====September 25, 2013
====Cerise, V'dean
====History minutia, sand preferences, and knife juggling.

Who Cerise, V'dean
What History minutia, sand preferences, and knife juggling.
When There is 1 turn 1 month and 21 days until the 12th pass.
Where Beach, Southern Weyr



An eerie mirror, the glass-quiet Sea of Azov: the clear waters stretch along the dark-pebbled shores, and along this narrow beach. Here the faintest lap of waves belies the calm beyond; here the rocks have been ground down into finest, softest sand - those observant would mark upon the similarity between it and the sands of the hatching grounds. The soft sand soaks up summer sunlight as a sponge; painfully hot during the warmer months, it is only truly pleasant at wintertime. Rocks rise to east and west, lichen-limned and green against the abyssal darkness of stone.
It is Spring and 80 degrees. It is slightly overcast.

Here are the few brief hours that a candidate can dedicate to their own needs, trapped between the dinner hour and the mandated lights out within the barracks. Given the strictness of the schedule they must keep to, it's perhaps no surprise that many choose to spend these hours out of doors. Or…maybe that's just Cerise? But here she is. The soft beach sand is still warm from the day's high sun, but the sky is beginning to fade from fire-kissed pastels to a sweet blue punctured by one over achieving star- and of course, the moons. She's made a nest for herself near the high tide mark, a wallow spread with a blanket and marked with a glow-basket opened to half. And…well, that's all, really. She sits on the blanket with her toes digging into the sand and her eyes on the horizon that has just swallowed the sun. From a distance, it looks peaceful, contented, perhaps even serene.

These days, Southern's riders are perhaps rather short on hours as well. Maybe it is odd to find one seeking out more activity after the ramped up drills. Maybe, with summer's heat nearing, it makes sense that dawn and dusk offer a shoreline jogger the best chance for a ruffle of wind stirring off of Azov's calm sea. It's an almost pathetically amble-paced jog at that, seemingly more an excuse to turn distracted eyes onto the changing horizon while falling into the meditative rhythm of breath. Bare ankles flecked with sand, V'dean turns from the wave-washed hardpack not far from Cerise. Maybe it's that glowlight that draws him in, his path bowing first and then becoming more direct as grinning recognition is made. Breaking into a walk, he shoves fallen bangs off of his sticky forehead as he heads her way. "Cerise."

Good heavens, not bare ankles. Small wonder that Cerise's eyes are so quickly pulled away from the oceanscape before her when she catches that flicker of movement from the corner of her eyes. Her head turns a beat later- her hair is twisted up to treat the nape of her neck to some of that ruffling wind, but a few curls bounce around her face- and her eyes narrow in a squint while she tries to match ankles to features. The gathering gloom undoes her though until V'dean is near enough for her to mark that grin and recognize that voice. Her salute lags a second, and does more to transfer crumbs of sand to her brow than transmit respect. "Bluerider. Or is that wingrider? I'm still learning the formalities," she fibs. "Please, don't let me interrupt your, ah…whatever that was you were doing." Because surely it wasn't a run.

"Either should suffice," V'dean answers with smooth droll. The smirk he starts corrodes into something flatter at her latter claimed uncertainty. "Likewise," is thus rather barbed as he drags another neatening trace along his dewed hairline. Dripping sweat, it's maybe not the best look. In any case, he draws up to stand aside Cerise's nest in the sand with curled knuckles setting to his hips as he looks her over. "I think I've figured it out," the rider shares with a brighter lilt. "It must have fallen out of the records. What with all that was going on. The cloth shortage probably didn't seem worthy of so much as a footnote. It explains so much." His slanted smile has skewed back into place.

