Who

Yukie, Cha'el

What

Seeking respite from the heat of a long day, Cha’el happens upon a creature fae in the mirror caverns that sees more than he’d like.

When

It is late afternoon of the tenth day of the tenth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Igen Weyr, Mirror Caverns

OOC Date

 

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Mirror Caverns

Cordoned off from the lake under a cape of stone is a sheltered grotto sized like a dragon weyr. Running water dribbles over the entrance not in any great torrent but lesser strings of liquid. Within, isolated waters assume a perfectly protected calmness pitching prisms of refracted light onto the walls and dome-like ceiling. How they flash when the pool's crystal clear surface is disturbed, serpents of light scattering like tunnel snakes from a lantern. Surfaces are naturally unfinished which explains the varying depths, 2-12 feet, and ability to be comfortly seated. As with any small cavern sounds have a way of being amplified be they swim strokes or nuggets of gossip.


Rukbat's butter-yellow light spills across the deserts of Igen like liquid fire, turning a rather mild day into one that sizzles flesh for the sheer weight of the sun's light. It's the perfect day, therefore, to seek an afternoon outside of Rukbat's direct glare in the cavernous arena of the mirror cavern. Water reflects, dazzling the eye and sets the stage for a lone girl to be caught atop the curve of her pale dragon's hide. In the water, Inayalinaeth is even more untouchably pretty, her glass-like jade hide glittering with each ripple of the water. Her wings trail like lissome ribbons, stretched and rippling through trick of the water's movement. "No, no, Inaya. You do not understand." Half in, half out; the conversation is strange out of context and only partially heard. "He deserved help, no matter his intentions. I did not mind."

With drills having been conducted early morn before the day’s heat had gotten a stranglehold, meetings concluded and with sweeps just under the belt, one very dusty Weyrsecond is apparently at a loose end. One that finds him seeking out the cooling embrace of the mirror caverns waters and time away from so many prying eyes. Thus it is that having dumped clothing save for undershorts at the entrance to the grotto, Cha’el comes splashing in. Well to be fair, he’d tried the graceful entry but had slipped on a damp mossy stone and now lands in a most un-Weyrsecond-like tangle of long limbs. “Ow! Fuck!” He grumbles shoving up to rub at his head. Only then does he realize that he’s not quite as alone as he’d thought he might be. “Uhhh….” Eloquence, thy name is, Cha’el.

Inayalinaeth is the one that carries judgement in the whirl of her blue-green eyes, though she moves not an inch to attempt to carry her lifemate closer to the Weyrsecond's point of near-demise. Yukie, however, holds an expression of startle that has her mouth opening slightly until her brain catches up and she's slipping down the length of Inaya's side, splashing closer to the brownrider. "Weyrsecond, sir. Are you okay?" A healer's concern is lit behind dark, blue-green eyes. The weyrling is in her uniform (now wet), and the once-long sunlight-bright hair is shorn to her shoulders and fans about her face. "Let me see," is it an order given in the gentleness of her soft soprano? It's hard to tell, though if it's his head that he's rubbing, it will be his head that she attempts to investigate.

Now Cha’el is just plain embarrassed and so he quickly scrambles to his feet and squares his shoulders thanking Faranth and all of her golden hide that he’s the type that wears boxer style undershorts and that those happen to be of dark coloring. “M’fine,” he mumbles, hand twitching with the need to mess with the graze on his temple to see if there’s blood. Because blood is serious! He does try to half-heartedly duck those probing hands of Yukie’s but what man in his right mind doesn’t like to have a woman fussing over him. But then, changes are noted, in particular the shorn lengths of hair and he frowns. Because he’s old-fashioned like that. “They made you cut your hair.” Lip pursed observation made.

