Who

Ibrahim, Kyriatis

What

Kyriatis and Ibrahim happen to be walking the forest at the same time.

When

It is before dawn of the seventh day of the third month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Forest Clearing, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 09 Jun 2018 05:00

 

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Forest Clearing

Shaded at the edges, the underbrush is thick and full and thorns and burrs stick themselves into anything and everything that attempts passage. Rustlings in the tall, amber grasses reveal the presence of unseen creatures, and buzzing aerial pests harass and sting. Areas of shorter green weeds have obviously been grazed, and recently.


Now that summer is over, the shift from 'too hot' to 'cool and wet' lingers heavily. Last night's storms have cleared, at least, but the air is still thick with moisture - especially out here in the jungle, where what sun there is struggles to break through. It's peaceful, though, despite the susurrations of flora and fauna both, and perhaps that's what's drawn young Kyriatis out, clad in heavy canvas trousers and a practical button-down shirt. Intent, she drops to a low crouch beside a patch of brambly underbrush, canvas-gloved hands reaching out to inspect one plant in particular.

And thus ends the season of Ibrahim's wandering about sans all but the barest minimum of clothing — and even then, it seems he's underdressed! He's wearing is clothing, per se: a loose shirt, just thick enough to ward off the chill, and leather trousers. His long hair is loose aroundhis body, perhaps keeping him warm in the cool, damp air. It's indeed very peaceful here, and the wildling merely paces along, his ever-present bow slung over his back, his firelizards circling overhead and darting through the trees, playing amongst themselves. Eventually, he comes upon Kyriatis, crouched to inspect a plant. "Well, madam gardener, shall you denude my forest in your search for plants?"

"Only if your forest has something so unspeakably cool that I can't resist it," comes Kyriatis' cheerful response, dark eyes lifting from the plant in question - which does not seem to be at risk of being scooped out and taken away - to seek out the wildling healer. "And only if I think I have the know-how to keep it alive. There's no point taking things just to kill them— that'd be stupid and wrong." Still, she gives the plant she's in front of a light brush with her covered fingers: affectionate. "Killed anything this morning?"

"Those insect-eating plants I spoke of." There, see? Unspeakably cool! Ibrahim watches the girl with the plant in subtle approval: it waarms him, to see true affectin for the life that surrounds them. "I agree. Plants take as much care as animals. And both deserve proper treatment while they live." He smiles at her, amused to find yet more common ground between them. He'd happily spend time talking plants forever with this girl; a rare enough thing even among his own to see someone so dedicated to her craft. "Not this morning, no; I was merely taking a walk, clearing my mind in preparation for the day." He finally comes alongside the gardener, and studies her quietly for a moment. "You range far today. How are you?"

Kyriatis' eyes light at mention of the insect-eaters: clearly, indeed, it would be downright impossible to leave one of those alone in the forest when it could come home and be hers forever. She straightens from her crouch, now, wiping her hands upon her trousers (even if she is wearing gloves) and turning her attention towards Ibrahim more directly. "I hate seeing people kill plants," she agrees. "Without good reason, anyway. Like hunting for meat, versus for fun. I…" She pauses, expression guilty. "I know there's rumour of feline sightings, so I shouldn't be this far out, but I needed the thinking space."

In which case: "I believe, Kyriatis, that I promised you one." Ibrahim notes softly. He has the sneaking suspicion that she won't leave him alone until she gets her hands on it, now she knows he wasn't kidding about that. "You and me both. It's a crime to waste life. Plants and animals deserve to be eaten when you kill them, not just killed for the joy of killing." He has no patience for those sorts, immature self-serving monsters that he believes them to be. With a frown for her news of felines, he looks up to the fair, and Wisteria turns calm eyes to him, chirping a reassurance. "Well. My little friends sense none for the time being. But yes. Have a care…" He pauses, then, to study her: he remembers something else about their last meaning. "Ah. Yes. I had meant to seek you out and find out how you fared. How are you doing with this?" The Hatching. Her not Impressing. But he doesn't want to say it; it seems… hurtful to point it up.

"I seem to recall something along those lines…" teases the gardener, her eyebrows raising ever so innocently. But that's not the topic at the forefront of her thoughts, it seems, because that arch amusement shifts, and her gaze slides from Ibrahim to the canopy of trees, the distant patches of sky, and perhaps anything else that isn't a studying face. "I'd thought that not Impressing would at least help me work out whether I wanted it or not, but… I still have no idea. I'm glad to be back in the gardens, but Zymuraith's due to clutch any time now, so… off we go again, probably." A pause. She glances back. "It hurt, though. Being left. And so much of the sympathy makes me want to vomit."

Ibrahim shifts his gaze away as well, having forgotten how disconcerting it is to be eyed so closely; it's common with his people to do these things. Not so much, elsewhere. "Hmm." As she speaks, he fingers the leaves of a vine wrapping itself around a tree, simply absorbing Kyriatis' thoughts for the time being. He'll look over his shoulder to give her a little smile when she admits to being glad for the return to her gardens — and a grimace for the 'sympathy' passed about. "Ah, yes, now come the sugary phrases about your dragon not being on the sands yet; 'chin up, you can stand again!' Yes?" He offers her a sidelong glance, knowing. He'd seen that happen time and again in the past few days, and felt the faint urge to vomit, himself.

"Precisely. 'You're so young! You have another decade to Stand. Lots of people Stood multiple times before Impressing. The Weyrwoman Stood twice.' And the rest." Kyriatis shifts her voice into something higher pitched and faintly mocking, her eyes rolling exaggeratedly for it. "My pride is hurt, but I'm not devastated. If that makes sense? I'm not in a rush. It'd probably suck to Stand eight or ten times, but part of me wouldn't mind holding off, too. I'm young. It's nice not having loads of super serious responsibilities. And… being outside. In the gardens. Or here."