Perhaps he is referring to the light sundress she's donned for this excursion? When Cerise realizes what he's on about- it takes a moment since he waits to slip the punchline in there- she stretches back on the blanket, legs crossed at the ankles and her elbows supporting her weight. So comfortable. "You've been dipping into the records to learn more about me? That's so very flattering. I'm touched. Right around…here." She tilts onto one elbow to free a hand to pat at her chest, approximate to her heart. Right in the heartplace, yep. Even the gloaming can't dim the smile she adopts to match the sentiment. "You know all you had to do was ask. Perhaps say please?"

V'dean may have some interest in the sundress, and seemingly even more in the stretch of crossed legs it reveals. And yet, the pat of Cerise's hand pulls his attention swiftly enough. To her heart, approximately. A slim run of tongue wets his shifting smile. "I think I know plenty." It's a liquid motion that drops him into a crouch, arms slid to balance elbows on knees and barely a waver as he balances on toes in the shifting sand. His jog may have not looked very inspiring, but one way or another, it hasn't exactly left the rider out of breath. "Where's your knot?" The dimness, the question itself - it may all just be an excuse for the absent fingers he stretches to brush towards the sling of that light sundress over her nearer shoulder.

"You think so?" Cerise, the doubting Thomas. She affects skepticism, seen in the tilt of her head and the squinting of one eye, accompanied with a lifted brow. Not the most attractive look but it has an authenticity to it that she likely knows how to exploit. "I wonder, has that phrase about assumptions survived to the present day?" she muses aloud. No sooner have his fingers traveled over cloth and shoulder than she's tipped to one elbow again, reaching crosswise over to needlessly straighten that strap. "My knot…ah, look at that." Her chin tips down so she can do just that. "It's likely still pinned to my blouse in the barracks, from when I changed. Is that a flogging offense?"

"Mmmhmm." V'dean is a bastion of certainty in the dubiously attractive face of her uncertainty. Her musing has his tongue clucking in quiet admonishment, though there isn't exactly any sign of scandal in the laughing spark of cool green eyes as they slant to watch her features. His fingers don't stray far, steady from the prop of his forearm over knee and dangling near as she completes her needless straightening. As if to give her actual cause, with a twitch his index knuckle uncurls to reach for the strap so he might drag it closer to the point of her shoulder. "It may be," his solemnity is far from sincere. "I'll have to check my handbook. I've hardly looked at the new thing," his nose wrinkles. "I'd rather they stuck with the old one. Like Igen sensibly went back to. You really have no business on the sands. Those ones. These…?" A wider smile marks of greater approval of her on these sands, right here with the moons overhead.

"Is that why you're trying to nudge me closer to being thrown out? You'd rather have me on these sands?" The question is asked after Cerise has righted the strap once more- then reached out to curl hand over shoulder, meaning to give him a shove suitable to testing that gargoyle stance's balance. Oops. Perhaps she forgot that he isn't Dimitri. "For shame, rider. Dallying with a poor innocent girl this way. Though if it's any consolation, the eggs have been loud in their dislike. T'won't be me who comes away with a dragon come hatching day," she says, brogue escaping otherwise crisp control. It's a wavering that's echoed in her expression as she rocks back to center wallow, brooding shown in a twitch of eyebrows, thoughtfulness in the purse of her lips. "Dimitri might, though."

"Well." The smiling flash of his teeth is interrupted as her shove succeeds in tipping V'dean off his centered balance. Her shoulder ad strap are safer for the hand he throws back to turn his topple into a neater seat upon the soft sand. His knees fall loose, feet rumpling at the edge of her blanket and scuffing sand over the top. His chuckle is a single, low bark. "Poor, I'll believe," is his sly retort as eyes drag over her image of slip-accented brooding. Shoulder turning in on the prop of his arm, his other forearm has fallen between his shins where he can pluck at the edge of her sandified blanket. "And then what shall you do, without a man to look after you. Perhaps Renalde might be convinced to take you in." The tilt of his smile is all wickedness.

