Flying

Xanadu Weyr - Firelizard Theatre
A natural clearing in the forest has grown a different sort of tree. The Courtyard of the Firelizard holds grass trampled into dirt around the wooden play structures.
In the northern part of this field lies a jungle-gym like fort, with two towers that soar to fifteen feet of height. One of them adjoins a large open deck with spiral staircase up and a metal slide down. That aside, the structure's made almost entirely of wood, the boards locked together either by being interlocked or by huge wooden bolts hammered into the boards. The towers are studded with uneven boards and rough spots, various climbing challenges on each of their faces. A swaying rope bridge with wooden slats connects the towers, and beneath it there's a sealed tunnel to run through or play minecraft.
Just past the fort, there are wooden sit-toys carved and painted into the likeness of dragons. They're about two feet high and four feet long, though the green is smaller than the blue. There's a place for a child to sit on the dragon's back, with their feet resting on the dragon's paws and hands on the bars bars attached to the neck of the dragon. Pushing with hands or feet will make the dragon rock and writhe.
In the middle of the field are two sets of swings, suspended by rope from from a wooden beam that's held up by crossbraces on either side. There's a set of monkey bars, made entirely out of wood but carefully polished until the dark bars glow, and a set of seesaws. The sandbox is set back a little from the rest, filled with sand from Xanadu's beach and scattered with buckets and shovels.
Trees border the area, including a massive Lemosian ironwood that has beneath its branches wooden benches with a view of the playground.


FIOREYLA HAS REASONS TO BE HERE IN XANADU, HONEST. APPRENTICESHIP, FOR ONE. Even if she has been left to her own devices for now, her Journeyman probably off to gamble and seduce women while Fire finds ways to entertain herself. At first it was books (are you surprised?), but the giggling of children as their parents pushed them on swings won out before too long, and so for a very long time, the tiny redhead was just a creepy chipmunk in the shadows, trying to be not at all suspicious as wonder and awe kept her attention glued on the ingenious contraptions of which she has NEVER BEEN ON until the parents of small children got uncomfortable enough to leave. Now Fioreyla is approaching the swings like one might a wounded, cornered animal, each step halting as if afraid the swing might rear its wooden seat out of spite and HIT HER. There's a glance around and, spotting nobody, Fioreyla leans forward to give the swing a gentle push with a finger. It moves, and Fiore jumps back, arms curled towards her chest as she waits, and then attempts it again with a little more power. IT DOESN'T ATTACK, and some of the UNKNOWN TENSION eases from her shoulders as Fire sets her books on the swing and… pushes them? Yeah… Yeah, she is totally doing that, in tiny little pushes that get a little more intense as she gains confidence with every contact that doesn't end in death.

Fioreyla's cornered-animal instincts may not be entirely unfounded - something lingers in these woods, a dark shape moving on near-silent feet, sometimes tall, sometimes short, frequently obscured by trees and brush, as though it is instinct to disguise the true nature of its existence. Sohzen takes not the common path into the clearing, but rather one more often inhabited by animals, forcing him to duck beneath low branches and slide through tangled vinery with ease borne of practice. He emerges, finally, into the clearing proper, seeming intent on ignoring its usual occupants, long face closed off and intentionally unfriendly, dark eyes averted, but attentive nevertheless. Steps slow when the usual sound of childish ruckus registers as absent, tensing, hand not holding a dark satchel slipping into the folds of robe at his back, even as he angles a look over one shoulder and— "Fioreyla?" The name rises out of him unbidden - even he looks surprised to have said it, the emotion registering in his gaze before a blink clears it back to neutral. Booted feet come to a halt, pausing for a moment as Sohzen observes, deliberates, and finally reaches the decision to indulge in curiosity enough to ask, "What are you doing?"

