Playing Hooky

Xanadu Weyr - Meadow
A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.

Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a stone wall and low rolling hills can be seen to the north. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests to the southwest or ore from the mountains to the southeast are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

The afternoon sky is a bright and cheerful blue, dotted with puffy white clouds that float lazily by and cast a patchwork of shady areas upon the meadow below. Kanekith's bronze form is easily seen upon the flowery field of green grass. The bronze lounges, laid upon his stomach, but he’s not quite as motionless as the picturesque day may assume him to be. Instead of a midday nap, the large bronze is snuffling, nuzzling at something that’s laying in the grass below him. Every now and again his head will rear up with a grunted noise, but always will he go back down with a chirp and warble. Like a cat playing with its soon to be meal! Or a canine playing with a toy.

Isyriath is most likely off doing what he does lurking somewhere unobtrusively and listening in on as much conversation as he can without weighing in with too many of his own thoughts. He has to do something to kill time while his rider is at the shop, after all, and it's after checking on things that Marel has started the trek back home, green firelizard clinging possessively to her shoulder. There's still something of a limp to her step, as evidence by only a slight twist of her hips at the right moment to favour one leg, and the ever-present anklet is visible today, thanks to her wearing sandals. She spots Kanekith as she walks through the grass, and it's not the sight of him, but his 'odd' behaviour that has her stopping to peer over at him, shielding her eyes from the glare of the sun.

Eventually there are more sounds to be heard other than those made by Kanekith himself. Along with his warbles and grunts and draconic sounds of what could be chuckling more humanesque noises can be heard. The sounds of snickering. Scoffing. Sounds of surprise. And then up from the grass and hand reaches, two of them actually, accompanied by arms that wrap around the dragon’s coppery muzzle. Kanekith snuffles and rears his head up, pulling with him his rider who still clings to his nose triumphantly. “Ha!” says Ka'el with a victorious grin on his face. “Now who’s bos- Hey!” His victory speech is cut short as the bronze snorts out a heavy breath right against his chest, and a light headshake completes the action of blowing Ka’el right back down onto the grass. “Oomph!” Heh. Heh. Heh. If dragons really could chuckle, he’d be doing so now! But even with his attention so focused ohis rider, Kanekith is aware of another presence, and he swings his head in Marel’s direction. Hello there, spy.”Huh?” Ka’el props himself up on one elbow, then grins upon seeing the brownrider. “Hey Marel!”

Marel has reached a halt not so far from the bronze, not close enough to invade his space, but not far enough to ignore and be antisocial (even if it were possible to ignore a dragon of his size), and something like a flicker of relief passes across her features when she discovers Ka'el there in the grass. "I did wonder if he was choking, for a moment…" she confesses, taking slow, meandering steps closer. "Or sneezing." Her steps eventually bring her close enough to look down at the bronzerider, a hand offered not to him, but to Kanekith, should he be interested in the greeting.

“I don’t think there’s much that’d choke Kanekith,” answers Ka’el, his smirk crooked. “He has the biggest mouth of any dragon I’ve known, and likely the throat to match.” He grins and gives his hair a few swipes with his hand, already mussed due to dragon lips and nibbles. So much for looking presentable! That outstretched hand indeed catches Kanekith’s attention, and the bronze gradually leans towards it, nostrils flaring to give her a mighty sniff. He rumbles, flicks his tail, and then pulls away. “That’s the most greeting you’ll get out’ve him,” Ka’el says as he begins to stand up, brushing his hands over his trousers to get rid of sticking blades of grass. His eyes flit over her ankle bracelet, pausing there for a moment. His expression stiffens .. but when he looks at her face again, his smile is back. “Good day to you! On your way home?”

At least Marel's hand is not inhaled. Her fingers flex a little when Kanekith leans nearer, like she might brush fingertips against his nose, yet that's all she does, no demands made or offense taken. "I don't know. Maybe your sense of humour might have him laugh himself to choking," she ventures dryly, reaching now to pluck some stray strands of grass from Ka'el's shoulder and abandon them to the ground. The anklet has been a feature for long enough now that she doesn't look to react at all to anyone else's reaction to the sight of it, or it could simply be a steely extension of her usual calm, and so she accepts his smile without comment, even as the firelizard launches from her shoulder and abandons her for a trip Between to somewhere else. "Yes," she confirms. "I got most of the accounts done today and we're still making a profit, so can't complain, really. Business should be better in this weather, anyway." She tips a smile of her own up to him. "You out here playing hooky?"

