Who

Xanthee, Amani

What

Directly following her visit to Willimina, Amani tracks down Xanthee in the Dustbowl.

When

It is evening of the first day of the second month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Dustbowl Cantina, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 29 Jan 2018 07:00

 

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"Look at you, getting all wise beyond your Turns."


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Dustbowl Cantina

To enter the Dustbowl Cantina is to descend: the heart of the ancient tavern lies half underground, at the foot of ancient steps, insulated from summer heat and winter cold by the volcanic rock surrounding it. A windowless place well-lit by glows, it is homey, even cozy, with a certain bijou charm - but for the deep gouges worn in wooden table and solid stone, some clearly lingering evidence of boisterous brawling. The wall behind the well-polished bar, though, remains free from scars or graffiti, as does the door into the small kitchen, and the stairwell up into the owner's quarters: the barkeep and his staff reign, and they guard their territory well. After all, only a fool angers the source of the booze.


Evening has settled over the Bazaar and after a long day of training then a full shift at the Tea Room, Xanthee drags her feet into the Cantina, the very picture of weariness and exhaustion. With no energy to possibly make it all the way to the living cavern with a stomach that is grumbling it's desire for food, the raven-haired girl heads to the nearby Cantina. Once inside, she is on automatic, seeking out a small table in the back. While waiting for the server to come take her order, she stretches her arms straight above her, several pops as joints realign, accompanied with a low groan, her eyes closing briefly…or not. There may or may not be soft snoring coming from her direction if that server take their time.

Flits, questions, simple deductions - however it comes about, Amani finally learns Xanthee's whereabouts following her little chat with Willimina and a trip through a few of the Zingari merchants in search of a certain something she'd been advised to get. Clad in her leathers against the chill, a satchel slung over her shoulder, Southern's junior Weyrwoman descends into the Dustbowl, garnering a few curious looks as well as bows and salutes from other quarters. It takes a minute for her to spot Xanthee, whose up-stretched arms make for a helpful beacon. So the young goldrider wends her way to that little back table, and amused smirk tilting her lips as she observes her friend's near-somnolent state. "Do I need to tuck you in?" she teases. "I might have to get your Miner to come watch over you eventually, though; I do have to go home eventually, and I'm not leaving you here by yourself."

Opening a sleepy eye at the familiar voice, Xanthee offers the goldrider a small smile as she drops her arms back to her side. "I'll be fine once I get some food in me. Haven't had more than a pastry all day." She wrinkles a brow at that and then amends, "No…there was those eggs I had in the Caverns before training. Faranth, was that only this morning?" She scrubs her hand over her face trying to wake herself up at least a little bit as she sits up straight again and gives a shake of her head. Thankfully the server finds that time to come over and take their order. "I'd like some of that…you know…creamy wherry dip stuff you do with the pita?" She looks up questioning but the server merely nods as if they know what she's talking about. "And a big glass of ice water too please." She then turns to Amani, "You getting anything?"

"The same," Amani tells the server as she settles into the chair to Xanthee's right. She's in a mood to keep things simple right now. Her satchel gets settled in her lap as she leans forward to rest folded arms upon the tabletop. "Work kept you that busy today, hm? Everyone wanting tea to stay warm with?"

"Work, as well as I found a teacher, a rider even, to take me on for hand-to-hand training and self-defense." Xanthee says with a little wave of her hand as if she is not going into the very obvious reasons she might want to being training in those particular disciplines, Amani's a smart girl. "So with training, my job, as well as the PT I've also been keeping up with on my own, I have unfortunatly very little time for my oh-so-understanding Miner." she says that with a regretful sigh but then looks up at her friend with a smile, "But enough about me. What brings you back to the desert? Weyr business or pleasure?"

Amani's brows arch higher at the news that Xanthee has found someone to coach her, but the expression is all approval. She understands why, of course…and even if that weren't the reason, she'd approve. "Well, being a journeyman, I'm sure he's just as busy," the goldrider opines as their water and food arrive, which she pays for the lot of before Xanthee can protest. "I wanted to slip in a visit. I haven't been back since before Bailey…left. And things have been nonstop since then." At least that's how it feels. "I had a good chat with Willimina about some things. Wanted to talk with you, too. I don't know if I'll be able to track Reveka down before I leave, but I at least wanted to say hello." The Zingari girl seems a bit hard to pin down today for some reason.