SOHZEN!!!!! Fioreyla is blissfully unaware of tall, short, silent shadows that move through the woods with too much ease. Fire is an elephant at best, tromping around and tripping over everything, unable to comprehend how anybody can be so at one with their feet that they know how to be silent on them. So while Sohzen might be surprised to see Fioreyla, Fioreyla is surprised to hear anybody. There's a chipmunk sound of, 'Eeeeek!' that escapes her as she turns too fast to look at Sohzen, eyes wide as the move throws off her already lacking balance and sends her stumbling back and into the swing harboring her treasured books. She hits hard, too hard, and the swing sits indifferent as the healer goes RIGHT ON OVER ITS SEAT to the opposite side. She hits the ground with an exhale of breath, her books valiantly attempting to soften her fall by murdering her back as undergarments (PATTERNED WITH TINY HERDBEASTS, HOW DOES FIRE EVEN EXIST) say HELLO to the world. Fioreyla shoves her skirt down, suffering the indignity with a face that's gone red and — breathe, little Fire. "Hi, Sohzen," comes out on a squeak of sound, violet eyes fixed up at the sky as she tries to wrestle one wayward foot out of the swing where it's caught itself. "I'm just…" What is she doing here? There's a mumblemumblemumble that's probably an answer (and sounds suspiciously like, 'Looking at the clouds, they look lovely today,'), and then there's a, "I d-didn't hear you coming." COME ON, FOOT. WIGGLE, WIGGLE. NOPE. She's just going to lay here prone, trying valiantly to protect her dignity with her hands so that little herdbeast undies offend NOTHING MORE THAN HER PROPRIETY. "I think I see a whale." IN THE CLOUDS, SHE MEANS. NOT ON HER UNDIES. Don't mind her face, she's only trying to not explode.

Sohzen is not a person of precipitous movement by nature, but even he raises a hand when Fioreyla stumbles backwards. The gesture is, of course, useless - she is much too far away for intervention - and so he is forced to merely suck in a breath and watch as the poor little healer executes a backflip over its seat. 9.8! 9.5! 9.7! Dark eyes lift skywards, as much to beseech as to spare Fiore some small amount of indignity, lingering for a moment to give her time before lowering again. "I cannot hear you when you mumble like that," he says, but the words lack a chiding edge. It's merely a statement made as those quiet feet carry him towards Fioreyla, forcing himself to circle the playground the long way to avoid any further up-skirt incidences. Because he is too good a person to take advantage of tiny girls, that's why. "Relax," he says in a tone that would be comforting were it not issued in his dry rasp, satchel set aside that hands may raise, indicating their intent before he reaches out one hand to lift her ankle, using the other to push the swing out from under it. "I am not surprised," he comments only when she is freed. "You seemed occupied." And it wasn't by the sky, Fire, though he does lift his gaze back up towards those clouds, perhaps to give her time to collect her dignity, making a low jagged noise in his throat as he argues, "It seems more of a ship to me." A beat, two, and then he's peering back at her again, gaze switching from her to the swing and back, asking without asking what she was actually doing because he's nice but he's not dumb.

