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Xanadu Weyr - Secluded Alcove
A twisting, darkly mulched pathway, leads through a densely wooded area off to a set of wooden beams grown into the landscape to form a set of rustic stairs. Each one covered in a bit of leafy moss here and there. Just beyond the path opens up into a romantic secluded garden cut into the wilds themselves. The aromatic scent of the woods is enhanced by the restful sound of a small waterfall splashing over a natural rock formation down into a mountain spring that feeds other water required points of interest elsewhere. Huge mossy covered boulders surround the scene, sparse flowering trees and bushes darting the background with their pale pink blossoms.

A few benches are set off in private areas here and there for the murmured discussion of lovers. Visitors are encouraged to take a swim in the pond, or lounge on the velvety carpeted mossy rock encasing the body itself. Several large flat stones stand alone just inside, allowing one to sit and refresh themselves by sinking perhaps just their legs into the fresh cool water.


One of the benefits of living in Xanadu is decidedly the wide variety of outdoor spaces a person can access. The gardens, in particular, with their cleverly cultivated trees naturally staking a perimeter and offering so much for the eye and nose to enjoy especially deep in summer hold a particular draw. Conveniently close to the rest of the Weyr, it has the added benefit of letting a man find a place to breathe without having to risk returning from lunch too late. It's down the darkly mulched pathway that leads to the densely wooded area with its peaceful waterfall (save for all the splashing lunch-waders, of which there are more than a few), that F'yr has travelled, finding a spot among the mossy boulders to polish off his lunch in record time. The natural shade here makes it cooler than other spots, if not romantic at this time of the day what with the handful of weyrfolk taking advantage of the alcove. The bronzerider's familiar messenger bag leans against his thigh, near the now empty box that had contained his lunch. He's not moving to join the people in the shallows, but is seemingly content to just sit, to just breathe here where the smell of the woods is deep, where there's that taste of things utterly un-office-like, for just a few minutes longer.

The trouble of making one's passion their job, is that the once-happy-place becomes the work-site. And so new happy-places must be found. Or, at the very least, new thinking-places. Maybe that's what this is. Maybe that's why Shiloh is here, moving through green and growing things, letting the perfume of exotic flowers and the splashing of fountains tempt him further in. The beastcrafter-turned-candidate is sans lunch for himself, either having already eaten or finding he doesn't need to. The tips of his fingers are shoved into the pockets of his pants all casual-like, and he roams the space at a leisurely pace, finding little of interest in the people. There's no one here that he's looking for, but that doesn't mean there's no one here that he finds, however accidentally. It's hard to miss a bronzerider on a bolder, really, but it takes Shiloh a moment before he decides to continue forward, this time with steps that have a clear destination in mind, to close the distance and make this an official 'finding'. "Hey," comes in easy greeting, a chin-jut offered for good measure, though he sticks to the perimeter until he's sure that company is welcome. Or at least, that company is not unwelcome.

"Shiloh," seems to be a hello in like kind, complete with mirrored up-nod as blue eyes settle on the familiar face of the Beastcrafter. Let it not be said that F'yr is unobservant even if he isn't always bright for his eyes are drawn by the bit of white adorning the younger man's shoulder and his blond brows make a slow hike upward. "That new?" He nods to indicate what has probably become the popular topic of every casual acquaintance who comes across Shiloh in recent days. It's probably not the knot that makes the big man shift in a way that seems to invite the candidate to join him on his boulder, or at least on the one next to it within easy conversational range. What he does not do that others might well be inclined to do is pepper the other farm-born man with questions right off, leaning into the silence that welcome Shiloh to make an approach to the topic or angle away in his own time.

"Pretty new." New enough he's not quite grown accustomed to the sight in the corner of his eye. New enough that he doesn't even have to look to know what F'yr is asking after. It weighs far less than it should, for all the questions and responsibilities it seems to bring. But Shiloh's still wearing it, so that's probably something. He takes the invite offered, hopping up onto the boulder nearby, not quite as fluid as he might be were it a four-legged creature, but smooth enough not to embarrass himself. There might not be a question, but Shiloh will answer regardless. Just a quick, little, "Leirith," for any unspoken 'who' that might be wondered. And that's it for a moment or two, the beastcrafter content to let the ambient noise fill the silence between them. "Not sure why I said yes," he admits, unprompted. "Except that I didn't have a good reason to say no." Beat. Two. "How're you?"

