Ru(h) Ro(h,) Rau

Disclaimer: adult themes.


Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.

The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting into a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.

Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

Evening at the beach isn’t the typical place to be in spring, but it serves perfectly well for a meeting place! A little pre-game action promised before wandering off to the (hopefully) nearby true word of mouth venue of the night — one that will see no resurfacing to the outdoors until the very early hours.

Ru'ien is dressed minimally against the chilly air, but suitably for wherever they’re heading. The long light-greyish blue cardigan sweater worn over his shortened white turtleneck top is not protection for prolonged exposure but comfortable for the time being. At least he’s wearing (very tight fitting) dark grey pants and black wedged-heeled ankle boots! For once, his hair is left entirely unbound it could count as a scarf at this point. Obviously, he’s set for a night of fun~ Whatever that ‘fun’ may yet be.

He paces a bit on spot, eager to be going and not just to stay warm despite being the one who showed up early in this on-the-fly arrangement!

V'ro looks practically masculine when he shows up in what are essentially skinny black trousers, a form-fitting, but not particularly heavy, muted green knitted sweater, and loafers. The shadow of a thin beard never really hurts, either. "Am I late?" he can't help but ask when he makes it to the poor, restless Ru'ien who has clearly been waiting here for him more than a moment. "Here, keep you warm," he adds with a grin, regardless, lifting the flask in his hand, which holds one of his favorite pre-gaming drinks. Very strong alcohol.

“Thanks~” Ru’ien won’t hesitate in taking that flask from V’ro’s hand without bothering to question the contents. Perhaps they have similar enough tastes — or not quite, from the fleeting grimace after the first sip. Feel that burn! He hands it back, pacing now stopped as he stands comfortably close to the other greenrider. “And I was early,” Ru’ien goes on to belatedly reassure. “You look good! Nice and cozy~” He muses and not without the expected admiring once-over. That flask will be gestured for for a second round. “So,” he grins wryly. “Where’re we aiming to go, tonight? You thinking the coastal haunts?”

"Going somewhere?" the voice could be misinterpreted as threatening from the deep timbre of it alone. It could be construed as severe, given that the lips that shape the words settle into an utterly neutral line as soon as the pair of words have left them. Really, for one of the pair, it might seem threatening just because there's a dark-featured stranger speaking them from a distance none too far (although not overly close). He may not even have meant to sneak up on them, despite bare feet that make next to no noise on the sand. At least his hands being tucked away into the pockets of khaki trousers rolled up to mid-calf are unassuming even if the hard lines of the man's muscular frame claim the space where he stands as if he owns it.

Dark eyes flick from V'ro, to whom the question was addressed, to the ever so slightly taller man, acknowledging him with a silent and subtle up-nod. It's obvious Rau wasn't invited because aside from the probably-familiar-to-V'ro khakis, the white linen button-up whose sleeves are similarly rolled up the man's forearms is nothing special. Ru'ien's outfit is surely not unnoticed, but it does not receive the same once-over that V'ro's does, the brownrider's head tilting just a touch, inquisitive… but maybe that's for the presence of the flask.

"I thought we were go—" V'ro is starting to say to his stunning companion when that familiar voice has him turning abruptly toward the brownrider, lips parted open as he struggles to fit these two aspects of his life into the same moment and find words. It can't be that hard, considering how he and M'tras met, but the greenrider is still a few moments before he says, surprised, "Rau! What are you—" Beat. "We were just deciding where we're going, I think?" Green eyes shift back to Ru'ien as though apologizing for the unexpected delay to their plans, because M'tras is clearly his fault.

