Running to Bed

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing
A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places.
The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the rock edifice where, high above on Xanadu's Star Stones, the ever-present watchdragon sits on the lonely peak. Directly south is the hatching arena, the large round complex taking up a large portion of the perimeter, a line of trees visible beyond it. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the infirmary is a human-sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Wandering Wherry Tavern. Tucked neatly under the arch, to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Petals and Pots Garden Shop'. Southwest lies cliffs where windows for the administrative offices have been cut. Underneath them are the entrances to the crafters complex while north and west along the cliff's base, a broad path leads to the feeding grounds. Due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr - the meadow, the forest beyond. At the far edge of the clearing, beside the trail leading to the forest sits a clocktower.

That. Was. … no. J'o has no words for it. None. He has a scowl. He has no words he wants to say to Kale. Not now, not ever. At least the dancing is over. He's done for today. Today: OVER. He's ready to head for bed. And so, as they finally escape the cavern in three-legged-race fashion (step-STUMP-step-STUMP) he heads toward his weyr. Or at least, he tries to veer off that way. Step-TUG-step-TUG.

This night will never. EVER be spoken of again. Not by ka-el. Not by anyone! Kale will make sure of it .. somehow. For now, all he can do is scowl, his face still a bit pink from the embarassed blushing of public humiliation. He can still hear laughter ringing in his ears. BUt now it's over, and he can go home and go to bed and hope that all of this was just some bad dream brought on by bad tubers or something. And so, scowling and not paying J'o ANY attention whatsoever, he heads towards the meadow. But…something's not…quite…right. He feels resistance on his leg. Someone is going the wrong way. He scowls (some more). "What are you doing? It's this way." ..Idiot.

This night… will be keeping the gossips busy for the next month. Turn. How soon after graduation can J'o put in for a transfer? Oh. Wait. That would involve facing someone. Well, shards. And what the shell is wrong with Kale? J'o crosses his arms, staring straight ahead at the weyr he can almost see in the distance if he pretends. Kaidoth's already there. "Ain't," says J'o. Oh, look. He found a word for Kale, and it wasn't even a profanity.

"Is," Kale counters, sounding rather annoyed. With J'o tugging one way and Kale tugging another, they're getting nowhere fast. Maybe he can force him. Yeah! He may be a little stronger. Maybe. J'o is older, but that doesn't mean anything right? And so his free foot takes a step in the direction of the meadow, and he braces himself before trying to jerk his bound leg that way too, using his mighty might! And it's a mighty might that likely is going to cause him to lose his balance in the process.

J'o is rocky. Adamant. … of course, that's only his will. His actual physical body is, while decently tough, not exactly made of stone, and he's not particularly braced or anything. So, when Kale tugs, he goes "Ey!" and tries to stay where he is… but fails. With how his leg is turned, he can't even step in that direction; the ankle stays where it is, the knee pulls sideways, and all at once there's no resistance at all to Kale's tug - just a bulky weyrling careening into him. He wants to go that way? Okay, they're going that way, but they won't get far.

Yay! They're heading towards the mea- wait. No they're not. They're heading towards the ground! For with J'o falling towards him there's nowhere for Kale to go. That isn't to say he doesn't instinctively try to get out of the way. oh he does. It just doesn't work. J's weight is soon felt being pressed upon him. Pushed upon him. Crushed down and he falls onto the packed earth with an "oomph!" as the wind is knocked out of him. Ow. Hasn't he gotten beat on enough today without adding the ground to the mix? Now, ground to the face. "Gerroff me!"

J'o isn't too keen on this either, for all he's the one on top. Kale is bumpy. J'o really didn't need that elbow shoved into his stomach. He gasps sharply, and after a moment he manages to flop over to the ground, lying on his side with his bound leg twisted against Kale's. Inhale. He can inhale, right? A ragged pant proves he can. Now… exhale. Good, he can do that too. Glaring at Kale? He can definitely do that.