“Now that is a very real possibility,” says Ka’el with a sage and solemn nod. “Xanadu knows the levels of my humor. I am, perhaps, the funniest man on the Weyr. Harper Hall begs for my performances, but alas, I’m far too busy. Which, I’ll have you know, is a good thing. My comedic prowess is so grand, I’d have the entire Weyr in stitches, dragons and whers and firelizards included. Can you imagine the choking?” He grins, and when her firelizard leaves her shoulder, he takes the opportunity to claim the vacated spot. Moving beside her, he slings an arm around her shoulder and pulls her in against his side, giving her a playfully rough hug. “Business will be better. Tis the season of flower givin’ and all that anyway, right? Bouquets and vases and professions’ve love. You’ll be so busy, you won’t know what to do with yourself.” A grin. “And of course I’m out here playing hooky. The day’s too nice not to, and who’s there to stop me?” Besides her mother! “Plus, Kanekith and I needed a heart to heart. How’ve you been?”

"What, you eliminating the whole Weyr in a matter of moments? The stuff of legend, to be sure, but I'm not sure what sort of legend," Marel utters dryly, slinging an arm around his waist as he sling one around her shoulder. "Business is picking up," she lightly agrees. "It varies from month to month, as is to be expected. What we lose in the winter, we make up now, so—" She shakes her head and looks up at him, abruptly silencing herself on that subject. "Don't worry, I'm not about to go reciting numbers on you," the brownrider promises. As for her wellbeing, it's the usual, nice, even, "I'm fine," that's making it more and more difficult to tell whether she's ever telling the truth. "Looking for more firelizard messengers, actually. I've got Brier, Flynn and Kathy, and they're reliable enough, but the business could do with more. Even if they eat everything in sight. I'm not about to make firelizard Impression mandatory for staff." That's said with a sly grin; just a hint of one. "Have you been too long in the office then, and not enough with Kanekith? For shame."

Ka’el smirks. “Unforgettable legend, of course,” he replies, squeezing her a bit once her arm is around him. “And I’ll take your word that business is getting better. Truth be told, my days are nothin’ but words and numbers, so if you feel compelled to lay them out, go for it.” He’ll listen! He begins to walk now, his gait a meandering stroll, taking her with him. Kanekith watches but makes no move to follow. Laying in the grass is nice, and he soon rolls onto his side to sunbathe. “You’re fine,” he repeats smirking faintly at her. “Are you really? … You do seem fine. You look fine.” A chuckle and he looks ahead. “A squadron of firelizards, eh? I’d let you borrow Alloy, but he’s become rather fond’ve his position as Weyrleader Firelizard, Overseer of All the Happens Within the Weyr.” Blue eyes are given a faint roll, and he laughs after. “Maybe you can gently suggest that more firelizards would be helpful? Maybe workers will take that as a hint.” He shakes his head. "It's his own fault if he's been feeling neglected. He's refused to sleep anywhere but his arch. Former arch," he calls over his shoulder.

"Well, what could possibly be wrong with me?" Marel puts to him around what lingers of that grin. "I'm perfect." Of course. She falls easily into step, and if she should be absently guiding them back towards the way of her cottage, then there's some sort of homing instinct at play there. "Don't worry, I'm not going to go around accosting people for their firelizards. If I'm going to get a reputation for something, it's not that," she promises. "I suppose we'll see whether I can find any eggs, for a start. Unfortunately, they don't all hatch useful, anyway, do they?" She angles a quick look back over her shoulder at Kanekith, brow furrowing. "Is he spurning Luraoth's company, then?"