Waiting on V’ro’s reply, Ru’ien’s attention was solely on him until they’re so abruptly disrupted by a third. Startled but he works with it, going as far to place a hand over his heart and throw a bemused look at the unknown figure. “Damn, you’re a quiet one!” he muses, all for show and appearing otherwise unruffled. maybe he’s used to being snuck up on by potentially threatening voiced figures Darting a curious look back to V’ro for the name supplied, it promptly snaps back to Rau. Silent and subtle up-nod is exchanged for a subtle nod of his own — mostly just a tilt of his head. Any further scrutinizing is waylaid by the prompt of conversation. “We definitely were!” he confirms in his brand of casually amused tone and without skipping a beat. One of his hands aims to nudge playfully to V’ro’s shoulder in what may be nothing or maybe silent-code for ‘it’s fine’. “Drinks and maybe,” More like very likely. “Some dancing.”

It almost drives the point home that to Ru'ien's first observation, M'tras' lips press together and his brows make a subtle shift of acknowledgment. A quiet one, in more ways than just his approach, apparently. Is that humor underlying the otherwise benign line of his lips when the press is through? It could be. What words need to be said are, however, and in this case it seems to be a reiteration of the name, "Rau," along with the extension of a hand toward Ru'ien.

The other necessary words are arguably generous since V'ro didn't actually finish his question for the brownrider. "Night off." Rare, but not as rare as months earlier in the lives of baby dragons. "Blowing off steam." By walking on the beach, apparently. And yet, the way his eyes trace the known greenrider's face a moment and his lips twitch into the ghost of a smile, a knowing smile given the just enough hint in the way it touches his eyes without even having to be solid enough to be sure it's there.

"Dancing," he repeats, a single brow lifting to invite additional details. His eyes stray to Ru'ien again, expression betraying little as he considers the other man a moment. With his attention back on V'ro and a tilt of his own head so he can look askance at the leaner man, "Have you been holding out on me, Green Eyes?" This sentence should carry accusation, but it doesn't; instead, a thread of bemusement seems to be subtly present in that voice, but just one, just enough to suggest he might be teasing the poor surprised greenrider. He looks at Ru'ien one more time, the outfit this time, letting his voice liven just a skosh more with that humor, "The good kind, doubtless." Evidently, he can tell this by Ru'ien's manner of dress. Or maybe the booze being exchanged. Or maybe just because V'ro and Ru'ien are planning to go~

V'ro looks from Ru'ien, who he flickers a vaguely uncertain smile at, to M'tras, who has him biting his lip for a few moments before he's lifting the flask up to offer him a drink. "I didn't know you had the night off." He didn't ask, admittedly. And now he can smile at the brownrider, too, all composed as he likely to be for the rest of the night considering the greenriders have started their drinking here.

"I don't think I'd call it holding out. Ru here is one of my very best friends." Has he ever said that to Ru'ien directly? "And you've been so busy! You could, uh," there's another glance toward the other greenrider before V'ro commits, "You could come with us."

“Ru’ien.” he replies in turn with a lopsided smirk, leaning in to grasp the other man’s offered hand firmly and no longer than necessary with the gesture. “Well met, Rau!” This won’t get confusing, right? He doesn’t interject fully into the conversation meant for V’ro, only a passing hummed sound of understanding for ‘blowing off steam’ — and some humor threaded in for good measure. Nothing unfamiliar to one such as himself!

“Dancing!” he’ll quip again, purposely withholding those details given the amused narrowing of his eyes and a return of a grin. And was that a stifled snicker? Green Eyes. sorry, not sorry V’ro “And only the best kind.” Ru’ien adds to Rau, which either is plenty said or remains frustratingly cryptic. He doesn’t bat an eye at V’ro sharing their ‘very best friend’ status, but there is a flashed, brighter grin for the younger greenrider and a playful wink. Right back at you~ There’s unspoken agreement too, in that look, to everything. Further confirmed, when he murmurs with a genuine-felt. “More the merrier!”