Grunt, grumble! At least the guy is off of him now, but that doesn't make Kale feel any better about any of it. Stupid legs. Stupid J'o. This is all his fault! He turns his head to look over at him, matching his glare with one of his own. Mumbling beneath his breath, he sits up, dusting off his clothing. Two days? It's barely been an hour and he's already ready to kill him. "I. Have. To. Go. Home." He says brokenly, saying each word seperately for ease of understanding. He jerks his thumb in the direction of the forge.

J'o winces as Kale sits up. That's his leg! He grunts and pushes himself up as well, coming to a position sitting at right angles to the other teen. It's about the closest to face to face they can manage right now. He stares at Kale. Is it baby words time? Apparently. "So. Do. I." He points in a different direction, toward his weyr. The fundamental problem here, of two seperate beds in two seperate places to be occupied by one temprorarily cojoined body, has not yet actually registered.

Kale narrows his eyes at him. "Well you shardin' idiot, I can't go to your weyr. I'm an apprentice. I have to go to the dorms." Not to mention, sleeping with J'o alone in his weyr? Uh, not gonna happen. Sleeping with J'o amongst bunks of other apprentices? While no less embarassing (and likely MORE embarassing due to witnesses) it at least keep any more unfortunate rumors from popping up.

J'o crosses his arms. He glares at Kale. He spends long moments without speaking. Long, long moments, with nothing said unless glares count. Which they don't. At long last, he opens his mouth again. "Fine," he says ungraciously. "But we're going to my weyr first." He seems to think him saying so should be enough, because he doesn't wait for Kale's answer before he starts trying to push himself to his feet.

"For what?" Kale is appeased by winning the 'we're sleeping in the dorm' argument that he's not truly fighting the idea of a pitstop at his weyr. He won't let it go easily though, hence his question as to why. He shuffles to his feet as well, wobbling, trying to synchronize the movement of their joined legs to keep them for falling again. "Got to grab your favorite blanket?"

Getting themselves both upright takes a fair bit of working together. J'o is attempting not to acknowledge that fact. At least they eventually manage it. "Never oiled Kaidoth," says J'o once he's upright. He's back to not looking at Kale. The weyrling tugs at his shirt to straighten it. Hmm. Still a cold spot. He glances down, noting the tear, and adds, "Need a new shirt."

Kale does not want to go into J'o's weyr. Not for oiling dragons. Not for a new shirt. Nope. Well … maybe for Kaidoth. It's not his dragon's fault that J'o's a shardin' lying idiot. Plus, Kaidoth did not bite or maul or eat him, so he probably owes him at least this. "Fine," he says, brushing himself off a bit. "For that and only that. I don't have all night."

J'o does not care in the slightest what Kale does or does not want. He grunts something that probably isn't a curse (but, hey, it might be) and starts stumping off in that direction. His weyr is a low structure tucked near the edge of the forest. Inside, it's basically a studio apartment with an extra-large living room that's mostly taken up by the curved couch for Kaidoth. Oh, and Kaidoth's there, so really, the place is mostly taken up by Brown Dragon right now. He's lying with his paws stretched out in front of him and his head resting on them, looking for all the world like a hugely oversized puppy. As the boys enter, Kaidoth lifts his head, crooning a greeting and leaning forward to bump his head against J'o's chest to recieve the first smile the weyrling's produced in rather a while.

Weyr. Kale desn't go into these too much. Nope. He's been in a few dragon weyrs … Yumeth's. Maybe two or three others. And so as much as he dislike's J'o, he does glance around the weyr…just because he's here. Might as well take a gander, right? It isn't as if they're going to be in here long. He tries to send that thought J'o's way as he's forced to follow him towards the young brown, who also gets a healthy dose of looking over now that he's up close and not blinded by angry rage. He says nothing, that sour look still on his face as dragon and weyrling reunite. Ugh. This oiling thing is going to take forever, isn't it? And he can't even just sit back and wait during it! This could be seen as a great learning experience for him. An upclose and personal experience of how to oil a dragon correctly. Buuuut, Kale isn't seeing it this way. "The shirt?" he reminds. Let's get this show on the road, bucko.