What Yukie can see before Cha'el scrambles to feet and takes his head out of immediate exploration range yields her to step back and eye the Weyrsecond. Narrowly. "Everyone is fine. We live in a world where people are fine and fall dead the next day." Pale brows lift and she sucks in her bottom lip as if considering the depth of his most grievous injury. "In this case, I do believe you are fine." The girl's quiet voice leaves a lot of room to question whether she's teasing or just that serious. "Of course they did. It is a part of weyrlinghood," this question brings the former-healer's attention back to Cha'el and causing her head to cant to the side as if seeing him for the first time. Something is unsettling about her wide-eyed gaze that ignores his current state of undress. "It is just hair," her answer is simple, "It will grow back." Hopefully.

Blink. Up go dark brows, the bump on his head forgotten in light of Yukie’s reply. “I’m not about to drop de…Oh.” Slightly sheepish when the young woman declares him with yet more turns of life ahead. “Aye well, its stupid.” Cha’el goes on to say about the tradition of female weyrlings being made to cut their hair. “You could just do that twisty-windy thing,” braids, hands flicker in the air indicating tying of knots, “that you women do. Same thing.” But he’s not a weyrlingmaster or even an assistant and so it’s not really his place to remark. Doesn’t mean he has to like it though. But then he’s being caught by that wide-eyed look and suddenly the Weyrsecond is feeling like the proverbial elephant in the room. Lips part, “Wha…Oh.” Again she beats him to it leaving him with a mouthful of teeth. Cricket-cricket-cricket, drip-drip-drip goes the long awkward pause for the weyrling greenrider gives the disconcerting impression that she can see right into his head. Not a good place to be right now. “So… I heard you lot have gotten your weyrs.” A topic of conversation grabbed at as he wades further into the water to sluice his dusty, grimy self. “You enjoying that? Or do you miss the others.”

Inayalinaeth has done little to pushing Yukie to fill in the awkward silences, and in fact, in most cases it is quite the opposite. So in contrast to Cha'el's dusty, grimy, awkward self, the greenrider is a cool puddle of quiet silence. When he wades further into the water, she keeps that stare leveled on him before taking a deep breath. Measured and weighed, the girl has formed an opinion that she does not share. "My weyr," because the rest of the conversation is skipped, whether for lack of any real thought on the matter or because the matter is too deep to talk about is unclear. "Is a hole in the mountain." She states this as neutrally as she would state the weather, "But it is mine, excuse me, ours. So I suppose that I enjoy that." A pause, then the furrow of brows as she weighs and considers this idea. "I do not miss the others, but I am used to my own space to study." Wading in further herself, she's angling for the green that continues to keep an even more disconcerting stare on the Weyrsecond. Yes. Inayalinaeth sees you, Cha'el. "I have yet to have possessions more than a bed, a clothes press, and a chair and desk."

Having gotten about waist deep at this stage and scooping handfuls of water over his back and chest, Cha’el turns a look over his shoulder at Yukie, expression flat out bemused. She’s kidding right? Has to be. And so he answers with a laugh that echoes rich off the walls of the grotto. “All our weyrs are holes in the mountain if you’re going to get basic about it.” Amused until the stare of faceted eyes is felt as surely as if the green had reached out and touched him. The brownrider pauses and fits Inayalinaeth with a long look, stare returned for stare and then he breaks it with a self-deprecating snort and wades out deeper yet. “If you’ve not been used to living in such close quarters with others it must be disconcerting. For me it was the other way around. You live so close to your fellow apprentices aboard ship and in the barracks that when suddenly you’re given a place all to yourself. Well, its lonely at first.” Somewhere Sikorth is snorting indignantly. There’s a nod for the few items of furniture Yukie names. “Do you have a hearth?”