The brownrider reaches for the flask to take a swallow before extending it back to whomever wants it next. Though dark eyes flick to Ru'ien at the smothered snicker, M'tras remains utterly unperturbed. If self-possession is some kind of allure, then this brownrider has it in spades; there's a quiet confidence about him, though his eyes do go flicking back to V'ro to see just what his reaction is to that particular snigger is, only a flicker of curiosity betrayed in the slight tilt of his head. Honestly, for people looking to blow off steam, so far, Rau doesn't seem like he even knows how to do that.

"If you're sure I won't cramp your style," definitely now carries a still subtle but more readable undercurrent of humor. "Tonight was unexpected." Being off, that is, he adds for the benefit of the greenrider that didn't ask. "And will remain so," given the last minute offer to tag along. There is probably still room for V'ro to tell him he'd rather see him later, given the way that dark eyes study the man's face with silent focus, seeking signs of discomfort beyond the initial surprise. Whether he finds any or not, he will turn toward Ru'ien and make an active effort to infuse his deep tones with a touch more humanity warmth. "I am pleased to meet you, Ru'ien." In the moment, it might not appear to carry weight, but perhaps hindsight will grant the so-often throwaway words with the appropriate gravity.

"'The best' is a high bar," could be warning or challenge for Ru'ien, but despite the way his voice has a tendency to just make things sound super serious, there a very slight upturn at the edges of his lips, so this is probably humor of a sort that tends to become more readily recognizable with greater acquaintance. "Is it nearby?" Because it might get points for proximity.

"Right! Ru'ien. Uh." V'ro pauses, probably noting that Rau himself isn't offering his full name. And he evidently decides that he'll do the honors. "M'tras. He came here to join the weyrlingmaster team a few months back." Which the other greenrider might already know, but maybe he doesn't! And V'ro might not be worried about these two rather different pieces of his life colliding, but he is uncertain how the collision will go. Probably more from one side than the other. That might be why he takes a long pull from the flask he takes back before saying anything else. To Ru'ien, "I think we were thinking nearby, yeah?"

“Same to you too,” Ru’ien replies just as easily to M’tras, chuckling low as shoulders lift in a small shrug to the potential warning or challenge. “I feel like taking that risk tonight!” Or is that every night? With a crooked smile at cramping styles, he makes a dismissive gesture with his hand. Of course not! Sure, he knows nothing about M’tras, but if V’ro vouches for him? All good in his books. what could possibly go wrong?

And since they’re both asking where, Ru’ien answers that with a cheeky little grin and only a few seconds of feigned indecision. “Cliffside!” he announces, while taking the flask from V’ro, having graciously waited his turn. “V’ro, you remember it, yeah?” It sounds teasing and amused but it could be his way of giving the other an ‘out’ if the venue is way off mark. The flask is returned or shared again and with a walk now ahead of them, he'll pick up the dropped thread of conversation. “Belated welcome to Xanadu then, M’tras! Now it makes sense wanting to blow off steam.” Humor again, in that but less of the teasing kind.

The humor is met with a grunt, but judging by the slight slant of his lips and brief lift of his brow, that's all agreement. "Thanks," for the belated welcome. Don't mind Rau as his hands come up to his collar to undo the top couple of buttons and run through his hair, mussing the habitually neat short crop. Evidently that's as far as his impromptu dancing prep is going to go, and nevermind his bare feet (he has flipflops tucked in his back pocket~). To be fair, just this much does make a difference in converting him from right and tight assistant weyrlingmaster around the Weyr even in his off hours and a man about to venture elsewhere, somewhere he's not planning to be mistaken for some kind of role model.

Since he no longer needs his hands to attend to his attire, one is reaching casually but without any hesitation to catch the nearest of V'ro's and fingers seek to thread through the greenrider's. He declines to comment on the venue in particular since he doesn't know it, plainly, but seems prepared to follow the lead of the locals. His lips purse slightly as that part of the exchange goes on, eyes flicking skyward and then back, shaking his head slightly. If, then, Koth feels Xath reaching out to find out if she's up for some fun… well, to be expected. Surely, Rau will participate more in the conversation… eventually.