OH COME ON. That was at LEAST worth a SINGLE 10. HERDBEAST PRINTED UNDERWEAR, SOHZEN. "S-sorry," Fiore manages on another whispered squeak of sound, opting for apologies instead of attempting to correct her social faux pas by telling Zen what, exactly, it is that she said when she dissolved into mumbles. She wills muscles to lose tension, allowing Sohzen to assist in freeing her from the swing, and while he looks up to the sky, Fire makes busy with rolling off an uncomfortably hard mountain of books. She gets to her feet, smoothing down her skirts before blinking up at Zen and giving herself a moment to form proper words. THERE MIGHT BE ACCUSATION IN HER EYES, because she's probably going through a mental catalog of EVERY TIME THEY'VE MET, and him ALWAYS BEING SNEAKY, and her ALWAYS ENDING UP IN SOME EMBARASSINGLY HORRID PREDICAMENT BECAUSE YOU COULD AT LEAST TRY TO MAKE SOME SOUND. She might also be remembering every time she tried to sneak up on him, and he heard her about FIVE MILES OUT. RUDEST OF THE RUDES. So instead of telling Sohzen that she's pretty sure he's just QUIET in a MURDER kind of way, she allows violet to go back up to the sky, and tries to will away the flush clinging desperately to her cheeks. "A s-ship with a t-tail?" STARE, SQUINT. She doesn't see it. Fire tilts her head to look at Zen, trying to zero in on which cloud he's looking at, squints back at fluffy white, and even shifts on her knees, knocking her body into his, so that she can try to see. NAH. HE JUST CRAZY. But she's trying to see what he does, which is why she catches him asking questions with his EYES that make her flush EVEN MORE. IS THIS POSSIBLE? IT IS. LOOK AT HER. SHE'S TURNING INTO A REDFRUIT. MUNKFRUIT. "I-I've n-never been on one b-before. And I was pushing my… my b-books on it." TO EXPERIENCE IT. LIKE ANY NORMAL PERSON. No? Normal people don't push their books on…? WELL FINE, LIKE A FIOREYLA-PERSON THEN. "And then I was l-looking at the sky." Because she's too polite to blame him for her going over the swing, even if it's TOTALLY HIS FAULT.

ALRIGHT ALRIGHT. THERE WAS A 10.0, BUT BECAUSE THAT'S SO STUPIDLY CUTE AND PATENTEDLY FIRE THAT IT WAS DISQUALIFIED. HAPPY? "And you don't have to apologize," Sohzen says the second the word gets squeaked out, almost as if he was waiting for it. Dark eyes flick down at her again, slanted sideways without lowering his chin, and though they remain cool in quality, there's a distinct upwards quirk at one corner of his lips. It's apparently a familiar song and dance, one he quite possibly enjoys, though he'll never admit to it (mostly because he never tries to scare the ever-loving bejeezus out of her - it just happens). "I'm sorry, too," he says after a moment, lips lowering back to their usual position. "Though to be fair, you startled me." It's a gift of the truth, something that would not be admitted were it anyone other than Fioreyla, head tilting just so. "I wasn't expecting to see you here." He doesn't look back up when she does, doesn't visibly react when she knocks into him, allowing her her contact for a long moment before taking a subtle step backwards. This allows him to drop to a crouch at her side, settling books into a neater pile before extending his left hand to draw shapes in the dirt. "This is the hull, and this is the mast. What you see as the tail, I see as the wave it is riding upon." A soft flick of fingers dislodges most of the dirt clinging to his fingers, gaze trailing back to hers to see if she agrees or still thinks him crazy (which, let us be clear, she is not incorrect about). There's a soft noise that might be a laugh or might be a sigh for her further reddening, the sound as short-lived as his glance, which tears away to stare at the swing in question. A beat. Two. Then: "Would you like to swing properly?" Offering is the LEAST HE CAN DO, APPARENTLY.

"I know, I should have sent a letter," Fire manages, issuing another, "I'm sorry," on a squeak even if he already told her that she didn't have to say it. "And you r-really have nothing to apologize for. Marchisas came here because h-he was asked to look at an injured rider, and he thought I m-might learn something. It was only supposed to be for t-that." But HERE WE ARE. Marchisas probably having found some SULTRY WOMAN TO LOSE HIMSELF IN, leaving Fire to… well, pushing books on swings. Fiore hardly seems to notice when Sohzen removes his body from hers, crouching down to make shapes in the dirt with his finger; truth be told, she doesn't seem one for personal bubbles or space. When Sohzen crouches down, she leans in with him, head and shoulder a mere breath away from touching his as violet eyes watch him make shapes and she tilts her head back to look at the cloud before it can curl into another shape on its journey across the sky. "Huh," comes softly, as if she totally gets it (she doesn't, not even a little bit), and then she's jerking to the side and looking at Sohzen with wide eyes when he asks that question, like he may or may not have said something expressly offensive to her very delicate constitution. Her mouth opens, hangs open, hangs a bit more, and then closes in just enough time to stifle a strangled noise in her throat. She makes a motion towards the swing, then herself, eyebrows expressing every thought emphatically, before Fire shakes her head like the honest-to-Faranth coward that she is. "I-I've found that it already d-doesn't like me." DID YOU NOT SEE HER ON THE GROUND? ON ALL OF HER BOOKS? That's why she's gathering a couple more of those books that were out of Sohzen's reach to pile into the already formed pile. One, two, three, a flickering glance at the older man's face as she works, and then so softly so as to be almost unspoken, "Is it fun?" Because maybe she's rethinking this entire thing. "Have you been on one before?"

