==== January 6th, 2014
==== N'cal, Vashae
==== Vashae sneaks up on N'cal in the stores. Talk is shared, and time is…stolen? Given? Promised, at any rate.

Who N'cal, Vashae
What Vashae sneaks up on N'cal in the stores. Talk is shared, and time is…stolen? Given? Promised, at any rate.
When Evening. There are 3 months and 12 days until the 12th Pass.
Where Stores, Igen Weyr

Ncal3.jpg vashaetria_icon3.jpg


igenstores.jpg

Store
Boxes, everywhere: some are buried beneath the fugue of dust and spinner-webs, thrust unceremoniously into unseen corners, full of mysterious contents, their solid lids as yet unbroached. Still others line the dirt-smeared walls, damage evident in the caved-in sides or lids set askew. Littering the floor, debris has been left piled in disorganization, left untouched by inattentive drudges and administrative staff. Dull glows splutter feebly in their worn baskets, and the air is fusty and moist, shrouded in the humidity that is Igen. Moisture collects, languid, in the corners of the cavern, lending their own fragrance of mildew and green, growing things,while the occasional dry scratch of scales suggests inhabitants one might not want to inspect too closely.


There's some shuffling going on in the storerooms beyond Igen's living cavern this evening, accompanied by some intermittent thumps and dull clanks caused by a source unseen. However, any soul venturing further in will eventually discover, between a few high, long shelves somewhere halfway along the room, the tall form of N'cal raised up about half a weaver's-length above his already considerable height. Responsible for the altitude adjustment is the short crate he's turned into a step - all the better to see into the deep shelf he's currently occupied with. Whatever is within is inspected, shifted over, disregarded in favor of what's uncovered next…and the bluerider has apparently been here for a bit, judging by the smudges of dust swiped across a lightly sweating brow and the look of concentration writ upon the narrow lines of his face. Clearly a man on a mission.

Curiosity has a habit of killing the felines, and while Vashae isn't exactly a feline herself, her stealth could almost classify her as such tonight. While she initially ventured into the depths of the stores for other reasons than ogling wild N'cals, she's certainly not about to protest the sight! Leaning easily against the side of a shelf nearby, she grins a little, and finally decides to make a little noise; in the form of an amused statement. "Shells, Wingsecond," her tone's as teasing as always, "one might almost think you're on a quest." As she falls silent again, her head tilts slowly to the side; a small, playful smile curled across her lips. Hopefully she doesn't startle him too badly. Her own mission goes abandoned for the moment, if only for the brief pleasure of teasing a wingmate.

Did N'cal expect anyone else to venture down here at this hour? Clearly not, as someone suddenly being right there does indeed startle him - enough for his footing to bobble under the small jump the new arrival's voice elicits. "Bloody-" is all the Arroyo wingsecond gets out as he stiffens and takes a white-knuckled grip on the shelf in front of him to steady himself. Content that he's stable once again, he looks over and down, brow furrowed in frustration - an expression that quickly evaporates once he sees that it's Vashae. "One might think," he counters with smirk slightly sheepish because she nearly made him fall, shardit, "you are a little too good at that, wingrider." Something metal now purloined from his shelf, he takes a bit of a jaunty hop off his step and brushes off his pants, then shoves rolled sleeves a bit further up his elbows. "But you'd be right, yes." Brows arch expressively in query, smirk evening to a smile. "And what of you, Vashae? On the hunt for something yourself?"

Vashae's smile doesn't falter in the slightest, not even when she sees his initially frustrated expression, which perhaps says something of the mood she herself is in. Though before he turned around, she might have been seen to look concerned at his near-fall. But that expression's long gone. "If I'm good at it, then I'm doing things right." Is her rejoinder, accompanied by a playful wink. "But it seems you found what you sought, so one would suppose that's a good thing." His question as to her purpose here earns another smile from the woman, and a delicate shrug. "Jov decided now was the best time to hunt, so I decided to…do some hunting of my own." Though for what she doesn't specify. If there even is a what attached.

Folding his arms and leaning to help her prop up the shelf, N'cal shows off his grin again, chuckling lightly. "Indeed. It's a valuable skill. One I may have good reason to keep in mind for future duties; keep it honed," he says, gesturing idly at her with his metal fitting and then seeming to just notice it again. "It's one of four I need; I've still a bit of looking to do. But, at any rate…" He tosses the fitting back to the shelf, then tilts his head at her curiously. "Does Jovianth press you into such hunts often?" he questions, his tone gradually slipping into the teasing realm. "Would you happen to need a hand in your current venture? Perhaps someone of a taller persuasion, to look where you might not be able, hm?"