"You're horrible." This is stated as simple fact, a bald truth. But V'dean has succeeded in pulling a smile back into place, seen tugging at her lips when Cerise gives him the old side-eye while the man rearranges himself on the sands. And so comfortably too! She doesn't begrudge him that, at least, nor does she attempt to defend the borders of the blanket. "Was that a hint of jealousy? If so you'll be glad to know Renalde knotted me for the barracks, no doubt in the hopes I'd be the Weyrlingmaster's business eventually. But I'll likely go back to dancing. I make my own marks, thank you, with no need for a man at all. Maybe start offering lessons, with the weyrwoman already a student of mine. Do you dance, sir?"

V'dean doesn't bother to deny it, settling in cozily upon his seat of sand. The cool green of his gaze is even drifting off again along the bared length of her legs. "Did he?" It tugs at his own smile, a quieter twitch of mirth that's soon eclipsed by the thought of her mark making. It pulls his smirking attention back to find brown eyes. "Dancing." Performing. This is familiar ground, isn't it? "I may know something of dancing," hardly seems to matter much. Not when: "The weyrwoman. Is that so?" The rake of his eyes is clearly picturing more than what he sees before him. "Perhaps you might not need a man."

There, he's won her full and undivided attention. True, Cerise's gaze is the warm gold of stage-perfect sympathy but it's a start, right? No longer competing with the color-dipped ocean! Victory! "You really can't help it, can you? You have to go there. Is that how boys are taught to flirt now? A pretty smile in one hand, an insinuation in the other? Or did you suffer from too many sisters growing up, and still resent us women because of it?" She pulls herself up to a fully seated position and reaches up to tuck those wayward curls behind her ears. "I'm curious, does it actually work for you? Being demanding and superior has never endeared a man to me." How sweet: she's giving him pointers!

It takes a blinking moment for V'dean to really focus back. He does so with low-lidded amusement. The fiddling of his fingers has turned to a snug curl of his fist about the edge of her blanket. "I've suffered many things." Poor him - except he doesn't sound convincing at all. The prop of his arm is given up as his weight tips forward, both hands now upon the blanket's hem as he half-balances off of a steady tug. It's not really enough force to pull anything towards him, but it does anchor his leaning in. "You consider me superior?" is what he takes from all of that with the glint of a smile.

"I don't know you well enough to say. I bet I can juggle more knives than you can though, so it's doubtful." What is he doing with her blanket? Cerise's eyes flick down before springing back up to watch his face for tells. Without looking again, she reaches out to prod tensed knuckles. "I should never have told you that you were pretty. It's gone and made you all swollen in the head," she sighs, only one dimple evidence courtesy of a lopsided smile. Down goes her gaze again and if it lingers this time, it's only because she's anticipating a stronger tug this time.

A low hum is pitched to actually agree with her doubt. You would almost think it'd make him more cautious, this granted superiority with knives. And yet, under her watch, V'dean just lets her prod slowly spread a smile across his features. "Oh, sweetheart," he says with fondly patronizing amusement. "I didn't need you to tell me that I'm pretty." Not to disappoint, his wrists turn under her dropped gaze and his bare heels set to brace for a more earnest pull of the blanket. It's a smooth pressure, meant to drag Cerise in closer rather than jostle suddenly. "As for my head," is a comment that sparks silent laughter into his gaze. "You don't really want to be a candidate, do you?" Tip goes his chin with the query, twitch goes a suggestive eyebrow.

Whether she does or whether she doesn't, Cerise doesn't appear inclined to answer. Not because she doesn't reply, though that is also true, but because she lets the gentle forward momentum tip her gently back- and then she just keeps on going, feet over head (pardon the brief flash he's subjected to!), in a neatly tucked backroll that leaves her rising to stand full height. And, it should be noted, also leaves the bluerider with a blanket that's empty of everything but the sand he'd managed to scatter over its surface. "You can keep that," she tells him as she daintily dusts herself off, "it's four hundred Turns old. A valuable antique." A quick dip secures the glow-basket and then the young woman is proceeding towards the boardwalk with the light swinging lazy at her side.

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