Sohzen blinks once, eyes flicking as he retraces conversation, seems to realize his error, and explains, "It's not that. It is merely that I am not surprised very often. It is… refreshing to discover I still can be." He doesn't try to admonish her further for apologies offered, teasingly or otherwise, instead focusing on Fire, on her words, slim eyes narrowing further by fractions. "Did you? Learn something," he clarifies his question, words careful though his tone might bely him, pushing into the realm of 'gritty,' opinion on this Marchisas' behavior dim and growing dimmer. He's still peering her way when Fioreyla leans in, invading his personal space, and though there might be some slight discomfort in his pose, he does not move again. Instead he watches her pretend to understand his vision, a slight tick in his cheek giving away his amusement before he returns to his usual deadpan regard. "That was your first time," argued quietly in the face of her HORROR TO END ALL HORRORS. "You did not always read well, nor mend wounds perfectly, but you have demonstrated excellence in both." He doesn't push further than that, pointedly looks away from young woman and swing both, gaze fixed on the increasingly-growing stack of books, remaining perched on the balls of his feet. It might seem for a moment as though his own thoughts have swallowed him whole, that he might not have heard or is not intending to answer her whispered question, but just before his silence might stretch into the realm of awkwardness he says, "Yes. It is as close to being a dragon, to experiencing flight, as some people get." As for her second question, "It has been some time since I sat on one last, but it left enough of an impression that my body still remembers how it felt. Power. Wind. Elation. Freedom. It is unique."

But Fioreyla is oblivious; she is not aware of the fact that Sohzen's admittance of surprise is something he'd not share with others; she's unaware of the magnitude of his words to the degree that she might be aware given time, and that's why she's giving him the kind of look that doesn't quite question whether or not he's got a soul in there somewhere, but certainly does tell him that her healer brain is very curious about his state of non-surprise. Or maybe that's just very intense envy on her face, because every time she runs into Zen, it ends with her falling over something. "I learned that it's very…" Stupid? "… ill-advised for one to try and ride on their dragon when they are little more than hatchlings - for both the rider, and the dragon," Fire says carefully, her eyes gone distant with memory and her voice gaining some of that uncharacteristic confidence it always bears when she speaks about healer-y things. "He got mauled, and his face…" A beat, an exhale of breath as she focuses violet eyes back on Sohzen. "Well, let's just say he's lucky to still have one." But she only admits to it after she's done her cloud searching and space invading, blissfully unaware of his discomfort at her proximity if only because she's not great with people like that. But they are back to swings, and her being on one, and those full lips part again, as if she might argue, and close when compliments come with the intention to assist in her comprehension and instead make her flush brilliantly once more. She sees him look away, but she's so busy trying to pretend that she doesn't exist to really comment on his sudden silence. Sohzen breaks it with his voice, causing Fiore's attention to pull back to him. There's something there, Fire can feel it in her bones, and for a long moment, her hands still in their attempts to stack books so that she can take in Sohzen with those violet eyes and - "There are t-two of t-them," she manages, perhaps a little breathless because somehow the thought of getting on a swing makes her insides turn in on themselves. "Swings, I mean. T-There's two of t-them. Will you swing w-with me?" Because that's TOTALLY FAIR, RIGHT? Totally. And she will cease movement, staring at him as she waits for Sohzen's answer, holding her breath without realizing that she's done it.

