Wake Me When Its Morning

Xanadu Weyr - Waterfall Cave

Cleverly hidden behind the illusion of stone, a cave has formed at the base of the waterfall itself, large enough to host several individuals comfortably, or one person and a dragon. The walls are moist and textured, with small rivulets of water draining from the cave floor down into the pond beyond. Moving further back into the cave finds a dry floor and a smooth rear wall. Two sturdy camp chairs lean up against the back wall, along with a generous bedroll, wrapped in water-tight animal skins. A small bundle of firewood rests off of the floor on a makeshift stand, drying.

The roar of the falls is loud here, making conversation difficult from any range other than close, and the sheer volume of water makes it almost impossible to see through to the forest beyond. The only way out appears to be via the water, back the way you came.

It's well into the night, and while the cave has remained warm from the bodies, the fire has burned low. Soothing, red coals lay in a bed of their own, throwing a visible haze of heat from the remains of potent hardwood. The coals are indeed warm, but their glow is minute. The forward section of the cave is lit with soft, silvery light from the glow of the moon, hitting the semi-frozen wall of the waterfall and bending into waving beams of molten lunar illumination. Tenebrous sits near the entrance of the cave itself on a camp stool, his coat wrapped firmly around him. Despite the dimness of the evening, his hood is pulled low, as it once was. His hands rest in his lap, absently rolling his flute over and over as he stares out through the ice.

Phylicia groans softly as finally she starts to stir from their impromptu slumber. Or her impromptu slumber. It's amazing that Tenebrous didn't wake her whenever he moved, but due from the lack of residual heat where his body was supposed to be, it's been a while since he left his bedroll and her. One hand moves in a completely unconscious gesture to drape across a body as her body leans into that non-existant body, causing her to roll on her stomach instead. This wakes the rest of the way, her eyes opening and blinking around in the dimmness, pulling the blanket that at least retains her heat closer around her as she sits up and takes a more careful look around. "Ten?" She calls out softly, her eyes finally falling on a softly illuminated form by the mouth of the cave. If she wasn't so familiar with the insides, she probably would have mistaken him for a rock formation.

"Go back to sleep, apprentice," comes the almost automatic reply. "It's still several hours yet until dawn…" There's a brief exhalation of laughter, visible as a puff of steam from under his hood before he mumbles, "Just like old times…" Then he turns a little in his chair. "Are you cold?" He stands slowly, stepping around the stool and starting back towards the bedrolls and the fire. "I can bank this again, if you'd like a little more warmth?"

"Please." Comes Phylicia's grateful response. She may know how to move in the woods and act, but one of her fires compared to one of his? She'll take his. They tend to burn better. "And I'll be sure to get right back on falling asleep.." She says, sounding a little muzzy, but obviously not needing anymore sleep just yet. "This is what I get when you let me fall asleep so early…" It's partially a teasing complaint yet also poking at him. "How long have you been up?"

Tenebrous smiles slightly, drifting over to the catch of firewood and selecting a few choice pieces. They're laid in a seemingly strategic patteron over the coals, and in no time, the glow of orange firelight drowns out the silver hush of the moon. "It's a failing of mine. I'll be sure to put a rock in my bedroll or something next time," he offers quietly. The wood in place, he slips over to one of the other satchels, pulling out a handful of dried leaves, and throws them over the coals as well. Almost instantly, they ignite, filling the cave with a gentle but present smell, sharp like pine, but with an edge of spice as well. "About an hour, maybe more," he calls after a time. "I usually don't sleep the night through out here."

"You're probably cold…." Phylicia seems to be muttering to herself as she opens up one flap of the blanket momentarily to offer him a spot to sit again, that's not out by the mouth of the cave. "Would you like to sit?" She asks, just loud enough to be heard. But either way as Tenebrous does or doesn't take her up on her offer to sit by her where there's a bit more warmth, she inhales that spicy-pine smell and smiles. "Do you mind if I ask what you were thinking about?" She might as well try her luck with that. She might get an answer.

"I'm not really sure what all I was thinking about, if anything," Tenebrous offers honestly, padding over and sinking down next to her. If he's cold, he doesn't show it, neither shivering nor overly bundled in clothing. "Part of me was…thinking about the future. Where it was going for me, what desires I had." He smiles a little. "And it occures to me that I don't really have any. I'm…content where I am, learning about my plants…tending my garden and my cave." He sighs. "Part of me wonders if I should be looking to advance in rank at all." He makes a face. "I more than qualify for my Senior's braid, but…" He spreads his hands. "What does that do for me?"

Though an hour or so by the front of the cave has likely left his exterior vaguely chilled, even if he doesn't feel it. For a moment Phylicia's arm wraps around his shoulders to drape the blanket before she retracts her hand. She does remember her promise to behave, afterall, but it doesn't mean that he can't sit inside the same blanket with her. "A touch more freedom maybe?" She offers, actually a bit unsure of what the difference between a journeyman and a senior journeyman really is. "Not that you seem to mind what few restrictions your under now…" She says softly as she thinks about it, trying to trace her time in the hall all the way from before she was officially allowed to even be a junior apprentice. After a few minutes of silence she breaks it. "You're content, but do you have any idea what might make you happy?"