V'ro vouches are clearly without question. Just like his taste in men! Of course nothing will go wrong here. "Cliffside," he repeats, thoughtful just long enough to be distracted watching M'tras fix himself up for joining them. Good thing for Rau that no one will mistake him as a role model while in the company of these greenriders.

"You'll like it there," he tells the brownrider who takes his hand as they trio starts on their trek. "It's not too wild." He might be teasing with this implication that Rau prefers things to be less wild. "We'll make sure you can keep up with us, though, won't we, Ru?"

Rau’s impromptu prep for dancing is met with yet another lingering sweep of Ru’ien’s gaze and an approving tilt of his head. He follows that up with a crooked grin and a cheeky murmured, “Looks good~” Not that he didn’t before! No comment from this peanut gallery either on the joined hands, but he can’t resist a little playful look between them. Aww~ at least there’s no thumbs up?

“Perfect!” Ru’ien is all broad grins and delight now as it’s settled between them. He takes a moment to fuss over the cardigan he’s wearing, as if that’s key before they get going. “Definitely!” he chimes in brightly after V’ro, but grins impishly in the next breath, eyes darting to Rau. “This place doesn’t have poles~” Chuckling, he leaves it at that with a little lift to his shoulders. “Besides! Nothing says we can’t switch it up?” Wilder or milder, Ru’ien doesn’t care — so long as those in his company are enjoying themselves.

He performs a slight bow and small flourish of his hand. “Shall we?” Joking aside, he straightens and takes a half-step lead. Naturally, he will drift to V’ro’s other side when he’s not sauntering ahead — only to turn backwards in order to politely continue any conversations. Somehow he doesn’t end up tripping himself (or any of them) on the way. It won’t take long to reach the venue of choice, tucked away along a stretch of cliffs far enough removed from regular traffic. The actual entrance is some ways down, accessible only by the carved stairs. “So what’s first? We gonna secure an alcove? Order some drinks? Or are we going right for it?” he asks, while they descend and the recessed entrance is now looming ahead.

Xanadu Weyr — Hidden Coastal "Nightclub"
It's one of those 'invite only' places, a word-of-mouth kind of private "establishment" found along the expanse of cliffside coastline that Xanadu boasts. The entrance is high up and accessed by cliffside stairs, whereas the venue inside expands over various 'floors' within (and below). The largest is the dancefloor and entertainment platforms, with the bar and seating around it second. Last are the various 'nooks' scattered about; some are more open and for larger groups. Others are smaller, more removed from the music and dancing — a little something for everyone. This isn't your standard tavern or bar; it's a meeting place of eclectic tastes, few rules and no focus on who is who.

"Tame," Rau appears to agree; his serious face is stellar. "Hands won't touch," nevermind that his is, "hips won't gyrate," nevermind that he's letting V'ro get a step ahead, only to slide in behind him for a moment and press tight to make his point, not even breaking the stride over much, "and not one moment of abandon shall be had." NONE AT ALL. IT IS FORBIDDEN. "Else I'll leave your drunk ass to stagger home with your friend." At least this is more words than he's seen fit to say so far, and perhaps it's all very promising that he can speak, that he will loosen up, and maybe, just maybe that he knows how to dance and get wild with the best of them.

He keeps things tame for the walk, at least, only bending his head long enough to press a kiss to V'ro's throat before shifting back to where he was walking at the greenrider's side, hand still possessively claimed. Mind, of course, that he's not controlling the other, nor does he seem bothered in the least when Ru'ien drops back to walk alongside V'ro, and by and large, everyone sitting down? he is content to let the friends talk, doing more listening than contributing, but the tension in his frame does slowly and subtly ease, if just a little. If he needs to volunteer anything, it's mostly short answers, to the point, without varnish, but conveying his point (or vaguely, definitely intentionally not).