Vashae chuckles with amusement at her Wingsecond's antics, and merely smiles a little at his comment. "I intend to, if it enables me to sneak up on those such as yourself." Now she's really just being playful; though she's also probably part serious; how much is perhaps the question. "Adding a shelf to your weyr, or something?" It's idle curiosity that spurs the question, though it's followed immediately by a very dryly sarcastic, "only when he insists on hunting at this hour. If I didn't love him so much…" The headshake she gives dispels any further sarcastic mentions - from her, at least - of her loveable, but idiot, lifemate. Her eyes instead rove N'cal's height, as if only now reminded of the fact that he is, in fact, taller. "Were I looking for something specific, perhaps!" She laughs a little. "It's been a while since I've poked about down here, I always seem to end up searching just to see what relics I can find lingering amongst the shelves." Not that relics are a bad thing, necessarily.

N'cal is tall - taller than many here, and enough beyond Vashae that he idly speculates that she might fit rather easily beneath his chin, so pronounced as the difference between them is. Of course, making that observation means she's under his scrutiny once again, and he blinks, smirking at her first comment. "Planning on sneaking up on me more often, are you?" The tease in his voice remains, slipping into his eyes now. From there, he flips a hand to indicate the thing he just tossed aside, then gives a rueful chuckle. "Repairing a table," he answers blandly, his gaze returning to her sidelong. "I may have…tripped over it, after the party. It was dark." Sure. That's all that contributed to the breakage. Right. To her last, he eyes one of the higher places in the shelving. "Relics, hm? I've certainly come across my share of those this evening. Some of them may have even bit me." He turns a hand over, frowning at a welt across the back of it before giving a slight shrug.

Vashae's just about the perfect height for fitting easily underneath chins, though thankfully it's because he's taller than her, not because she's some short midget. Scrutiny meets scrutiny, though Vashae's is played out with that same teasing smile still playing on her lips. "Perhaps if only to prove it wasn't a fluke." She replies lightly, shifting noiselessly on her feet as if to further her proof of being sneaky. And to think she comes by it honestly! It's probably only idly that her eyes note the curve of his lips right now. His admission of table abuse is met with amusement sparking clearly in her eyes, and she shakes her head lightly in mirth. "That poor, poor table," she says, her tease evident yet again. "I hope none of them were rusty or sharp…" It's her Healer training (and her own personal feelings for him) that spark that comment. Ever the Healer, ever the Rider. "You never know what'll turn up down here," she adds after a moment, with a smile that's somewhere between real and illusory. "I once found a very old music box."

The gaze meeting his own only serves to suffuse his eyes with more of a smile, though presently, N'cal gives a subtle nod of approval for the young woman's sneakiness. But then it's the table getting sympathy, and he absolutely must take advantage of that. "The table?" he questions, feigning injury in his expression and the welted hand pressed to his chest indignantly. "No concern that the table might have given me a gash or a broken toe or a wrenched ankle? You wound me." The bleak expression on his face doesn't last very long, however, a grin scarcely held in check. At the thought of whatever scratched him being rusty or sharp, he examines his hand, then holds it out toward her - not concerned, but allowing for inspection at any rate. "Not sharp enough to break skin," he observes, "though I'm not sure about rust. I'm terrible at minding myself when it comes to such things. What do you think? In need of attention? Or perhaps just a good hand-washing?" he questions, smirking yet again.

His play at being offended over her choosing to feel sorry for the table earns yet another smile from Vashae, one she doesn't even bother to hold in check with his antics. "If you'd wrenched your ankle or broken a toe, you wouldn't have been quite so agile at keeping yourself from falling when I surprised you." She observes with perhaps mildly ironic amusement. And of course she'd make note of that, despite such things having not been her specialty when she was a crafter. "If it didn't break skin, you're safe." This time there's a grin crossing her lips at his silliness. "Well, as safe as can be." From relics, is quite possibly what she meant; but as it's not said, it's veeery free for interpretation. "I don't remember if I said so at the time," she says suddenly, smiling again, "but thank you. For the dance."