One brow quirks, a flit of emotion disturbing the tranquility of expression: "Yes," it's possible that Yukie's tone holds a dryness it didn't before, "Metaphorically, that is truth, but my weyr is literally a tiny hole in the mountain, with an equally tiny ledge." Does this face look like it's laughing? Holds mirth? This face looks like it's looking at Cha'el like he's swimming in waters deeper than he should be. Perching at the edge of the water, where the weyrling can be half-in, half-out, heedless of her clothing getting soaked, the former healer is in perfect position to watch. Inayalinaeth is watching too; she is the shade to Yukie's brightness. "I suppose I can understand where the shattering silence after the continual noise would leave one bereft, unsure of how to handle not having the cacophany of human interactions." She nibbles the corner of her mouth, introspective. "I have Inayalinaeth, and I have all the things I have to learn, and I have what studies I still attempt when all the other duties are done." Woven within her tone lurks an unstated idea, but as a guilty pleasure it is not something she outright confesses too. "I don't. I suppose I don't think much about the comforts of a 'home'." Again, the searching expression considers the Weyrsecond. "Sir," is the prelude to a question, "Are you lonely?" A question flipped and angled back the Weyrsecond's way.

Does Cha’el sense the humor that lurks or is he just a glass half full kinda guy? Either or it makes no difference for the result is the same, lingering amusement that spills in a rumbling chuckle as yet unaware of deeper waters he might be blithely wading into. “Just as well you’re not a tub of lard then,” he quips in return on diminutive domiciles. Backhanded compliment? There comes a shrug of shoulders for her next and then a curious tilt of bearded features. “You study outside of your studies?” The question of ‘Why’ forms but is never uttered when Yukie homes in on the one thing he’s being trying thus far not to acknowledge. The Weyrsecond drops into silence and turns his back to her, using the excuse to duck under the water to delay giving reply. Coming up a few feet further away like a monster from the deep with water streaming off of brawny physique, the astute young woman is sent with an intent look. “Sometimes.” He admits, sidestepping the more truthful answer pertinent of late. “But I have Sikorth and my work.” Is quickly added, baritone set about a fairly convincing show of flippancy.

Yukie is a master of silences and letting them swell up around to provide a kind of deprivation of conversation that lets in other things. The way Cha'el continues to exude a quiet amusement and the hidden 'why' that lurks within incredulous statement and the way the brownrider does not immediately answer a simple question. His intent look is met with bone-deep quiet, a softness to gentle features that hold an innate serenity. "Mmmm." The simple sound is not the brush-off of one who's shifting topics because it's uninteresting, but the convey of a deeper understanding. A lot is driven into this simple, soft sound. "I do," the former question is answered in a cool tone, the corners of her lips twitching. "I did not Impress just to lose all of my skills, Cha'el," the cavern echoes her words, allowing her to speak without having to yell, "Even if I am relegated to what my grandmama was, I will never stop seeking the knowledge that I know this earth holds secret." Again, silence is used to watch the smallest of movements, the subtlest of changes in expression, and the twist of posture. "Your work," fragment pulled from his last statement. "Do you seek continued self-improvement too?"

In as much as Cha’el can be considered outgoing and friendly, he’s not a man impressed by incessant and useless chatter. Thoughtful silences suit him just fine. Remaining where he is, ripples of reflected light off the water throwing serpentine glints across tanned skin; a corner of the Weyrsecond’s mouth tilts upward with approval. “Anyone,” he states, “that can so easily discard a craft when their dragon finds them on the sands, was never truly committed to the craft in the first place. It’s okay to continue to pursue that which interests you, Yukie. It shows intelligence and diversity of thought.” Studying the strange young woman who for some reason has seen fit to swim in her uniform, the Weyrsecond utters a short snort for the query she puts to him. “In our line of work,” she included in that statement or perhaps he intends his dragon to be, “there is always room for improvement. Complacency kills.”

Yukie glances from Cha'el to Inayalinaeth, influenced by the darkness that resides within the green's pretty hide. "I suppose," she doesn't sound convinced, "On the flip side of that argument, one could postulate that the easy discard of a craft or idea is driven by the utter change brought on by the presence of a mind completely opposite of one's own, yes?" Demurely, the weyrling drops her eyes, focusing once more on the green while she murmurs on the edge of gentle politeness, "Does it? Or is it that those who die are destined so." A pause lingers in the caverns, an echo of silence that's thunderous as much as it is utterly empty. Finally, she turns the intensity of her stare upon Cha'el, the blue-green gaze whittle down to the yin-yang of hers and Inayalinaeth's views: "All who are born, die. All who die are reborn. It is the unknown of death that is feared, but death itself is as fated as life."