Dark eyes take in the venue as they arrive. With an unreadable expression being M'tras' default look (which, fairly, tends to lend him both mystery and the kind of unflappability that begs the daring to try to ruffle his feathers), it's hard to say what his take on this particular hidden gem is. Just in case anyone wanted his opinion, there's a gesture of a hand to yield the choice to V'ro, perhaps only because this is new territory to the transfer.

"Maybe one drink before we get into it. Just to top us off." That's how alcohol works, right? And they've walked off a bit of their pre-gaming already in the mean time, so it's really just to keep everyone loose and relaxed. "Anyway, you might decide you don't actually want to hang out with us, Ru, and run off with some hot and heavy harper," V'ro teases the other greenrider.

Then to M'tras, "And you are going to have to keep your hands off of me at some point. You can even stand back and brood while I let you watch me grind against some sexy stranger." V'ro, always so questionably bold with people he'll almost certainly be alone with soon enough to regret enjoy the repercussions.

There’s agreement from Ru’ien on drinks, right before he feigns disbelief and hurt feelings. Going as far as to half-step to the side and stop, hand held over his chest while he pouts. “Trying to get rid of me already, V’ro? So cold.“ He breaks that (obvious) facade with a chuckle, smirking. “And why a Harper? Why not another Smith? We could,” That smirk broadens, while his tone lowers and eyes narrow suggestively. “Compare our blades, after all.” It’s a terrible joke, but that’s the whole point! There’s plenty of amusement when V’ro teases M’tras, which he doesn’t bother trying to hide. In fact, he’ll throw in his own by tipping in with: “He’s really good at it too.” and extra emphasis for effect.

“That alcove good?” Ru’ien points to one that looks large enough and faces the better parts of the venue (so, the dance floors) and not right in the thick of things. Confirmation hinges on both V’ro and M’tras’ approval, given the glance between them. Not that he even lingers long on that decision, before settling into the next important thing on the agenda. Drinks! “What’s your poison tonight, M’tras? V’ro, you wanting the usual? I’ll get the first round!” How generous~ Surely there’s no motive behind that impish grin. what was that about running off?

M'tras' dark regard comes back to his companions to watch the exchange as decisions are made, attention flicking from one to the other and back as the shots are fired, giving only an 'as it pleases you' gesture toward the alcove. "A Harper because they're trained to use their tongues." Maybe it's funnier because of the gravity his voice only appears to lend the joke that only sounds like one in content. Rau gets it. But that's not all.

He proceeds to tick off on his fingers as if he's no need to think in this list, "Seek a vintner if you want one who knows how to swallow, a miner if you want one who delves deep, a farmcrafter to plow, a healer to probe, a tanner for a deft hand with skin, a beastcrafter if you want to be wild or tame, a star crafter if you like your sizes astronomic; if you're looking for someone who knows how to handle your wood, there's an obvious choice, and if you want someone to tie you in knots, there's not a man better than a SeaCrafter to lash you til you've hit your limit." Either he knows his men or there's hope for a sense of humor under all that apparent self-possession. He doesn't miss a beat before adding, "Why don't you let me treat the first," to the new-to-him greenrider, because he did rather tag along. He won't stop Ru from going to get it though, since the local knows his way, but he will fork over the marks that should cover it should his offer be accepted.

As for the prick—ing of his pride by the greenrider whose hand he's only recently released, Rau makes a low, "Mmn," of nebulous feeling. Still, a moment later, he replies, "Brooding is exactly what I came to do." It's not. Surely V'ro has not forgotten the circumstances under which they met. "I expect to be rewarded later for my restraint." It's not a question, not even a flirtatious invitation, but the way it's said and the way he looks at V'ro is the sort of look some people would find inspires hairs to raise on the back of the neck with an anticipatory shiver traveling down the spine. Maybe V'ro is not one of these, but some people would enjoy having Rau look at them just that way.

He flicks his gaze to Ru'ien, and only then is there the slightest trace of a bemused smile. "You don't need to tell me." This could mean a number of things, of course, but the inflection is not that Ru'ien shouldn't tell him, it might just mean he knows firsthand.