"Details," N'cal scoffs at her return to his act. "Though I will have you know I'm sporting a rather spectacular bruise. Incredible coloring." Then his eyes fall to his hand again, and he nods. "I thought as much," he remarks, grinning in turn as much over his own silliness as in response to Vashae's expression. At the thanks for the dance, that grin warms, becoming a bit subtler as some of its brightness migrates to sparkle in his eyes as he regards her now. "You're most welcome," he answers, his tone softening slightly as he straightens from the shelf and bows slightly from his waist. "And thank you for allowing me the honor." His chin lowers slightly, his gaze at her a bit more direct now, but no less admiring. "I might have attempted to monopolize your dance time, had I seen you earlier. If you don't mind my saying."

"Former Healer," is Vashae's reminder to his return; though it's at least with a smile. "I'm sure your bruise is magnificently colored." Now she's wholly teasing him again. But then he's being silly, (at least in her eyes, that sort of formality is wasted on her) and she shakes her head a little, though her smile's taken a turn toward fondness, now. It's not every day in this time where a man bothers to be so nice as N'cal. "I don't mind you saying." She admits easily enough, and adds, "had we encountered each other sooner, I might have let you." At least she's honest about it! His admiring gaze is met by those same golden-brown eyes that sparked mischief at him when they did dance that night. Not sure what else to say, at the moment - which is more rare than it used to be - she fiddles with her hair absentmindedly for a moment.

Viewed as silly or not, such things are N'cal's way, and he's not bound to be rid of them anytime soon. His parents may have annoyed him to no end, but he never really dismissed the etiquette he was taught. He just got very selective about who is worth practicing that etiquette on…and he has decided that Vashae is rather worth the extra effort. If she'll just continue looking at him, though, he might well forget about trying to add all that extra to his behavior. His grin might be what can get him places, but surely, he thinks, her eyes would do so much better at it…aaand he's been well and truly distracted again. Blink. With a slight shake of his head, he clasps his hands at his back, taking a small step toward her. "I'll be sure not to squander the opportunity, when next it arises," he informs her. Then there's a thoughtful tilt to his head. "Though, perhaps a drink some evening would serve well, too. To steal a bit of time from you at some point. But," he lowers his chin again, in deference this time, "I will leave that entirely up to you, if you're at all interested in doing so."

Just imagine what someone with his smile and her eyes could do, if unleashed upon the world. It would be a truly terrifying, and yet beautiful sight. In recent moments, it seems they've entered into the actual first steps of a different sort of dance, a dance of potentials. When he informs her the next opportunity won't be wasted, she smiles again in that way that makes her eyes dance. His deference is smiled at too, and it's only after he questions her interest in letting him steal some of her time that she speaks again. "A drink some evening would serve well, I agree, if I might steal a bit of time from you, too." Her gaze is softer this time as she pretty clearly (she hopes) implies interest in spending non-wing time with him. "I'm usually available," she adds after a moment, another small grin crossing her lips. It's no secret to her wingmates that much of her time is merely spent with her lifemate. Because he suspects EVERYONE of being unsavory types intent on corrupting his Vashae, as of late.

She's really got to stop that, with the eyes, before he gets stuck there. Except that would be quite the opposite of what N'cal would want, honestly, as he's completely content to just keep watching the curve of Vashae's smile and the dance of her eyes. This dance of potentials has steps he must take cautiously…and yet he finds himself beginning them with a careful hope. "I'd freely give it," he says of his own time, rocking slightly on his heels before finally unclasping his hands from behind his back. "Then the next evening we both have free, I will seek you out," he promises. "But for now, I shall leave you to your hunt, my lovely fellow blue." But first, he'll reach past her to the shelf, retrieving that metal fitting he'd discarded earlier.

"If we both give the would-be-thief of our time our time freely, can it be called stealing?" It's lighthearted teasing, with undertones of seriousness, and perhaps a revealing that there's reason to hope in this dance they dance. As he retrieves the fittings he requires, she smiles again, and tilts her head. There might be a tint of red in Vashae's cheeks at both the promise of stolen time and the word 'lovely'. "I'll look forward to it, N'cal. Until tomorrow." She winks one of those eyes he likes so well, and then slips away noiselessly into the depths of the stores. Almost like an impossible girl. To pursue relics…and eventually to return to a needlessly fretting lifemate with a bounce in her step.

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