Lips part to offer reply on the matter of crafts and then close again, dark brows dipping toward a contemplative frown edged by unease. From the play of light on the water that ripples about him, Cha’el glances up and finds himself trapped by that intent stare once again. Disconcerting. Up goes his chin as if to suggest he’ll hold still for the fae creature across the way to make her study of him. “You believe in destiny.” Statement quietly given. “I don’t. We are the masters of our own destiny. The only thing certain about this life is death. The rest is up to us to fill in the blanks with.” The brownrider’s head cants slightly to one side and he volley’s a ball of verbal play back at Yukie. “How do you intend to fill in the blanks before your time is up?”

Yukie's gaze does not waver; Cha'el's rank and age doing little to sway the girl from the verbal pathway they've started down. "Would you really say that you are the master of your destiny, Cha'el?" It's an honest question, gently delivered with that unblinking, unwavering gaze. "Before Inayalinaeth, I would have said that my destiny lie with healing the unfortunate souls around me. Now, I suppose that I would say that my destiny lies in fighting Thread." Slowly, she kicks her legs back and forth, sending ripples outward that fan out and slowly dissipates. She turns her eyes to the green who's position in the water hasn't changed, "Inayalinaeth has definitive ideas of who is deserving of our help."

In this time and place, rank and age matter little to Cha’el for he’s learned over the turns that a mind, is an ageless thing and Yukie’s fascinates him. Again, lips part for speech and again they press closed again. Is he? In control of his destiny? A rough snort fills the space of silence, bouncing with mocking echo back at him as various sardonic voices whisper to the contrary. Eventually and with determination that sees broad shoulders straightening and eyes of ocean blue flaring with inner grit that has seen him through many a clusterfuck most to do with his personal life, the brownrider finds a reply to give. “I refuse to believe that shit just happens and there’s nothing we can do to change it. Because that…” the effect of ghosts past and current etch a jagged line of pain across bearded features, “is just too fucking depressing to accept.” Bald truth laid out for a girl he barely knows. Enough to have his gaze slipping away, guards wrestled back into place. A quick glance goes the way of the green, the third person in the grotto as such. “I would say she’s correct in some instances. Not all can be saved and some shouldn’t be afforded the time and effort that could be spent on another.” Self-realization paints a faintly dull note to his baritone before a quick smile makes attempt to banish morose musing.

Silence envelopes, lapping at the shores of their conversation in quiet ebb and flow as Yukie continues to silently regard this creature in front of her that embodies the Human Condition. Finally, after all of the brownrider's words have been spoken and slowly sunk beneath the rippling waters of this awe-inspiring place. "Is it depressing?" the green weyrling lobs that back to the brownrider, her head slipping to the side in inquisitive cant. Brows draw inward a fraction, regard ever intensive as she continues in a quiet tone that whispers like ghosts of the past and future across the silent cavern, "Or is it life's forge that slowly, masterfully re-works faulty decisions into something new and entirely sustainable? A weyr isn't built in a day, or a sevenday. To change is to feel pain. To grow is to feel pain, but when you emerge you are the product of your experiences." She takes a deep breath, then queries further, "As a child, did you remember when your arms and legs would ache from growing pains? That is what my grandmama would tell me when I would find myself aching for no reason. But it's given me height and strong bones." Falling silent, she presses her lips together and turns from the brownrider to the green dragon. "We are reforged with each new experience. Some tempers, some blackens, but something always comes again to set us upon the path that we should be on. And that includes helping people who are unfortunate. No matter how they got to be where they are." That is more said to the green than Cha'el.