And then there's Sohzen, the reigning champion of pretending there's nothing beyond the surface of his words; he ignores the quality of her look entirely, disregarding its nuances, or at the very least, affecting ignorance in regards to what it is suggesting. There's nothing curious about lacking astonishment in most aspects of one's life, no reason to harbor jealously for a quality that's questionable at best; new Sohzen, who dis? His features remain passive, focusing his attention entirely on her spoken words, an action he regrets almost immediately. Talk of young dragons and stupid mistakes has him pushing to his feet, a flicker of a dark frown and a thin press of lips visible before it is shielded by a curtain of long hair. He allows it to swing from behind his ears as he leans down, bending at the waist to retrieve her pile of books, perusing titles with seeming absent-mindedness, but with the true purpose of being able to put his back to her for a time. Again, that damning silence. It stretches as he makes a slow walk to one of the wooden structures nearby, placing each volume with deliberate care to keep them safe from potential future incidents, and it's so tempting to simply leave, to exit the conversation, the clearing before it can continue, before the tender shoots of her curiosity can take root and formulate into questions he does not care to answer. He sways with the thought, vascillation marked in the slight shift of robes about his person, but in the end, when simple momentum finally bids him move again, it is to turn around and retrace his steps the way they came. "An understatement," is all he says in regards to ill-advisement and the weyrling's luck both, hands lifting to tuck hair back behind his ears again, voice somehow more leaden than usual. "Much more terrible things could have occurred," comes out low and grating, but the hand he offers to assist her with standing is relaxed, fingertips ever so slightly curled. His chin tilts towards the swings in non-verbal indication. "I will see you started," he says, feet already shifting backwards, guiding even if she does not accept his hand. Backwards, backwards, until he has to side-step the swing to avoid it, hands going to the ropes to hold them steady, anticipation in the movements if utterly lacking in his gaze.

And there's Fioreyla, the reigning champion of unwittingly putting her foot into her mouth, the one who's a terrible read on people but not so terrible that she misses the expression that flickers across Sohzen's features and foreshadows a silence that stretches, and stretches, and stretches. Violet eyes watch the living shadow in a way that might be regret, downcast and muted, losing some of their luster as she takes in his back and the movement of his body as he utilizes books to distraction; as Fioreyla looks away because it seems the polite thing to do, even if Zen can't see her looking. She bites down on her bottom lip, looks to her knees, stares long at the ground beneath her, and deliberates over the words she should say next - if he leaves, if he turns to stay. There's something there, that sensation rattling bones blooming into a persistent throb that demands questions and answers — and the senior apprentice doesn't have enough medical books to cover human interaction, which sucks, because she would really like a chapter on, 'How To React'. But Sohzen turns to face Fire, and he speaks, and it's but for a moment that Fiore looks at a loss for words, apologetic in her expression as he comes close, closer, and extends his hand for her to take. He keeps speaking about things in a manner she registers as nonchalant, but there's a gut instinct telling Fire not to pursue it. So she doesn't. She chases away the curiosity and the questions in her eyes with a flicker of her own lips upward, red hair falling forward as she curls small fingers around the tips of Zen's and uses them to pull herself to her feet; keeps hold of them as he leads her to the swing and then moves to catch the ropes and hold it still. Fiore stands in front of it, staring at the seat for a long moment that hedges at the border of infinity, drawing her bottom lip between her teeth as if contemplating the secrets of life, and then she's making a vague gesture at it with her no-longer-Sohzen-holding hands. It's a gesture full of trepidation that has violet eyes flickering up, and then down, and then up again. "If I fall, you won't laugh?" Not that he laughed the first time, but Fire has ALREADY SEEN HOW THIS ONE ENDS. SEE, LOOK AT HER, NOT PURSUING DEEP, DARK SECRETS THAT MAKE PEOPLE SHE CONSIDERS FRIENDS (okay, so he's her only friend and that's pathetic but SHOOSH) MAKE EXPRESSIONS THAT HURT THE HEART AND MAKE YOU WANT TO GROVEL WITH APOLOGY. But she's moving to sit, at least, if a bit tentative in the placement of her tiny body.