F'yr doesn't hurry those beats, even if the edge of his lips twitch at the who. He really has needed to cultivate his ability to keep his face relaxed and gets more than enough practice in the course of his daily duties to pull off this small moment of keeping his expression smoothly receptive when he might otherwise have laughed. He shifts a little as Shiloh settles in, enough to be perceived by any looking their way to now be engaged in conversation for all the way this particular pair can have at using so few words to imply so much. Shoulders roll in a little non-verbal 'all is well.' "Not in the midst of any major life changes," come in verbal accompaniment, a touch of humor to his tone. "Leirith has a strange way of getting what she wants. But, you know, she gets away with a lot of it because she gets it right, from time to time." The implications there along with the way his blue eyes have little crinkles at the edges like he's waiting for Shiloh to get the joke might be enough to clue the candidate in that Leirith was the one to sucker F'yr onto the sands as well. "Saying yes is a good thing, even if it can complicate things in ways you never anticipated," he doesn't need to say 'in his experience' again because that's all he's got to go on here. "I'm sure it would be better over a beer, but…" He lifts a hand, palm up in invitation for Shiloh to spill whatever he's juggling within his head if he likes, though as ever there's no sense of pressure from the blond who just leans back on his arms to let his eyes rove the serene surroundings and return now and again to his candidate companion.

"She was shockingly gentle about it." About asking him to Stand. Though, it could simply be that Shiloh had heard things about Leirith and so, when finally confronted with the infamous gold, found those rumors to be somewhat exaggerated (if there is such a thing!) or at least misinterpreted. But it takes him a moment or two to connect those dots, the little crease in his brow growing from thoughtful to puzzled, until it dawns on him. "Oh." There might be a huff of amusement for that, though the dry almost-smile that follows is definitely a bit self-deprecating. "Not sure if that's encouraging or worrisome." What if he ends up with a Glorioth-like dragon!? RIP Shiloh. But maybe any-dragon would be a 'RIP Shiloh' moment. His expression certainly doesn't settle into the anticipatory, giddy-glee that a candidate might be expected to feel. Probably because of all those complicated things that might come about with it all. A quick scrub of his hand over his face, then back into his hair beneath his hat; a fluid and practiced motion that sees the adornment settled once more in its rightful place. "Not sure it's what I want. I like what I've got. I'm good at what I do. I'm happy." So why did he say yes? "Maybe I just don't wanna regret not doing it," is the answer Shiloh comes up with. "But what if I do?" Regret doing it.

"Uh huh," the words come with a kind of soft smile that is empathy and nostalgia in one. "Leirith has astounding range." He would know as one of the minions frequently pressed into service on her behalf. "Candidacy will show you some of it." It's plain from the way F'yr is speaking that he genuinely enjoys Xanadu's infamous bombastic queen. … But then, he shares his headspace with Glorioth, so expecting him to feel otherwise after all his exposure to the dynamic dragons of Xanadu would be grossly unfair. "I wouldn't take my 'yes' back for anything." There's so much soft conviction in the bronzerider's voice that it's the kind of thing that might bring a person up short. A full beat is allowed to distance that sobriety with the humor touched, "Even if Glorioth isn't the sort of lifemate I'd pictured when I said it." What did young Stefyr picture? Who can say, but who could have predicted Glorioth? Don't worry, Shiloh, there's probably only one fluke of D.N.A. that results in that dragon. If there's a lifemate waiting on those sands for you, being worse than Glorioth is probably not something to worry about. F'yr doesn't say these things, but the sense of them is in the silence as he shifts a little more, stretching his legs out along the curl of the boulder. It's rare that F'yr says something stark, but now is apparently that moment. It's not a chastisement, just a statement of his own truth. "To choose to not is a choice I never could have made. It would have meant leaving the one I love most in the moment they most needed me. I don't know if I ever would have known. I don't know if he could have chosen another. I can tell you that he was coming for me, as soon as his shell broke." Or maybe it just seemed that way in hindsight. "Impressing changes everything." He will grant this freely, and a flicker in his expression might mean not all for the better, "But I can't imagine you'll regret it, whether it's just the memories you accumulate while standing, getting to know the people who might be as close as family to you by the time it's all said and done, or the piece of yourself you don't know you were missing found in the proces." He shrugs a little helplessly. "It won't make anything easier to stay up at night turning it over in your head." That's bemused as blue eyes come back to Shiloh, almost knowingly, but then who doesn't do that it anyway?