“Marel, the Firelizard Lady,” muses Ka’el as he looks up to the sky. “Mmmm. Has a certain ring to it,” he says with lifted brows, a secretive smirk on his face. “There are worse things to have reputations for, true. You’re lookin’ for somethin’ tougher? Risque? How about …. Marel, slayer of flowers? Murderer of blooms?” His grin grows as they walk along, gradually leaving Kanekith further behind. “Ah I wouldn’t say spurning. He .. tolerates her, but he’s never been the type’ve dragon to share anything, and he’s still sour about me leavin’ our Weyr for Sori’s. He has gotten a bit better. He’ll at least go to Luraoth’s barn durin’ the day if I’m there. But when it comes to sleeping at night? He’s adamant that he go back to his arch back at our old weyr.” He tilts his head at her. “Did Xeosoth have any issue when he and M’kal came to live with you?”

"I'd rather be the Firelizard Lady than Murderer of Blooms, thank you," Marel says with affected primness. "That really wouldn't be good for business now, would it?" She nudges one of her hips against his too, just to make sure the 'reprimand' sticks. "Kanekith will… forget, eventually, won't he? If you let him." That's said so quietly that she may well have pulled that stunt once or twice (or more) herself. "I don't think Xeosoth really minded. Isyriath doesn't mind sharing. And, well, M'kal wasn't really keeping house at his place, you know? I know he was doing right by Xeosoth, don't get me wrong, but the place really could have done with some more furniture. And other things." She shrugs one shoulder. "And they're both boys. Maybe there're some kind of dragon sexual politics going on with Kanekith and Luraoth."

Ka’el sways his body a little upon the impact of hips, snickering. “Ow..” A grin. “He’d forget…if I could forget. But he’s in my thoughts a lot, goin’ through my history like it’s his favorite book, and that place has … a lot of memories I’d rather hold on to. Don’t think I could forget even if I wanted to.” He looks at her now with an expression that’s a little curious. What things are she withholding from her brown? What thoughts and memories did she allow to fade from his mind? Her comments on M’kal brings a chuckle to his lips though, nodding once. “I visited him once. Had never been in an underground weyr before til then. It was different. .. I think you women just like stuff. We men are minimalists. We have just what we need, no more, no less.” A bed and a chair. What more does one need? “Mm. Maybe you’re right about the dragons. I just know if and when anyone moves into my old weyr, if Kanekith isn’t over it by then, it’ll be ….interesting.”

"You don't have to… forget. Just don't dwell. Don't think about it too much," Marel answers very carefully, betraying herself only with a glance down at her anklet as she steps forward with that foot. "And redirect if what you want lost is stumbled upon," she murmurs. She gives him another nudge for his trouble after that remark about women collecting clutter, and tells him, "Next time you're at my place, you can ignore all the unnecessary furnishings, then. Like the couches and cushions and all that. You can be minimalist and stand in the corner until I find you a rickety old chair to sit on." So there. But at least she's kind in proffering the invitation, whether she means to go through with her threat or not. "Anyway, do you want to come and share some cake? I cut a deal with a baker who didn't have the marks for the flowers and gifts he wanted, so I've been drowning in cake for a while." So, she's rich in baked goods, if not actual marks directly from the shop.

“Huh … I’ll try that,” Ka’el answers slowly, brows furrowing as he mulls it over. Don’t dwell. Redirect. There’s a flicker of his own eyes down to her leg. To that contraption that he hasn’t commented on. Hasn’t dwelled upon since Marel’s arrival here in the meadow. And how easy it has been to ignore the fact that it’s there. Will it be so easy with Kanekith? Maybe. He’ll have to see. Wait. Try. For now, he continues to not acknowledge her anklet as they approach her welcoming cottage. Everything looks so cheerful in the summer! “Don’t even bother with the chair,” he suggests. “I’ll just lean against the wall or sit on the floor. You don’t know how easy it is to do without!” he teases, grin back in full-force. The mentioning of cake has his brows raising. “Everything should be traded for cake. Who needs marks? I’ll bring that up during the next council meeting..” he muses before his act is dropped with a laugh. “Yes! Let’s go then. Towards cake! And you won’t even have to give me a plate. Just drop a piece in the palm of my hands and I’ll take care of the rest.” Nomnom! Grinning, he heads with her, arm still around her shoulders, towards her cottage and the sweet desserts that wait them.

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