Tenebrous laughs a little. "I'm not even sure I know what the word is. I get what it's supposed to be, but…I thought happy was finally running through my forest again, even in winter… that happy was being able to wear hide and canvas instead of cotton and flannel. I thought it was seeing home again…" He glances over at her, his face occasionally visible amidst the fire's thrown light. "Now I have to wonder if there was more. Was I happy, before? Before the accident, would you have considered me a happy man?"

Phylicia keeps her end of the blanket slung over by gripping the edge lightly and letting her hands rest in her lap. "It's easy to get what it's supposed to be… but hard to realize if you've ever really reached it." She murmurs quietly as she leans against him, merely because with the blanket around their shoulders it's the most convenient position to take and remain warm, even with the fire giving off extra heat again. She turns her head to look at him carefully, watching as the fire flickers across his features as he poses his question. She doesn't answer right away, instead letting her mind mill over the times she had with him. "There … were moments where I would." She finally says carefully, refocusing on his fact and bringin herself back to the now. "But… over all I'd probably have to say you were mostly content for everyday purposes?"

Tenebrous mms quietly. "Perhaps content is enough then." He absently kicks his slippers off of his feet before turning a little and nudging Phylicia over a bit in the blankets. "It seems to have served me in good stead for the first twenty turns or so. I'm healthy, if a bit beaten up, I know a craft, I make a bit of money here and there, and I have a cave, a garden and a waterfall. What else is there?" He smirks a little. "I've experienced being searched before, but I'm pretty sure that I'm too old for it again, so that's off of the table. I have two fire-lizards and a fine new coat." He smiles. "Content might just be enough."

Phylicia scoots over obediently in the blanket as she's nudged, letting him move to where he will before she takes the time to resettle herself slightly, readjusting whatever may have gotten skewed. "Of course, the friends that you've made don't add anything at all." She makes it a point to tease him - a bit tartly - on that subject, noting a definite lack of friends in his list. But a smile eases her tartness as she finishes resettling herself inside the blanket. "Content usually is enough. Or it's a good start at least." She isn't sure she could peg someone who has lived a good portion of their life happy each and every day.

Tenebrous ducks his head. "Of course, you're right…I have made friends. Or…I had made them, anyway." He smiles over at her. "I suppose I should be a little more grateful for your company, all things considered. You've stuck with me through some fairly awful things, and you still want to come home to the cave every night." He grins.

"Maybe not /every/ night." She corrects him kindly with a bit of a grin. "At least not during the winter, when there's a warm bed at the Weyr I could be taking advantage of." It does tend to get cold in a cave in the middle of winter, and Phylicia makes no attempt to disguise the fact that she likes the little luxuries now and again. But she seems content to sit in the cave for the moment, in front of a crackling fire and next to Tenebrous. "It's what friends do. Stick by each other." She says almost off-handedly as her cheeks flush minorly. Ah yes, the graceful compliment-taker.

Something in Phylicia's words makes Tenebrous take pause, and that smile in his face wavers for a moment. "I never…thought ti ask, because I don't necessarily know how much I care…and we can talk about how much that fact bothers me later, but…" He takes a breath. "I know that you and that…little fellow…" He scrunches his face up a little. "Balls and branches, I can never remember his…" Then he snaps his fingers. "Mole…Moron…Mork…M'nol. That's it." The hood partially hides his smile. "I know that…you two were together. That you were together while you were my apprentice…Phylicia, was i part of the reason that you two split?"

Phylicia's entire body doesn't quite stop, but it pauses for a moment as Tenebrous builds up to the question she had been hoping he wouldn't ask. "Well, at least you didn't try to claim the whole thing was your doing…" She tries to make a light joke out of the matter. She makes no comment on the list of names he goes though to get to M'nol's actual name, even if 'moron' does draw out a startled laughed covered up with a few small coughs. Her face however falls into slightly more solemn lines. "A slight part." She admits from the start. "But there were other reasons too. Besides for the fact he's good at fitting into small places, I don't know how he got onto the S&R wing. He…" She pauses and sighs. "I was left to be the emotional anchor too many times… he seemed to fall apart when I needed someone to be strong for me…"

Tenebrous takes Phylicia's words in one by one, but when she's done speaking, he merely nods. "I can live with that," he says at last, turning to face her. "I can honestly say that I wasn't exactly chasing your skirt, as it were, while I knew you. At least…I don't…think I was?" He pauses to think. "I'm pretty sure t hat doesn't bother me at all. I mean…I didn't really know the man, and … no offense, Phylicia, but I didn't exactly ask you for … you know…" He holds up a hand. "The Bath-House was after the fact, right?"