Ohhh look food! Xanthee, who has no qualms about letting her friend pay for their food, digs right into the dip and takes a heaping onto a triangle of pita, stuffing the whole in her mouth ravenously. Washing it down with a drink from her water before she can speak. "Mmmm, this stuff is so good. Mal's got me hooked on it. And yeah he's busy as well, which only adds to scheduling issues." she sighs a little bit and then smirks, "But we definitely make up for it when we do find time for each other." she says with a giggle. She continues to munch on her dip while Amani talks, but at the mention of Reveka, the biggest most mischievous smile spreads over her lips. "I know what Reveka's probably doing…or should I say who?"

Amani digs in herself, suddenly hungrier than she thought she was. Hearing that Malosim is the one who got Xanthee into this particular dip earns a chuckle; it seems fitting somehow. The giggle that follows the other girl's next pronouncement has the goldrider grinning…and then there's that all-too-familiar look of mischief curving her friend's lips, and an eyebrow arches. "Xan," she drawls, her tone lifting it into a question with a definite undertone of 'what did you do?'. "Who?" That's quite the development from the last time she saw both girls, after all.

With a mirthful giggle, Xanthee waggles her eyebrows, a self-satisfied smirk on her face before she answers, "Daenerys. So it looks like matchmaking was quite successful after all." Taking another drink of her water, she then remembers something. "Oh and speaking of long haired men…that wildling of yours has quite the mane on him," she says cryptically as she takes another bite of a dip-topped piece of pita.

"Daenerys? But I thought…" Yet clearly what Amani thought didn't hold up in the long run, so she just laughs and shakes her head. "Well, good. I'm glad she ended up with something good happening after her rough patches." She goes after some more food of her own, which ends up in her mouth just as Xanthee makes that remark. She gives a blink of confusion. "When did you meet Ibrahim?" she wants to know. If Xan made another appearance down at Southern somehow, surely Amani would have caught wind of it… And of course, it doesn't occur to her that Ibrahim might have a reason to venture up to Igen.

Xanthee smiles, eyes dancing, "Quite by accident actually. it was just a couple days ago actually, during a rush at the Tea Room. Said he was here to get information on the blue glow or something. Took me a while to realize who he was though." Feeling re-energized by the food in her stomach, Xan leans forward a bit and says in a mock serious tone, "I thoroughly approve by the way. Not only a Wildling, but so wild looking as well. Nice catch there girl." She says with a playful wink in her friends direction.

Color Amani surprised! As if that weren't already obvious. "Well now I'm going to have to interrogate him, of course," she notes flippantly, and blushes in the wake of Xanthee's wink. "You should see him with his shirt off," she says, and gives a soft giggle of her own. "Well now I have to hope to run into your Miner by accident some time, don't I? Fair's fair. Unless you decide to introduce us sometime…"

Another self-satisfied smirk plays on Xanthee's lips as Amani mentions interrogating her beau. "I would expect nothing else." She says with a giggle. A brow hikes up at the idea of the Wildling man without his shirt on, her features taking on a far off look as she tries to picture it. "I bet." she says a little dreamily. But then with a shake of her head she smiles, "Although, Mal's miner body is exquisite." C'mon Xan, let's not start a round of 'my boyfriend's hotter'. It's all in good fun though. "And I do hope you get to meet him soon. He's just too handsome not to show off to my friends. Just those pesky schedules…" she trails off remembering something suddenly, "You said you wanted to come see me? As in more than just to say hi?"

Amani just grins at that. "Since I haven't met him yet, I'll take you at your word. And I certainly don't doubt your word at all," the goldrider assures her. "Maybe we'll have to set a date so those pesky schedule will have to work with us. You bring Malosim, and I'll bring Ibra." And they'll just have to hope that Weyr business doesn't rear up and snatch her unavoidably away. To Xanthee's last, Amani nods. "Just…to do what we're doing, really," she says with a little smile. "And maybe because I'm…'comparing notes,' in a way." She sighs and eats a little more, klah-dark eyes calmly considering her friend. "When you said you loved Malosim…you were serious, weren't you?" she asks, and then quickly amends, "Not that I thought you were kidding, just that…what you guys have is the real thing, not something you question?"