Shiloh may not say as much, but he enjoyed her too. At least, the brief moment in which he got to interact with her. But he won't speak it. He'll sit silently on his stone, listening to F'yr speak things that Shiloh probably expected him to speak, at least on some level. There is, at the least, a little twitch of lips; a dry sort of private-joke, or some stray thought that is confirmed. "I dunno much, but I do know there's not a dragonrider alive who'd ever say they wish they'd not stood." Which is to say, he knew the answer before he asked the question. "But what of those that don't Impress?" Maybe that's harder. He's not asking them so he doesn't have the answer. "S'not just me I'm thinking about, either. S'not just my life that would be changed. There's Avi. There's Red." His runner. "Everything." Because, as F'yr said, Impression changes everything. "S'not that I wanna take it back," he assures, in case that needs to be said. "S'not what I'm saying. But… it's a lot." And dragons, being dragons, are mysterious at best. What answers can Shiloh really seek? Those on one side of the coin found their destiny in a dragon, and could not imagine any different. The other side will never know what they're missing, even if they tried. Who's to say which is better; those that walk away changed, or those that walk away the same? Or maybe not the same, but not so dramatically shifted. Another sigh. Another scrub of those hands. This time, the hat lands on the boulder beside him and stays there. "Guess we'll see what happens." For better or for worse, he took that knot that Leirith offered him, and he's not going to give it back.

"So you were listening when we were oiling Glorioth," F'yr's lop-sided grin appears as he slants a side-long look at Shiloh, "I wondered." It's a joke, the kind of casual teasing that friends might do, but there's something a little careful, too, like he's testing those waters to see if he's welcome as more than casual acquaintance and part-time sounding board when certain things become a bit much and he happens to be there. "You'd have to ask those that don't for a more direct view. Rhody stood five times, I think, before our clutch." So that's one resource. "But if you think about it all long enough," and it's clear F'yr has so maybe Shiloh can borrow some of that wisdom instead of having to work it all out for himself, "The real difference between how your life changes when you're going along in the roles familiar to you and when you're going along in a whole new one is that the changes stand out more. It's not really that there's fewer of them. If you really think about it, looking at Red in your life, or Avi in your life, or any other part of your life really, you could pinpoint things that were big changes, things that were small but significant, but the circumstances around them were static. This is just different in that the circumstances surrounding those smaller elements is shifting. You still take it all one step at a time. You can grow through it, together, or at least along with one another, but it'll take some work." He leaves a breath before canting his head to glance askance at Shiloh once more, his lips set in an empathetic line, "But how's that really different than what you were doing before?" That might be it, except he does add, "Just don't quit." Sounds easy, right? He shrugs a little, something else there, but his lips are closing on it, pressing together as he searches for words that just aren't assembled correctly as yet and might come to him if he takes his time.

The snort and eyeroll are somewhat bellied by the little twitch of Shiloh's lips; that not-quite but-almost could-be smile. "I've been known to do that on occasion." Listen. It's drawled in dry amusement, and it seems that teasing is at least acceptable. "I dunno if asking her would get me any better answers. She's Impressed now. Pretty sure she'd say it was worth it." It is a conundrum that Shiloh has apparently decided won't be solved. And while it might be a little irksome, the way that trying to remember a word on the tip of your tongue, but that stays just out of reach, might be irksome, it's also a thing he's apparently accepted. And then he's putting that listening skill to use again, even if he might be squinting at something else — those trees or that bush or even the play of light on the ground. He is listening, though, even if it lacks those 'active listening' motions that seem to pepper most conversations — the nod of the head or the 'mmhm' that might indicate one is engaged with the speaker, when really all they seem to do is distract from the message. Shiloh is mostly silent, except for the odd snort-like sound that may indicate a moment of private amusement, even if it's not so private a moment later when he squints over at F'yr and wonders, "Do dragons make you philosophical, too? Cause that might be a deal breaker…" Obviously joking, with the curl of lips and everything; an actual freaking smile that doesn't have to be interpreted, even if it's fleeting. "Not gonna quit." It's not really a promise. More like a statement. Because Shiloh has already decided this, and is now beholden to himself, if no one else. "Figure, if I survived your monster bronze, I can prolly survive anything out there."

F'yr's quietly marveling, "You don't say," is soft enough it might be missed as smile flips briefly to silent laugh. Shiloh, listening? The wonders of Xanadu will never cease! "In a Weyr, it's probably not too difficult to find those who stood and stood and never impressed or haven't yet." This is sort of a throw away suggestion because the bronzerider knows Shiloh is smart enough to know that. Whatever the man knows of Rhody's personal experiences, he's not saying, of course, and no one would likely expect him to. His brows twitch and his expression goes deadpan so convincingly that it might deter that smile Shiloh managed to summon so briefly. "Oh, sure. You meet Glorioth and 'philosopher' is the obvious conclusion. It's good you got that. Some people don't." If they were close enough, F'yr might jostle the other former farmer much as he might one of his many brothers or cousins, as is, he simply snickers as he presses palms flat to the moss and lifts himself just a little and resettles. "My sister used to say I have a herdbeast brain. Took me a time to realize that she meant it as much a manner of thinking about the world as the insult it appears." Apparently herdbeasts are philosophers in F'yr's book. Sobering, he twists a little to face Shiloh, blue eyes focusing on his face. "Shy," the use of the nickname he rarely adopts is some kind of cue. "Someone might have already said, but," in case they haven't, the bronzerider will now, expression shifting from thoughtful to troubled and back. "There are things about all this, the candidacy, and the experiences you have that no one can really prepare you for, things that will… maybe shake you, maybe change you, maybe just make you take a moment. If you need an ear, you or Avi," because of course the offer would be broadly applied even if F'yr seems to have more in common with the BeastCrafter than the Harper, "you can find me." It's important, somehow, to this man that Shiloh knows he's not without that resource. "Or have me find you, if you can get me word." Somehow. However.

