Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest
The wooded areas closer to Xanadu Weyr represent a compromise between man and mother nature, but to the north and west, no such arrangements have been made. The deep woods between the Weyr and the mountains are less traveled, the wider paths fit for man and beast less present. The noises of mankind are barely audible here, brief ghosts on the wind, and the quiet thrum of forest life presses in on all sides. The snapping of a twig, a bird's cry, the low cadence of insects; all of these things seem louder. Closer. The deeper one moves into the trees, the more it becomes obvious that one passes through nature only at her allowance.
The cover of trees is more severe in this area of the wood and only occasional shafts of sunlight lance down through the canopy, the sky visible in brief patches. A rough path has been blazed back towards the Weyr. It does not appear to be a heavily frequented path, but the few who have chosen to pass through this area appear to use it more than other avenues available. Only the very foolish or the very experienced would ever wander far from the path.

Rinian is, at least, close to the path, but she's found herself a good climbing tree and is settled up in a crook of its branches, back against the trunk. For all that its gotten cool with winter weather, she doesn't seem particuarly cold in her usual, worn work clothes. She is, however, not her usual 'in a good mood' self either. Her little green friend is, amazingly, awake and yet not crying out for food. Instead she is curled up in her lap, keeping her company as she carves, more absently than with intention.

Well, this was a bad idea, but we dare you to name a time when Risali actually had a good one. Don't worry. We'll wait. … Exactly. The fact that the Weyrwoman is here says exactly two things: she's either dumb or brave (or both), and something is wrong. But Risali being here is secondary only to the fact that Rinian is, and while Risali does not happen upon the candidate and her companion green immediately, she does, eventually, stray far enough from the path to land herself here, beneath Rinian's tree. Risali, for her part, is bundled up against the cold. She has on layers: a warm jacket, her leather pants, a scarf pulled up over nose and mouth, and a pompom hat pulled down over her hair and ears, leaving just her eyes exposed. She's in gloves too, and boots - a little overkill to some, but for a woman who was born and raised in exclusively warm climes, the cold is cold. She's here with bow and arrow, and there's a hush about her, a tilt of head that might have been a glance upwards, but no real looking. A beat, two, three, and she's focused on a tree opposite the one that Rinian has claimed. She's shifting her feet on the forest floor to gain her footing, drawing her bow… THUNK! Right into the trunk it goes. And she continues this way for several more shots, all practiced and hitting within range of each other. "Are you going to stay up there forever?" Risali finally asks, soft, but she's already nocking another arrow and pulling, sighting her aim.

As quiet as this part of the forest currently is, the slight noise the small woman made upon her approach is still enough to catch Rinian's attention. She pauses her not-terribly-inspired carving, and rests her hands in her lap, arms around the nicely warm firelizard, to watch the shooting in progress. There are several height-challenged women around this weyr, including herself, and with all the bundleing it takes her a moment to realize which one this is. "Risali?" At which point putting Risali together with a bow in the forest requires some adjustment in thinking on Rin's part, and she sort of misses the question entirely.

Risali's name earns Rinian a huff of laughter but no immediate reply. The Weyrwoman's focus is on that tree still, is fixated on the point she wants to drive her arrow into and…! THUNK. A little off mark, but it doesn't matter. There's a moment when grey eyes linger on her target, and then shift back upwards towards Rinian, a smile evident in the way her eyes crinkle at the edges. "Unless you want me to be somebody else…?" Because she wouldn't blame her. Still, her attention is dropping back to her quiver, to pull another arrow and nock it. "But you didn't answer me. Are you going to stay up there forever?" And while she waits for that answer, she takes aim.

Rinian watches the action of shooting, impressed with her ability to do so to begin with, and more so with all the bulky clothing. The bow itself of course gets a good look too. She does note the question this time and sort of remembers it being spoken the first time. She's quiet for a long enough moment that it may seem as if she isn't going to answer it the second time either, before she finally speaks. "It's tempting, but there is work to do." Not right now though. She was good, as usual, at doing her share of the chore work. Or, considering who her partner was supposed to be, more than her share. She lets out a sigh, "People are…" She changes her mind how to phrase it, "No, not that. People are fine. I am just not good with them, and even worse with them, it seems, since I've come to Xanadu." It's nice to have just Risa out here to confide to.

THUNK. Risali tilts her head again, looking up towards Rinian as the woodcarver answers whether or not she's coming down and - "Okay." That's it. IT'S THAT SIMPLE. Only it's not, because while Rinian speaks and Risali listens, the weyrwoman is setting her bow down against the tree's trunk, catching gloves between her teeth to pull them off, and then gauging where to start. There! She jumps, pushing up from the tree with one leg to catch at a branch, and then she pulls herself up, shifting through the branches on booted feet, hands grabbing higher up to help maintain her balance and… flump. She settles herself on a branch beside Rinian's, smiling beneath her scarf as she pulls her gloves back into place. IT IS COLDER UP HERE! "Why do you think that, Rinian?" And she doesn't exactly still, but she does go silent. Her feet swing just so, but not nearly enough to be a distraction.