J'o casts a sideways look at Kale. Seriously. Calm down for one moment, wouldja? He gives Kaidoth's massive head a scritch, then reaches down to pull off the ripped shirt and toss it aside onto one of the bachelor piles of dirty laundry. Not that his place is in all that bad condition for being a teen boy on his own. None of the laundry or dirty dishes have gained sentience yet. Shirtless J'o heads over to pick up… a bottle of oil. Not a shirt. Kaidoth stretches out on his side. It seems J'o intends to oil bare-chested. It's only practical. Why put on a clean shirt when he's just going to get it stained with the oil?

Kale has only ever oiled Alloy, and he's like … a hundredth the size of this brown dragon. Oiling a firelizard is not a toiling chore that requires anyone to be shirtless, so as J'o's stripped shirt fails to be followed by another one, he gives him a 'what the shards?' look. "You're sure it's Idrissa you're interested in?" he scowls, trying to lean away from him as much as he can, which … isn't far, considering.

J'o looks at Kale with incomprehension. What? What does he even… oh. "Sharding Weyrfolk," he mutters, and looks away to his brown. Now it's his turn to tug on the ropes binding them, stepping toward Kaidoth and upending the oil bottle against his palm before beginning to rub. Kaidoth turns his head to look at them with blue-green eyes, and he apparently makes a silent comment, because J'o gets that thoughtful expression common to riders a moment, then the faintest trace of a smile. Why, thank you for reminding him, Kaidoth. Oiling certainly is a chore. J'o glances back to Kale. "Rider said you were to help."

Kale was perfectly find being a snide commentator in the background. You know .. someone who wasn't helping? But J'o's reminder that he's to help with chores…and this is a chore, has him rolling his eyes. "Fine, whatever.." he mutters, giving the dragon a look of looks. He's sure he had something to do with this! "At least it'll be over quicker this way," he muses, trying to find a silver lining. The faster this is done, the faster he can get to sleep! He eyes the weyrling expectantly. "What do I need to do?"

J'o arches a brow, just a little. What is Kale, stupid? The weyrling lifts up the bottle slightly. "Take some oil. Put it on his hide. Work it in." Duh. Given the circumstances, he does not share helpful hints like, 'Take your shirt off so it doesn't get spattered' and 'Watch out, Kaidoth's ticklish' with Kale, just extends the bottle of oil expectantly as he starts kneading the oil in with his other hand. The brown seems nicely relaxed, and ignores that look… if he even notices.

Excuuuse him for not wanting to do something that'll irritate your dragon! Kale heard that tone, and he doesn't like it. But what can he do? Two days. Two days and he'll be free of J'o. Or will he? There's still the issue of Idrissa to worry over. Idrissa and J'o." He takes the oil bottle, doing his best not to snatch, and pours a bit onto the brown's hide. Idrissa and J'o. What's the deal with them? Why does this guy seem so confident that Idrissa doesn't seem aware that she is his girlfriend? HIS, not J'o's. And calling him a cheater? Were those Jo's words, or Idrissa's? There's much for him to think about, which thankfully keeps him quiet but no less grumpy looking. He rub, rub, rubs a bit too hard. Aggravating thoughts do not make for gentle touches.

Kaidoth starts to stretch out to luxuriate in two, two, two boys rubbing his hide. This has not happened since he was a rather younger dragon and J'o's oilings were being inspected by a weyrlingmaster. Well, there was the time when he strained a muscle and got rubbed with numbweed, but he wasn't enjoying it then. Oilings are fun! Or at least, they are until Kale's fingers go prodding and poking instead of rubbing. Kaidoth makes a soft complaining grunt, and J'o's gaze darts to what the smither is doing. "You ain't got to be so hard."

Huh? Kale blinks at J'o's reprimand, and he eases up his fingers, apparently unaware he was doing so. He doesn't bully dragons! Just people. More specifically .. just J'o. "Sorry," he grunts to the weyrling, and then … a little more sincere sounding, "Sorry," to Kaidoth. Oiling dragons is a messy business! They're so big! It's a wonder how oil droplets got on his shirt, but eh, there they are. Bah, who cares. No one is going to see him anyway, as he highly doubts J'o has any friends. He smirks to himself at the thought.