"Because I like the alliteration," is V'ro's excuse for Ru'ien's temporarily ideal hunk being a Harper. "You're both absolutely terrible," he laughs an accusation with all due appreciation. But he'll give his approval for the alcove, and a nod for his usual. He doesn't seem to care who's paying so long as it's not immediately him.

This time V'ro is the one to take M'tras by the arm and lead him toward the alcove. "I'm sure I'll reward you regardless of your restraint." Because, honestly, the only restraint the greenrider is good at is being restrained by someone else. "You're not going to convince me you don't like bottling everything up just so you can let it all out later, anyway." V'ro is onto you, Rau. Maybe trying to figure out what buttons he can push while the brownrider has to sort of behave. Totally healthy thing.

Brows lift as M’tras begins reciting off that list, Ru’ien’s open-mouthed expression more from deep amusement than actual surprise. By the end, he’s laughing and his contribution comes in the form of more teasing. “You forgot Weavers~” he muses, with a smugness behind his smirk telling that he could share but won’t — and that there’s more than just that Craft missing. To V’ro, he tips a wink and lopsided grin. “Would I be anything less? And admit it! You enjoy it.”

Rau’s offer to pay for the drinks is met with a broad grin from Ru’ien and the tip of his head in agreement. “How generous~” he remarks, with some sincerity (no, really!) despite his continued laissez-faire attitude. Still, he takes the marks when they’re handed over, not even doubting that there’s enough to cover their first round. Another laugh, “But where’s the fun in that?” he feigns disappointment to the brownrider, barely keeping his grin in check so as not to ruin the effect seconds in.

But there are drinks to fetch order and Ru’ien will turn in preparation to head towards that bar. “Don’t get too cozy now, you two~” he tosses back, complete with impish smirk and chuckle, over his shoulder as V’ro drags M’tras off to the alcove. It only takes a handful of minutes or a few more than usual, with his flirting up the bartender proving distracting for Ru’ien to pay for and gather the drinks and to start making his way back carefully to the alcove.

He neglected several, to be sure, but given that the count stands at two to ten, Rau's answer to Ru'ien is an ever so slightly upturned edge of one lip, not quite a smirk, but nearly, and he invites, "By all means, you can educate us when you get back," if he's thought of one by then. There's an edge to the words, but not unfriendly, more like… this predator just doesn't know how to play with his claws sheathed~ Given Ru'ien's lifemate, they should get along just fine, right??

It takes all of two seconds once Ru'ien's back is turned, timed just after V'ro's finished speaking, for Rau to make a clever maneuver that swaps it from V'ro being the one leading him toward the alcove to Rau being the one leading V'ro— conveniently into the cage of his arms to kiss him in a way that attracts a couple of whistles from a few who spot it. Possessive he is in the moment, but when the kiss breaks, his arms release the greenrider, but not because of their audience. "A healer once told me that now is always supposed to make later better, if things are going right." SAGE ADVICE that healer almost definitely did not mean the way V'ro implied, but he uses one hand to spin V'ro back toward the alcove and swat his ass to get him moving that way. The brownrider will follow, tamely, dark eyes scanning the place again even as he opts to stand at its edge - leaning on wall or seatback, whatever's convenient, while he waits for Ru'ien and the arrival of drinks.

When Rau takes the lead, V'ro glances oh so briefly back in Ru'ien's direction before they're in the alcove and the brownrider is kissing him. Of course there's no resistance from the greenrider, even as unexpected as it is. And it's obvious when the kiss is over, when M'tras says that, that V'ro is going to be thinking about those words a lot until the pair of them are alone again. It's a good thing he's wearing pants that are a bit more substantial, or at least have less room, than the silky shorts he favors wearing when they go out dancing when it's warmer. "Be nice to my friend," is all he'll aside before Ru'ien joins them again.