What Fiore might see as a lack on her part is, with Sohzen, a strength, or perhaps more accurately, a mercy. Any other reaction - comfort, questions, demands - might well have driven the man away, seeking freedom in its favored form, physically distancing himself from the source of discomfort. That she allows him his space, his peace, his secrets, is no small thing, and though there is no way to express this without engendering further incident, it is there to be read in his form: the eslow bleed of tension from the corners of his eyes, the lines of his shoulders, the press of his lips. It's not quite relaxation, but it is as close as he might come for now, dismissing unspoken apology with a clasp of his second hand over hers, curling that fingertip-grasp into something less tentative. His hands are as dry and warm as the single huff of not-quite-amusement that issues forth from him, as though forced out by the weight of her simple, charming concern. "I would never," he replies in a tone that might be pleasant if not for everpresent rust in his voice. "Though even should I, that should not dissuade you from trying again." He shushes, stills when she moves, as though wary of spooking her again because he, too, learns, cares, though he'll never admit it's true, allowing her to work through trepidation and to seat herself on the swing as she may before he speaks. "I'm going to touch you," comes warning before action, hands sliding down the rope to surround hers, executing minute adjustments to hand placement, grip. "Your power translates from your arms to your legs and back, and you will need to rely on both to keep you from falling," Zen explains as hands shift to her hips, lacking in any intent other than to encourage her to sit far enough back on the seat as to not be in danger of tippling off the front. "Now hold tight, and try not to drag your toes." Because he's hooking long, tanned fingers around the ropes to either side of her thighs, pulling back just enough that her own weight, momentum should be enough to carry her forwards in a gentle arc, barring potential incident.

Fire's free hand comes over the hand Sohzen places on top of hers, and then it doesn't matter, because they're both letting go to do something much more important than allowing each other to keep their secrets while holding hands: they're CONQUERING FEARS. Fioreyla looks unsure when Zen says that he would never, her chin going up in what might be seen as defiance in anybody else, but is certainly probably just Fire trying to pretend she's looking at the sky and isn't at all trying to come up with a thousand excuses (supported by medical facts) that argue why she shouldn't get back up on that swing. She comes up with nothing, so the healer settles, turning her head to the sound of Sohzen's voice when he warns that he's going to touch her, and shifting to make the adjustments his hands dictate. Fingers curl over rope, grip white knuckled as the older man pulls her back, and the air leaves her in a whoosh of breath as he lets go, her legs STRAIGHTENED AT THE KNEE and STANDING AT ATTENTION BEFORE HER, refusing to bend as she starts to swing back on momentum along from that forward arc and then laughter. Fioreyla's strangled sounds of desperation dissolve into a laughter on par with pure childish delight. "Sohzen!" escapes her, riddled with exuberant delight, even if her not swinging properly means that she's already starting to slow down. "Higher! Please!"

Who could deny such a request? Surely it would take a stronger person than Sohzen, whose body moves to obey her spirited command without second thought. Hands catch at the small of her back, light at first, swaying towards his middle on pace with her momentum before applying pressure at the very peak of her upswing, pushing her smoothly into another upwards arc. The next swing sees an increase in pressure, the one that follows more yet, a slow and steady build that results in an equally slow and steady climb until he's finally forced to use the barest tips of his fingers to catch the edge of her seat, entire body lifting to toetips to generate enough downwards momentum to send her sailing in the opposite direction. "Hold tight," gets repeated, voice pitched just loud enough to be heard over her giggling, and maybe it's the physical activity, or maybe it's the borrowed joy or maybe it's just Fioreyla herself, the sheer delightful simplicity of her reactions, her laughter - whichever it is, it makes Sohzen impulsive, bids him act without sparing thought for the doing of it. She approaches him, his hands catch, and as she rockets forwards, so does he, lithe form darting beneath her extended legs, a dead rush that results in a swift tuck and roll at the very height of her swing. Direction changes halfway through the roll, body coming up facing hers with a drag of limbs against ground, bright eyes snapping up to find her, something that's almost a real smile cracking the usual stoic lines of his lips. Hands come up, gesturing with swift flicks, indicating what he's after even before he shouts, "Jump, Fire, jump!"