J'o nods as Kale does the right thing (Kaidoth informs him so) and returns to his polishing of the brown's hide in silence. It's usually a relaxing thing… usually. Doing it while bound to a jerk makes relaxation somewhat difficult, but he still tries. It helps that Kaidoth is swirly-blue content now, relaxing into the oiling. Every so often, the dragon mentions an itchy spot, and J'o will reach to make sure it gets extra oil, but even that is silent. J'o is a fairly quiet sort. It hasn't helped him make friends here. Besides, when has he had the chance? It's just been him and D'an in the weyrling barracks, spending all their time on drills and studies, and D'an is older by turns and not really interested in being buddies. So, no. Nobody's going to stop by.

It'd be a wonderful time to ask J'o questions about what it's like being a weyrling. What it's like having a dragon in your head all the time. How things have progressed so far. If they were friends, he'd ask. And in an alternate universe, they'd be friends. If things hadn't gone the way they had in this present universe, it's likely that they would be at least friendly towards one another. But there's no chance of that happening now. At least, not instigated by Kale. He can do this all day! Ignoring each other in silence. Oh yeah, he has zero things to talk about now, and rubbing the oil keeps his mind busy on other things. Not Idrissa. Not J'o. Definitely not the both of them together.

It would indeed be a wonderful time. These two might find they have a great deal in common, starting with both having grown up on farms and going from there. They might… but not in this universe. In this universe, the only sounds are of oil being rubbed onto hide and the occasional scrape of Kaidoth moving to a new position. There's a lot of dragon here, but eventually, it's all properly oiled. J'o sets the bottle down, and reaches for a much-stained rag to wipe his hands. Once he's done that, he even offers the rag to Kale. Maybe it's a start.

That took much, much longer than Alloy's oiling. Hopefully a repeat performance won't be necessary tomorrow. When the entire dragon is oiled and happy, Kale peers at his hands, then peers at his shirt. Ugh. Wiping his hands on his shirt probably wouldn't even make a difference to his appearance at this point. Buuut…seems like J'o is feeling charitable, and when the rag is offered to him, he takes it .. though only after a skeptical look. He wipes his hands and then offers it back with an implied thank you. And now. On to business. "Shirt?"

Will they do this tomorrow? That's a question Kale could ask, if he and J'o were on question-asking terms. Instead, the weyrling tosses the rag back where it's kept. Shirt. He nods slightly, and if it's with a frown, it's only a small one. Now would ordinarily be the time when he relaxed with Kaidoth. It's getting late. But, no, he's got himself an apprentice-shaped tick clinging to his side, so tonight won't be spent in the comfort of his own weyr. He tries to hold on to the happy feeling from that oiling, but the process of just hiking over to his clothes press is enough to make it awfully tenuous. Once there, he digs around for a moment until he comes up with a suitable shirt. Yep. Sure is a shirt. He puts it on.

And as J'o's mood sours, Kale's begins to lift because … they're going back to the forge here soon. Yeah sure, he'll probably get an earful from Orik. Or not. What with J'o latched to his side, his tongue lashing may be saved for a more private time. But! At the smithy are his brethren, and they will be on his side. Tej, Shahani (possibly) and the few other apprentices that are there. They're a team! And despite the embarassment, they'll definitely give ol' J'o a hard time anyway because … hey. Smiths vs. Wyrlings! So he's patient as J'o snags a shirt, glad once it's on. And now … to the forge! "It's nearly curfew," he says, "we've to hurry. And keep in mind, if I'm late, whatever punishment I get, you'll be sharing." Not that anything could be any worse that what they're already doing.

Oh, yes, this part will be great… not. J'o will leave his comfortable weyr behind, and go to a smithy full of … smiths. He'll get to sleep with Kale on a bunk carefully designed to fit one and only one, surrounded by all Kale's friends (he's probably sleeping with at least half of them) and getting glared at by his journeymen. Great. His shoulders hunch a little, his good mood beginning to drift away before they've even left. "Aye, so don't just gab about it," he retorts to Kale, and begins stumping off toward the forge. Kaidoth creels at their departing back. Where is his J'o going? J'o doesn't look back, but his face sets in a scowl as they head across the dark meadow. There'll be a brown dragon staring in at the window of the apprentice dorms tonight.

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