Surrounded as he is with the larger thrum of conversation and ambient noise (and visual distractions), those whistles are likely lost. It’s probably for the best! Had he caught that moment, he would have only added to it by his own whistling or, worse, in teasing gestures of encouragement.

On his return, he’ll navigate the mingling crowds with ease and only distracted once by a passing individual. They’re given quite the appraising look, drawing enough of his focus to earn a slight half-pause in his stride. Whether for their aesthetic taste or the physical attributes (or both), he’s mouthing something praiseworthy and wordlessly with a low chuckle and knowing look flashed to those waiting on him.

“Here we are!” Ru’ien muses while slowing to a graceful stop. Rau’s drink will be offered first, given he’s the closest and standing. May as well free up his hands, right? He’ll offer V’ro his drink next, while he moves to sink down into the available space on the cushioned bench seat. Shrugging out of the cardigan he’s wearing, his drink will be reclaimed from where he set it on the table. Lounging comfortably with one arm slung across the back of the seats and a leg bent over the other knee, his hand raises in a toast while glancing between them, grinning. “Cheers~”

The aside from V'ro earns only an ambiguous arch of a single brow from Rau. When has Rau been anything other than NICE?? Just because definitions differ~ He shifts enough to allow Ru'ien past without any effort needing to be made to avoid him, taking the drink from the greenrider in the same motion, one hand gesturing Ru the invitation he doesn't need (NICELY) into the alcove. After that, the most grim of their party finally joins them. "Thanks," might be a little belated, but maybe his attention was elsewhere - though not on anyone in particular, just the ambiance.

His glass joins in the toast, with his own twist offered, "To an entirely tame and dull evening." It might be funnier because his expression doesn't change and his deep voice just makes it sound so damn serious. The drink is swallowed down - as a shot, if it's a shot, or in a pair or trio of gulps if not. Settling the glass onto the table, his hands bridging around it, he takes a moment to look at it, unreadably, of course, before he's lifting his chin and turning his dark regard on the relative stranger. V'ro asked for this. "So, who's going to show me how Xanadu likes to dance?" At least, with this, finally there's enough crook to the edge of his lips to call it a smile. And he saves them the pain of his trying to make polite small talk.

"Cheers!" V'ro lifts up the glass he plucks gratefully from his fellow greenrider, and takes a healthy drink. "Don't let him fool you into thinking he doesn't know how to have a good time," V'ro tells Ru'ien with a brief grin, and a glance at the brownrider. As though anyone could imagine V'ro hanging out for very long with someone boring. Certainly not enough to invite them along on a night out that's supposed to be fun. But maybe he's growing up, who knows! "Maybe you should be showing Xanadu how we ought to be dancing, Rau?"

Ru’ien finds the humor in Rau’s twist, his grin and lack of falsely-dismayed commentary giving that much away. He’d still be amused even if the brownrider actually was serious! The drinks aren’t really a shot and he’ll marvel for a moment at Rau, his grin broadening. Is that how the night’s drinking will be? Sign him up! He’ll take his own drink by thirds, the first sip made just as V’ro speaks.

“Oh, I don’t think you have to worry~” Ru’ien muses, glancing sidelong to the younger greenrider and smirking crookedly. Maybe he really does trust his judgement! “Now there’s an idea!” he chimes in agreement with V’ro’s suggestion. Sorry, not sorry! It’s too good to pass up. Grinning around the edge of his glass, he’ll tip back another sip. “I’ll admit it, I’m curious.” Just that? “Maybe I’ll get a feel to what we’re up for tonight, y’know?” Because clearly this is a proper venue for polite dancing only.

Does Ru'ien have a long lost ECHO?? It might sound like it, since Rau opts to quote him exactly, in response to V'ro's suggestion. "Trying to get rid of me already, V'ro? So cold." He even manages to mimic the inflection, but his lips are settled in that subtle smile when he delivers it, flicking a glance toward Ru'ien with a barely-there flick of a brow up by the tiniest visible increment. BUT THEN, the brownrider did crash their fun night. "How can I resist, when you put it that way." Which way? It may be that M'tras read slightly more into how V'ro said it (or just decided he liked it to read a different way better).