Each upward arc starts with a near-panicked utterance of Sohzen's name, ending on fits of laughter that merely grow as the momentum gains; as Fire's hair impersonates the nickname granted her long ago, coming undone in loose tendrils that whip about her head and cling to her face and her lips as she swings, hiding freckles and violet eyes from the world and the world from them. Fioreyla grips the swing tighter, breathless and giddy as butterflies cause chaos in the pit of her stomach and each forward and backward arc steals the breath from her lungs. There Zen goes, Fiore making a delighted, but startled sound as he ducks beneath her swing to the other side, another, "Sohzen!" issued, half concern, half awe, half unrelenting delight as she watches him roll in her downward arc and then lips part as she tries to form the words he's saying to her back to him, as if unsure she even heard them. "J-Jump?" There's a hesitation, but it lasts only seconds, unable to conquer the pull of exaltation at the corners of her lips, even if there's fear in her eyes and something more to be found there — a trust, an implicit faith borne of conviction that Sohzen would never place her in harm's way if he could avoid it. Maybe Fioreyla's wrong, but that expression says she knows it to be true, and it's why she does it. She lets go. She bids her white-knuckled grip adieu, she shifts her body forward, and she tosses herself free of the seat in mid-air, Sohzen's name pulling from her tongue in an exhilarated rush that's half a scream because the ground is coming fast, but she isn't looking at the ground. She's looking at Sohzen, arms extended in reach for him, cheeks flush with wind and delight - CRASH. Whether he catches her or not, the air is being expelled from Fioreyla's lungs on impact, but it certainly doesn't stop her from laughing. The difference is whether she is hugging Sohzen to her, pressing her forehead to his as she tries to catch breath that escapes her with each giggle, or on the ground, making little hisses of pain as she rolls onto her side to giggle more.

Fioreyla hesitates, yet Sohzen tenses. One hand flattens to the ground, the other shifting to his knee, gaze watchful, brilliant, expectant, feet gathering carefully beneath him with a felinic shift of form. He is wagering on her following his encouragement, for in the same way Fiore trusts him, Sohzen has faith in her, confident in his observation of the bravery that lurks beneath her surface; after all, it takes a strong person to look Death in the face and say, 'Not today,' no matter what her timidity might lead one to believe. Her question does not even merit a reply, merely a flash of teeth that's as much a baring as it is a grin, there and gone in the instant it takes her to make up her mind and jump. Dark eyes flicker, guage, calculate, but there's no question as to whether or not he will catch her - she launches forwards and he surges upwards, body scooping into a curve, arms plucking her out of the air as much as she crashes into him with momentum enough to send them both to the ground with a soft wooshed exhale. There's a half-beat of the sort of silence necessary to recovery, assessing all one's working parts, and then she laughs, and he laughs with her, three short huffed exhales that accompany the press of his hands to the back of her head. "You were supposed to land on your feet," he accuses, but despite dry tones, can't quite seem to make it harsh enough to stick, not with thin fingers catching at those wayward tendrils of her hair, gently smoothing them back into some semblance of their previous residence with pressure from the pads of his fingers and palms. Only when he can properly peer into her eyes does he stop, head tilting faintly in one direction along with an unnecessary but never-the-less inquired, "Was it fun?"