"Yes!" Xanthee exclaims excitedly, the old twinkle back in her reanimated eyes, "I love double dates!" And they are probably much funner when everyone involved knows what's going on. Taking another few bites while listening to what her friend has to say, Xan's head tilts to the side a little bit as the goldrider brings up the subject of love. Oh isn't Amani lucky, that's one of Xan's favorite topics! "Well." she starts with a pause because there is always time for a flair of the dramatic. "Yes, when it comes to my deep and adoring love for Malosim, I am nothing but completely serious. He completes me, in so many ways. Yeah, I had questions, we've been dating for six months now, and love was brought up on our second date." She giggles to herself at other things that were brought up on that date. "But those questions all kind of evaporated when I had to have the flight talk with him. I was ready to walk away from my dream of being a rider one day if I thought it might mean the end of us, that's how deep the love I have for him runs." She pauses for a moment, "And he proved his love back when he said he wouldn't allow me to give up my dream for him." Her eyes glisten brightly at the memory, a happy smile on her face.

Obviously they'll be discussing said date before Amani leaves! And of course Xan has to be dramatic about it, even if the answer is serious. It garners a knowing smirk before the goldrider settles in to listen. It surprises her to learn they'd had a discussion about flights without either of them being Impressed…but with Xanthee being Weyrbred, she supposes it makes a certain amount of sense. And then to hear her friend had actually been ready to give up Standing again for this Miner Amani hasn't yet had a chance to meet and weigh for herself…well. She can only approve further, especially upon hearing Xan's last. "Wow," she says quietly, and then chuckles in defense against a rising lump in her throat, plucking up a napkin to flick against her friend's shoulder. "Be more adorable about it, why don't you? Because you are." And Amani can't help grinning, her own eyes brightening sympathetically in response to what she's seeing. She sighs gustily and sits back, her gaze dropping thoughtfully. "Willimina told me…love is a wonderful and exciting and confusing road to travel. I suppose no one can walk it the same way." When she looks back to Xanthee, there's a troubled limning to her gaze. "I guess…I've been afraid lately that I don't know how, with Ibra. Zymuraith is the deepest love I have; I know it for what it is. I wouldn't want Ibrahim out of my life, but I almost feel like he's being too careful with me. Which I need to tell him. But…how I love him, if I love him like you do with Malosim, or Willimina does with Tallel…I don't know yet. I don't have other experiences of my own to compare this to. Maybe…I'm not actually ready yet?" An admission she is clearly very uncomfortable making to herself, but a necessary one, perhaps, if she's to stop worrying so much.

A smile plays on the weyrbrat's face with her friend's eyes brighten in sympathy as she reaches up to wipe away the unshed tears out of her own. "I know, right?" Now it's Xanthee's turn to listen as her friend speaks, nodding where appropriate and really paying attention to her words. When she is finished, she shrugs her shoulders and leans back in her chair slightly. "Willimina is very perceptive. It's all those things, but so much more as well." she says wistfully. "And maybe you're not ready? Or maybe you won't know until after Zymuraith first flight? Or maybe sooner? Who knows? Saying I love you before you are actually sure is a very dangerous thing. I was sure I loved F'kan for instance, told him way to early, and he used that to use me." Shaking her head bitterly, she sighs, "So taking your time to just enjoy this and explore it for whatever it is is way more important than trying to define something as nebulous and changeable as Love. And when the time is right, you just know." She finishes with a small shrug of her shoulders. "But…from what I saw of your handsome wildling and the way he went all moony eyed when he talked of your beautiful eyes, he may be careful, but he's clearly taken with you."

"Look at you, getting all wise beyond your Turns," Amani teases affectionately, and reaches over to give Xanthee's hand a grateful squeeze. "Thank you, Xan. Talking about it helps, even if it doesn't give me solid answers right away. It's been harder to wrap my mind around this than the inside of Zymuraith's head, it feels like." And that's saying something. She gets some more of that dip into her mouth before going on, switching subjects smoothly on the note she'd just ended on. "And speaking of Zymuraith's head, I picked up something that will hopefully help me understand her a little better." She dips briefly into her satchel, producing a simple box of beautifully oiled wood. Setting it on the table, she pulls the top off to reveal a deck of large cards ensconced in a green velvet lining. The backs are elegantly painted in checks of sapphire and sky blue, each diamond containing a white lily or a red rose. She turns the topmost one over to reveal a carefree man dressed in gaily colored clothes, a flower in his hand and held to his nose and a traveling sack hanging from a staff resting upon his shoulder. The words on the bottom of the card title it as The Fool. "She shows me these cards in her mind sometimes, like the ones Willimina uses," the goldrider explains. "That was part of why I wanted to go talk to her. If I learn to read them, it might help me figure out what she's trying to tell me more easily."