Phylicia's chuckle isn't forced, even if the grin is by just a hair. "You weren't 'chasing my skirt', Ten." She assures him. Or at least she thinks it's assuring him. "Or if you were, you were being so subtle I missed all of it." Her eyes meet his for the time being as she nods. "It was after the fact." She confirms softly. "I didn't dump him merely to have a better chance…" She doesn't finish the sentence, instead plowing right into the next, trying not to blush. "I did it for me, and actually a bit for him too." She manages to say, before averting her eyes to the fire. Controlling blood flow and flushing is easier when not looking at a person.

Tenebrous raises a hand then, absently groping for one of Phy's hands under the blanket. "It's fine, Phy," he assures her quietly. "Or rather, fine by me. LIke I said, I…find the fact that you're not really with M'nol anymore completely undisturbing, or…" He sticks his tongue out suddenly. "That was supposed to have been more eloquent." He sighs. "I don't want anyone to be unhappy, and I certainly hope the little fellow is moving on with his life, but…everyone deserves their own garden and cave, as it were…in the end, all we have is ourselves. If we can't be happy, then…" He leaves it hanging.

"I'm not unhappy." Phylicia says quick enough where it'd almost have to be true, since she didn't think about it long. She decides to let the topic of M'nol drop because she can guess that he is likely still moping, since the last time she heard from Thea. The sticking out of Tenebrous' tongue pretty much catches her by surprise though as a grin spreads across her face, unforced. "Funny how that happens huh? You mean for something to sound so wise or eloquent, and it just sort of … defies you and doesn't." Kind of like that right there. As his hand finally finds hers under the blanket she gives his hand a squeeze. "We don't always have to only have ourselves though. It's why we make friends."

Tenebrous smiles. "Yes. That is, I think, exactly…why we make friends." The warmth of the newly stoked fire, as well as his close contact with Phylicia, has made his coat unecessary, and with a few brief motions, he's stripping it from his person and laying it down beside the bedroll. "I just happen to be fortunate enough to make friends with someone who puts off a lot of heat during the winter, smells nice, and doesn't snore very loudly," he says with a grin.

Phylicia huddles within the blanket as Tenebrous strips his coat off, giving him a mock-glare. "Oh. So you're the reason I'm always cold then. Heat leecher." If her last two words didn't make it obvious she's playing with him, the obvious laughter in her voice should give it away. She waits until he's settled back in the blanket before releasing her clutch on it. But then curiousity seems to get the better of her. "How can I smell nice? I don't use perfumed things all that often." Sometimes a bit of lavender when she wants to relax a little more thoroughly, but not overpoweringly so.

"Everyone smells like something, young ma'am," Tenebrous says absently, slipping just a little further under the blanket and then folding it down over himself again. "Most of us don't ever realize what, because we're so used to ourselves, but…we all smell like something. I'm not sure what you smell like, but…I like it." He smiles over at her. "I always have, I think."

Phylicia watches him as he readjusts himself under the blanket and smiles, shaking her head. "Didn't I ask you to stop 'ma'am'ing and 'miss'ing me?" She asks lightly, before she readjusts herself, a little closer to the second source of heat which won't burn her if she touches him. "You know. You're getting rather good at sending me mixed signals." She continues in a light voice, taking the bite out of the words, that might be there if she had said that normally.

Tenebrous raises an eyebrow. "It's an interesting point in a person's life when sending someone a compliment is a mixed signal." He rolls slightly so he can face her on her side. "Tell me," he says softly. "What…mixed signals do I send you?"

"You always say I smell nice." Phylicia says, realizing just how weird this sounds as she wonders if it isn't her imagination adding complications to it. "I don't know why… but it just sounds like… something." Yes, behold her mighty description skills. The sound she lets out is half way between a sigh and a chuckle as she raises her eyes to look at him for a few long moments before rolling onto her back putting one hand to her face and rubbing lightly. "Am I just imagining things, Ten?"

Tenebrous shrugs. "That's a loaded question, Phylicia. If I say yes, you feel rebuffed. If I say no…you take it to mean that I grow closer to you. Instead…take it as a compliment, and leave it there. You're pretty. You're easy to talk to. You smell nice. All true things, things that…can be expressed without additional sentiment beyond truth. Do I say them with fondness? Of course." He leans in a little. "Are you imagining anything else? Hard to say. It's late. You're tired. This…could all be a dream. Ask me when you wake up in the morning."

Phylicia lifts her hand from her face, watching him as he explains it to her, and trying to absorb all of the words. It's true it's in the middle of the night still, and that coupled with sleeping on a rock floor again didn't prove the most restful sleep. "Mmmph." Is what his explaination gets. "And it's not a dream." She tells him matter-of-factly with a bit of a grin. "It wouldn't be so tame if it was." Either way, she shifts onto her side again, this time with her back to him, though she holds out a hand over her waist, inviting him in closer for another round of holding. "Alright, heat leech." Her tone is starting to get drowsy once more as she makes herself comfortable. "Wake me when it's morning, and we'll see if I remember…"

Tenebrous snorts and settles himself onto his stomach, taking another few moments to absorb the woman next to him. "We'll see," he murmurs, letting his eyes slide shut. "Who knows," he mumbles to himself. "Maybe it's me that's dreaming…"

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