Soft-spoken words have the ability to hit home far harder than any shouted in anger, especially ones such as Yukie fashions together. Like disconcerting arrows they find their mark, each point made embedding barbs until Cha’el is sure that his chest must bristle with the feathered tails of their flights. With the sense that he’s just been stripped bare and laid open to the young woman’s probing inspection and been found wanting, guards thicken in the set of jaw and tightening of eyes. “Theory is one thing,” he finally tells her, baritone a low mist of sound across the water, “practice is another. We’ll talk again when you’ve flown your first fall and seen wingmates and friends fall foul of…” lips curl faintly, “destiny. Then tell me you won’t do everything within your power to ensure the safety of those that remain. That you won’t cling to what still is and fight to your last breath to keep it safe.” He doesn’t give comment to her stubborn refusal to see reason on the matter of helping those that would sooner drive a knife between your shoulders but instead wades back in her direction and the exit beyond her. “I hope,” comes the brownrider’s quiet statement, “that you never lose your faith in your ideals, Yukie.” The strain of melancholy that plays across his voice thrums with the inevitability of naiveté lost. “You remind me of what it was like to be young and filled with hope for a future unknown. Enjoy this gift granted you while you still hold it in your hands.” Jaded, cynical, worn at the edges by life’s twists and turns nonetheless a smile is fashioned with flecks of fondness warming its edges. “You are wise beyond your turns.”

Yukie's unflappable calm ripples with some birth and death of emotion, that narrows her eyes and causes her narrow shoulders to tense with the indrawn breath. Emotion is a foreigner to the girl and so is the display of said emotion, so it is with a heavier gaze that she regards Cha'el make his way across the mirrored caverns. Drawing her knees to her chest, she stares unblinking. "As Theory and Practice are two sides of one coin, so is Assumption and Presumption. Do not presume to know what loss I have suffered, and I will not presume to know what a man who's only experienced Thread for no greater than a full turn can know of a loss so bone deep that the world is ripped away to leave only aged and dusty bones for the carrion vultures of voyeurs to pick through." For all the depth laden in the words she leaves for the fishes of the lake to pick through, her tone is quiet, gentle. Serene, tranquil. Perhaps what gives them power is the shade of despair that so briefly shoulders on the backs of what she says. For his fond smile, he gets stark intensity, laid bare. Naked to a single emotion: Truth. "Am I?" It's a question she leaves with him, not expecting an answer. "You are a strange creature, brownrider." In a fluid motion, the girl stands and offers a hint of a smile and returns to her dragon as Cha'el is angling for the exit.

She has a point about that coin, one Cha’el can’t argue and yet, he still narrows an intent look on her his silence broken with, “My apologies, greenrider. I wouldn’t dare to presume what it is you may have lost neither will I assume that you’re quite as calm and collected on the inside as you are on the outside.” The irony being, that he just has. There is however that smile that yet lingers as if to suggest that perhaps he teases on some level. It deepens enough to fashion a chuckle that rolls free at Yukie’s pronouncement and broad shoulders shift and roll. “I’ve been called worse.” Said as he breaks free of the last of the cooling water and steps up onto rock, careful to avoid mossy patches this time around. “If you have need of anything, you know where to find me.” Quite sure that there is very little that such a self-sufficient young woman probably needs from anyone, the brownrider is gone in a few long strides with just a faint scuffling sound beyond to suggest that clothing his being pulled onto his damp body before returning to what remains of the late afternoon and evening.

Only when the Weyrsecond is gone and the silence has returned to the cavern does Yukie climb atop Inayalinaeth's submerged form. Sitting cross-legged on the back of her floating lifemate, she resumes the quiet position she was affecting when she was initially disturbed by Cha'el's arrival. Eyelids close, hands rest palm up on her knees, and a deep breath is slowly inhaled, held, and then slowly exhaled. Words are whispered from the girl's lips, an excising of said ripple to her calm. They drift through the glittering caverns, weaving in among the light-show of the water's reflection. They leave her body to be left to stain the rocks around her, forever left behind.
You overhear Yukie mutter, "… reaction … … think … expect … essentially … … life has been easy. … … … … … … a … … … … not … To fight … is … … end of life, nor the … … … an … … … … … right. Not … … … see … … … … their … toes … reach the next … … their … … a pity." to herself.

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