He's sliding out of his seat and there's a twist to his torso that his lower body follows, pivoting before gliding to stand more or less centered between where the two greenriders sit. It bodes well for being able to dance anyway. A hand is extended to each, the gesture capturing the power of his impressive physique in a subtle and distinctly masculine invitation that falls just short of demand. —If a hair tug of just the right pull could be made a gesture, it would be this one. "Come on, then." He dares you. It's there in his dark eyes, in the subtle lift of his chin in the set of his lips that don't quite manifest the teasing smile in a way everyone can read, but just enough there that the message is likely to make it to the intended targets.

The look V'ro gives Ru'ien is not easy to translate, but there's definitely a look that he's given before the younger greenrider gets out of his seat to take M'tras' hand. "If you're good, maybe this night out can end like our first." Which is to say, with him and not some other hot greenrider who is very close at hand. Never mind that if V'ro keeps poking the Rau, the brownrider might want to end the night with his hands around the greenrider's throat but none of the other fun that could go with it. Is anyone starting to wonder if V'ro is feeling out of sorts?

Ru’ien quirks a brow as well to that echo from Rau, mirth contained to a curved grin and partially hidden by the rim of his glass. He keeps his gaze locked on the brownrider, a low throated chuckle preceding another sip. Not a bad impression! He’ll follow with his gaze too, as Rau slides out of his seat, expression set in an amused wonder and intrigue. Further movement has a darted look to V’ro, in time to catch that not-so easily translated look. Is the slanted smile meant to be reassuring or teasing? at least he didn’t wink

He’ll reach for that offered hand and his drink now being set aside, as his eyes flash, then narrow at the dare as his lips curve into a roguish grin. Challenge accepted! “Let’s see what you got~” he muses, in a way that may be to both Rau and V’ro in tandem. There’s little to worry about here with Ru’ien. It’s all in good fun maybe just for him! He’s not going to mess with anything (not intentionally, anyways)! He’s just going to be a terrible tease observer and play into it.

Rau's low laugh as V'ro takes his hand and dangles that bait right the greenrider thinks it will do most good might seem ominous, but that hand, though not his other, does a quick jerk to pull V'ro against him just so Rau can tip his head the short distance to be near enough his ear that he doesn't have to shout - though he doesn't make an effort not to be heard. "I wouldn't want it any other way, Green Eyes." There's something just a little soft about his tone; it's meant to be reassuring. There may be several ways Rau prefers V'ro to stay off balance, but worrying that Rau is going to be trying to double-dip on the serving of greenriders in proximity is not among them.

He lets the reel of his arm loosen so V'ro needn't be up against him for more than that moment if he'd rather have some distance, say the amount that Ru'ien continues to enjoy at that casual arm's length as M'tras moves onto the dance floor. Maybe he will teach Xanadu a thing or two~ Maybe not. Either way, he does prove to have some fancy footwork and the ability to put his athletic frame to excellent use. If it proves that Rau tends to keep V'ro between himself and Ru'ien more often than not… well, it's nothing personal Ru~

It might even become a fun sort of game. Ru'ien being a terrible tease and Rau redirecting those attentions. Just how many very attractive partners will Ru'ien gain from having Wingman Rau on duty? However many he wants, probably. Substantially fewer than V'ro gets, but seeing as how despite the fact that the brownrider seems willing enough to let the greenrider have his fun with— well, whomever, he's always glad to reclaim him when the opportunity presents. Quiet he is, by and large, but a stick in the mud he can prove he is not through the course of the night, drinking, dancing and generally cutting loose— even if there might be a sense that there's always a part of him that never manages to slip the leash. Oh well~ Some letting loose is better than none~

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