Xanthee puffs herself up a little bit from Amani's praise, returning the hand squeeze with a smile. "You're so welcome. I'm so sorry I can't come to Southern and visit you there, I just don't think I will be able to bring myself to do that for a while yet." she says with a shudder before again shaking off the shadow of F'kan that seems to be constantly looming over her. Then Amani pulls out the box of beautifully oiled wood and she welcomes the distraction. "Oh I've seen these sorts of cards before." She exclaims as the deck is removed and shown to her, "I went to Willimina for a reading after the first time I stood as a Candidate. And Zymuraith shows you cards like these? In your head?" She can't fathom it and yet takes a moment to wonder what her dragon might show her, if she ever manages to impress.

Amani nods, understanding why full well. After going through something like Xanthee went through with F'kan, she's sure she would probably do something similar. "You did?" she asks with a little grin after Xanthee reveals that she's been to Willimina for just such a thing herself. Then she nods to her friend's last. "I don't know how Zymuraith could possible know these…but she does. They weren't there when she was younger, but her mind's gotten more complex as she's grown, and now she'll try to get me to understand things with them sometimes." She turns over several more cards until she comes to the one depicting Death. "She dropped that one into my dreams just before the keening over Bailey and Khalyssrielth woke me. Easy enough to understand, but Willimina also said it could mean change, and there's been plenty of that since then. But it's not always so easy when she shows me others. So now, with Willa's help and learning to trust my gut about what certain things could mean…hopefully it will get easier."

"Well looks like I'm not the only one getting wise beyond her turns." Xanthee smiles brightly as she takes another sip of her drink. "That's really amazing, I never knew dragons also relied on visuals as much as words to communicate. I guess you really do learn something new every day." She pauses a little bit and cants her head to one side to look at her friend, "And you, just keep doing what you're doing, trust those instincts of yours. You're obviously special or you wouldn't have been chosen by such a special dragon as you Zymuraith." Her voices cracks just a little bit and she drops her gaze down to the table as she takes another drink, surely it's just a dry throat.

There's a little laugh for Xanthee's first, dubious…but Amani has been learning much and continues to do so, and she does have to admit to gaining some wisdom. Southern might be in trouble if she hasn't by now! "Not just visuals. Every sense. Though I'm sure it's different for every dragon." Then Xan says that last bit, dropping her eyes, and Amani reaches over to put a hand on her shoulder. "Hey, Xan… Your dragon will find you. You're special, too; you're determined and confident and strong, and one of them will break shell someday soon and be looking for just that, as only you can bring them to life. And you'll make an amazing rider. And…" She grins and leans a bit closer to friend. "…You have someone who'll tell you all that in much better ways than I can. Since he thinks you're so special that nothing else would do but to fall in love with you."

Xanthee looks back up at Amani, her eyes brimming again, but a warm smile playing on her lips. "Thank you Amani. I can't let myself lose it now, not when there will be a clutch on the Sands soon." she says referencing the junior queen's recent mating flight. "And you're so right, about it all." she pauses a bit and then smiles wider, "Maybe after we're done here I may just go seek him out and let him know just how special he is to me." And it wouldn't be a proper visit without a classic Xan overshare. Scraping down the almost empty bowl of dip, Xanthee sits back in her chair, her hands resting lightly on her stomach.

Of course the overshare needs to happen! Not that Amani blames Xanthee, in this case. She just chuckles mirthfully and finishes off her own share of dip, washing it down with some water and sitting back in turn. "Want to go walk it off a little with me?" she invites after a moment, closing her cards back up and replacing them in her satchel. "Who knows if we might run into someone or other along the way?" Or maybe they'll just end up at Zymuraith without running across anyone, say their goodbyes, and go off to their respective beaus to end the evening. Either way, Amani will be content.

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