconvenient." Glancing back around them, as if she might find what she's looking for, there's a flash of momentary fear and then a sigh of something else, relief? Regret? It's hard to pinpoint as she lets her brown eyes find the green ones in front of her, "Thank you, the worst part of making big choices is you won't know if you're right. Maybe, turns from now, I'll know. That's the hardest part, about everything, you can't see the future. But, if it feels right, do it. " Probably not the best thing in every situation, but her advice is free.

"Still a sacrifice." Even if it comes with a quick, dry little twitch of his lips. The semblence of a smirk, if only he'd put a little more effort into it. Perfect posture is definitely something Shiloh could have, if he wanted it. Certainly he finds times when perfect posture is practical, even necessary, such as when he is on the back of a runner. But here, and now? Nope. He's just as apt to slouch one way as the other, depending upon what is most comfortable. The table bears the brunt of his weight; elbows and forearms planted firmly. His little "mm," is neither disagreement nor assent. That one ought to 'do what feels right'. "Ain't anybody's place but your own to decide whether something's right for you or not." It's as close to agreement as he's probably going to get. "Can't see the future," he agrees. "But, nothing's set in stone, either."

"Doing the right thing doesn't always feel right." Another piece of random Evi wisdom that probably contradicts other things she's said, she just said do what feels right, but now she admits it might not be that simple. Perfect posture has not always been her strength, but her lifemate is of the demanding sort, and she demands a certain /look/ from her rider. In this way, her hair holds together flawlessly, her outfits are pristine, and she presents herself as put together to the world at large, if not a touch bright and showy. But if you're to go out looking fantastic, it helps to be easy to spot. Sitting back up and taking one more bite, she pushes her long loose sleeve up and stares down at a delicate silver watch, the band made of vines leaves outlined in gold. "Thank you for visiting; my future is in Benden, I dropped a healer off hours ago, and she will be needing to come home." Rising with a fluid motion, she takes the plate and is stuck in place for a solid few minutes. "Maybe go find your special person; time can be such a dirty sneak thief, you don't want to miss a moment." Turning away, she walks past a group of rider gathered and eating and unceremoniously tilts the contents of her plate onto another girls. This has to be commonplace as the blonde-haired rider doesn't blink an eye. Then she's gone, off down the stairs at a jogging pace, feet moving with quick tip taps on the stairs.

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