Rinian can't help it, a faint smile just teases the corners of her lips when the Weyrwoman comes to join her in the tree, but then its time to answer and the smile fades again. "It's.." She tries to figure out how to put it in words, "I just seem to say or do the wrong thing." Then is added an actual proper teenage tone of exasperation, "/All/ the time!"

DO YOU SEE WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO, RINIAN? Risali. Risali who is the least blessed when it comes to other human beings and how to interact with them. But… she does acknowledge those words with a dip of her head and another unseen smile, this one wry as grey eyes drop to her own booted feet and one extends as if she's looking for an answer on those soles. But there's nothing to be found there, just mud, and dirt, and bits of clinging winter. "Do you want to know what I do when I'm having a hard time, Rinian?" And she waits, dropping her leg, swinging her feet again as her attention rises back to the woodcrafter in the tree.

Rinian's hopeful look says it all. Yes, she very much wants to hear what Risali does, because she's pretty sure hiding up in a tree isn't the best solution. But neither does she want to face people anymore, not when all she seems to do is to put her foot in her mouth..up to her knee.

A beat, two, three, four - "I jump." And there's a huff of laughter from behind that scarf, a shift of movement as Risali climbs back to her feet and then moves to stand on Rinian's branch. "Come on. We'll do it together." And she is holding out one hand for Rinian to take, because the other is caught in the branches above her, holding fast to keep her steady - and possibly to balance Rinian as well, if she takes that proffered hand.

Rinian sheathes the tool she was using and tucks it away, and the bit of wood is safe enough to let drop to the forest floor to be retrieved later, if its worth it. Her green friend snakes her way up to her shoulder as if sensing something is up, even if not knowing what. "Jump?" She gets easily to her feet and seems as home in the tree as a terran squirrel, but she does take the offered hand. She can't help but wonder how jumping would help, unless it was off a cliff somewhere, but she doubts that's it as Risa is still around.

"Jump." And when Rinian takes her hand, Risali smiles wider - not that it can be seen except for the set of her eyes. It doesn't matter. Risali is guiding Rinian along with her, a little lower down, somewhere where they won't get hurt unless something goes impossibly wrong. "Hang on above you," just in case she's not already, "and close your eyes." Risali squeezes Rinian's captive hand in her own as she closes her own eyes, as she takes a moment to take in a deep breath and exhales with, "And picture yourself up high. There's nobody here; there's nothing but you and this and those two glorious seconds of freefall. You're invincible, you're unstoppable, you're the wind and the breeze and the chill in your lungs. Nobody has any power over you here; words have no meaning up high." One, two, three, four heartbeats, and Risali's whispering, "Ready?" Because if she is, then, "JUMP!" AND OH YEAH. She's totally taking that leap - not that it's an impressive one - right to the forest floor.

Rinian follows Risa to the proscribed branch, wondering what she's getting herself into. But all the same she is obedient and willing to try this unusual method. Eyes close. Breath taken. Imagination latches onto the view from the sky of her one dragon-back ride. "Ready…" And with no hesitation, she jumps on command, and somewhere in the freefall with eyes closed and not 'seeing' where the ground is all the while 'knowing' its there, makes the jump all that more exciting and the landing all the more unexpected. She has to take a little stumbled step for the unexpectedness of just where the ground was, but lands easily enough, and by then she's smiling.

Risali is a little less graceful, but she stays on her feet, pulling back on Rinian's hand as she stumbles forward and then opening her eyes around laughter. It takes her a moment, but Risali is moving forward, to catch Rinian up in a hug, to squeeze the woodcrafter tight against her body as she draws in breaths gone staccato with excitement and relearns how to breathe. When she draws back, those hands catch Rinian's face to cup between them, one hand drawing away just long enough to pull that scarf down to expose nose and lips. "You did it," Risali breathes, and there's so much there. There's joy, and pride, and mirth. "I'm not very good with people either, Rinian. If Weyrwomen were elected by way of popular vote, I'd never have made it through the door." A beat, and that smile quiets to something a little softer. "But you have good intentions. We aren't always going to get it right; we aren't always going to get it wrong either. It's okay to hide, and be sad, or angry, or feel lost, but only if you keep trying." And there's a tilt of her head towards that tree, grey eyes stray to it as Risali drops her hands, and then hooks one arm through Rinian's. "You don't have to be good at everything. It's okay to be human, it's okay to make mistakes. It's how we learn." And there's another tilt of her head towards her hunter's tools. "Speaking of learning, have you ever shot a bow and arrow before?" SMILE. At least until she pulls that scarf back up.

Rinian is startled at the hug, but more than happy to return it. Little Fern had wisely vacated her shoulder at the jump, and is watching from a tree. Why didn't her person fly? It isn't like its hard. The kind words make her eyes fill with tears for the second time today, but they don't spill over at least. She nods to the instructions to keep trying. It takes her a moment to clear her throat to answer the question, "I haven't." But she is all ready to learn.

"Excellent," Risali says. And that's how they'll spend the next little while, learning how to shoot arrows at trees, and the proper stance for maximum badassery.

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