"Well. S'not Glorioth I'm accusing of being wordy right now." Nope. No. That honor goes to F'yr, who is the bearer of wisdom that Shiloh might tease about, but soaks up just the same. Because he has done this before, and that's gotta count for something. Even if his next bit of advice might have the beastcrafter looking a little less sure of things. A squint and a moment of assessment comes before Shiloh decides, "That's a bit ominous." Really now. F'yr's gonna go and say those things and Shiloh's not supposed to look just a little worried about it?! Or a LOT worried? He's not quite stricken, but there's a measure of wariness about the beastcrafter, a weighing of options even if he's already doomed himself to this draconic fate (even if it does not end in a dragon; those eggs are draconic enough). The warning is given the weight it seems to deserve, a moment of silence as Shiloh processes all of this; sifts it around in his head and figures out what he wants to do with it. "Okay," is as much an acceptance of these inevitabilities as it is an agreement of the offer extended. A breath; a slow exhale that sees him perhaps not grounded but at least settled on his rock once again. "I've got Nope." Beat. "The firelizard." The brown beast that F'yr inflicted upon him so kindly gifted him. He doesn't quite get around to saying thank you for the offer, even if appreciates it. Perhaps because to say it would sound weird in these circumstances; sitting on a pair of boulders in the garden on a glorious afternoon. But another moment or two and he asks, "Should I be worried?"

F'yr's brows lift as his head shakes in an exaggerated look of helplessness. "You befriend a logophile who collects dictionaries and words are just an unavoidable part of the deal." One beat and he nails Shiloh with a much too innocent look of inquiry, "Would you like to borrow one of my dictionaries to look that up?" It's probably for the best that it would be inappropriate to throw moss clods at one another here, with witnesses. THIS IS XANADU AFTER ALL, AND NOTHING IMPROPER EVER OCCURS HERE. ESPECIALLY NOT IN THIS SECTION OF THE GARDENS WHERE WATER-FOWL ARMIES MIGHT LINGER TO AMBUSH THE UNSUSPECTING. This is why, of course, it's suddenly 'oh, look at the time~' And yet, it's nearer F'yr comes as he picks himself up and shoulders his bag, collecting the box in one hand before moving to step from one bolder to the next where Shiloh sits so he can crouch briefly and drop a hand to Shiloh's shoulder. The look he gives the younger man now has empathy, but not pity, because F'yr is still very much, in spite of all his own experiences, in favor of the whole thing. "Worrying isn't going to make anything easier. Take a deep breath, say 'yes' to things, even the crazy things, and know you'll be stronger for it all." YOU'VE GOT THIS, BUDDY. He doesn't fingergun, but he could if he wasn't holding the empty box. "It'll be alright." It's the best reassurance he's got to offer before he pats that shoulder and rises. "I have to get back. The paperwork won't file itself." Neither will F'yr file it, in Xanadu's non-existent filing system, but that is neither here nor there. F'yr is about to be neither here nor there as he works his way from one location to the other now that he's had his breath of fresh air to sustain him through the rest of his work day.

Appropriate or not, witnesses or not, at least one clod of moss is headed for F'yr's face. Or, at least, in the general vicinity of his person. Shiloh doesn't really take a lot of time to aim. It's not the hit that's important, just the sentiment. "You can keep your words, I'll figure it out." He knows where the library is! But then it's all seriousness again, and a squint up to the face of the man that hand belongs to, and a little breath because maybe Shiloh is taking those words to heart. He might not have the finer points of expressionless-masks in his arsenal, but he's versed enough in tucking emotions away from view when needed. "I'll hold you to that." The 'alright' bit. And he's only half joking, really. A nod of his head follows F'yr to the ground, acknowledgement for the woes of paper filing, (and maybe a little bit of pity for the bronzerider, because frankly that sounds like a terrible way to spend a day). Shiloh's hat is collected, pushed back on his head, but he'll stay a moment or two more in the garden before heading back to his own assignment. Just letting those thoughts percolate a bit.


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