And Fioreyla holds tight to Sohzen, catching her breath as she laughs, as he laughs and she enjoys it instead of commenting on it, or pointing it out, or doing what any normal person might do in this situation. No, Fire takes it as it is, for what it is, and answers his accusing tones with a breathless, "I was flying, Sohzen." Because that's what matters, isn't it? She challenged gravity, she defied it, and she flew. There's no apology to be found in her joy, where her timid meekness might usually dictate its necessity if only to observe the ostentatious rules of etiquette in moments like these. And Zen was there with her, to watch her take flight, to encourage and witness her most daring opposition yet and make sure that gravity would not see her punished for her insolence. And so she clings tighter to him, unconcerned with the fingers in her hair or the fact that she's tangled her own in his. She presses their foreheads together, and she remembers how to breathe when she draws back just enough for him to find her eyes with his own. Violet dances, Fioreyla lowering her voice to a whisper though it is unnecessary as she answers him with a hushed, "Yes." She was elated. She was overcome and overwhelmed and she wants to do it again. It's there in her face, in her eyes, in the way she draws back and parts full lips as if she means to say something more, only to be cut off by the cool rasp of a voice that seems to be a direct contender with Sohzen's for dry-quality alone. "Fioreyla, this is most unbecoming behavior for an apprentice." The healer jerks back, twisting to see a man who is not ugly, but would certainly be hard-pressed to find anybody that might call him handsome. "I-I'm s-sorry, Marchisas, I w-was just -" "You realize I'm going to have to report this," comes a drawling cadence, full of reprimand and chiding undertones that somehow make the man all that much more unattractive to behold. "It's a pity, really. You're one of my better students. I expected better." Fioreyla's pushing to her feet, violet eyes flickering towards Sohzen, as if relying on him for strength. "Marchisas, I wa-" The man cuts her off by holding up a hand, cutting his head to the side and lowering his eyes as if he can no longer bear to look at her. "I'm disappointed, Fire. I suggest you come along instead of arguing; it would only serve to make your punishment worse." Fioreyla sways on her feet, as if intending to move forward and, upon thinking better of it, halting. Those eyes find Sohzen again, that gregarious smile gone as she breathes out, "I'm s-sorry I didn't l-land on my feet, Sohzen. T-thank you, for teaching me how to fly." And then she's dipping into a slight bow, feet shuffling as she makes to follow Marchisas off to wherever it is he intends to go, to face whatever punishment it is that the Journeyman intends for her to face.

"So you were," comes Sohzen's reply, and even should an apology be forthcoming, he would not have accepted it; the admonishment was made in jest alone, for truly there are no rules of etiquette when it comes to swings - there is only being and doing and enjoyment the likes of which Sohzen is clearly experiencing, even as his features ease back to the gentle side of neutral. He remains passive for clinging, for the application of digits to his own, for dancing eyes, though perhaps not for that single hushed word; it earns a brief tweak at the corner of his mouth, betraying pleasure and the temptation to go along with the schemes brewing behind violet eyes. Though it is no longer the gleaming beacon of youthful amusement it was mere moments before, it is still a stark contrast to the sudden expressionlessness that washes over him for the introduction of a new voice. Ease flies from his form, that deadened brand of coldness pooling deep into eyes that lift to stare Marchisas down. He makes no move to defend Fioreyla, discredit Marchisas, no move to do more than sit upright, but the simple intensity of his gaze is, perhaps, unsettling - it is the gaze of one marking a target, devising a demise, calculating with precise efficiency the exact moves one would be required to make to result in the least amount of trouble. It is a gaze only broken only to meet her eyes, their dark depths losing no intensity, but the meaning within shifting: you are strong, it is okay, IWILLMURDERHIMINHISSLEEP. Ahem. "Do not apologize, Fire," has more meanings than one, but for now it's pitched low and gentle, dismissing concern as kindly and subvertively as he knows how. "It was my pleasure. Thank you for reminding me how it feels." It isn't until they are out of sight that he moves again, eyes focused blankly on the books Fioreyla has left behind, gaze tracking to where she's departed before seeming to decide not to chase after her. Instead he gathers them beneath one arm, his satchel in his opposite hand, pushing Fire's abandoned swing defiantly with one toe before making his exit, aiming this time for the obvious, worn path towards the weyr.


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