"As though your only path should be to Stand." Ibrahim frowns again, thoughtful. He notes a dead leaf, wilting, along the vine and tugs it gently off to let it fall to the ground in sad, sad solitude. That road is closed, its story over. He turns to look at Kyriatis then, nodding his understanding. "You were hurt by the rejection, unintended though it was, and are considering that perhaps you're not ready for the responsibility of fighting Thread. And enjoyin the freedom from heavier responsibility in favor of these… 'smaller' — " Can she see the quotes that surround the word? Because they're there in his tone. " — things, that allow you to be young. I don't see why this is a problem."

A nod, then a second, a third: Kyriatis straightens almost imperceptibly, and it's clear that she's found something in Ibrahim's summation that resonates with her. "All of this," she says, finally, her words not much louder than an exhale of breath. "Exactly. Why is it that you can understand that so easily, when it seems like so many people can't?" Her words don't seem to be intended as a slight - there's no implication there that the wildling should not be able to be so perceptive - and indeed, there's admiration in her expression. "And sometimes I wonder whether I should apprentice. Whether I could catalogue the plants of Southern, or learn how to cross-breed them, or…" A vague shrug of her shoulders.

Ibrahim takes no offense! Indeed, he's amused by her surprise. "Perhaps because I wasn't raised to revere dragonriders above all else? I look at them and I see mere humans and beasts, bonded to the death of one — and more likely, both — partners. Tey risk their lives, and for that, they should be respected. But they are as falliable as any. It's a dangerous craft, dragonriding, and I believe there is no shame in choosing not to volunteer, or thinking that perhaps you have other ways to serve in mind. Not everyone can take to the skies to fight Thread." He pauses, gathering his thoughts. "Who will feed these men and women? Who will see to their injuries? Who will keep the Weyr running if others like yourself do not? You still serve, in your own way, rider or not. Dragonriding is not everything." It's plain fact, as Ibrahim sees it; clear and dry, no two ways about it. He returns to his delicate pruning of the ivy, long fingers swift, sure, reverential. "I think perhaps that's also a very good path in life. You have time to figure it all out. I find you very wise, Kyriatis. You think." He smiles at her in wry amusement. "I think I have said this to you before, haven't I."

Kyriatis' smile is just a little shy— pleased, but ever so slightly embarrassed about it. "There's no glory in being the supporters," she supposes, more thinking out-loud than arguing. "But who said that glory is the important thing? It's…" She wrinkles her nose, abruptly laughing. "Well, it all is what it is, isn't it? But I'm not unhappy to be here, right now, so that's good to know. You're easy to talk to, Ibrahim, and I appreciate it. It's nice to have other perspectives. It's reassuring, somehow."

"Forget glory — it brings a painful death." There's that dry humor of his; dry and a little bit morbid. Healers can't escape it, that gallows' humor. Ibrahim, in turn, is a bit shyly pleased that Kyriatis finds him easy to talk to — good thing all that hair can hide a multitude of bashful expressions when his face is angled at another vine and its dead weight. "It is what it is, indeed. "I'm glad I could help you. It's.. what I'm meant to do, in my way. I think, anyway."

"I'm way too young to die," is Kyriatis' opinion on that front. "There's so much I haven't done yet. And I think about that a lot… it's a rare clutch where all of them live to graduation. And we're just… ok with it." She sucks in a breath, turning her head just slightly to consider Ibrahim (or is it his hair she's looking at, all over again?) as she adds, "I think so too. A good healer has to be able to listen, right? Minds and hearts, not just bodies."

"Yes, you are." Ibrahim will agree heartily to that one. "Sixteen is much too young for that." Wait, is he trying to talk her out of volunteering? Likely not; however, he's clearly not going to brush aside her very real concern with offers of glory and admiration. "Yes… I've noticed that." She's in luck, for he shakes his hair out of his face to see her more clearly, now. "Is that part of what bothers you? The mortality rate among weyrlings?" He's very curious, now: his gaze is keen. There's an impish smile for her last point. "Yes. That takes the longest to learn."

The truth is, Ibrahim's helpfulness and reassurance is probably not really helping with serious decision-making. Still, Kyriatis is intent and thoughtful, and now runs her tongue over her lower lip as she attempts to formulate a response. "Well," she says, "It doesn't help, does it? Not just the prospect of my death, but the people around me, people I've probably grown to care for. Clutchmates. Wingmates, later. How do people get used to that?"

Possibly it isn't; however, his intent is not to decide for her, but merely to let her work out her thoughts on this herself. He's confident she can decide for herself what she wants. After all, it won't be his ass out there, volunteering to be Scored. "Nope, you don't. You just learn to live with it." So, so reassuring! "I think, perhaps, it boils down to this: Do you think the risks you know so well are worth it? Standing again? Do you want to be linked to a dragon badly enough that you're willing to take on the worst parts of the job, and live with the results of it?"

Wryly; "When I work that out, I'll let you know." Kyriatis lets out a long breath, but though she's still thoughtful, it's also clear that her mood is not low: she's smiling. "Or maybe I won't. Probably, it'll just be enough for me to know." It's decisive, the way she says that, for all that it's not clear what the decision involved is. Perhaps it's just that she's done with that topic, because: "Now, when are you going to come through with my insect-eating plant, hmm?"

Ibrahim will certainly wait with bated breath, certain that Kyriatis is going to come to the decision that suits her. "Are you certain you are not Chayeeli?" Amused, he leaves off picking on that poor vine and slips his hands into his pockets, willing to go along with the topic change: wallowing on the same thing for too long only assists indecision. "Ah, about that…" He pretends to waver and think, fake-hemming and hawing. "… I have one ready for you, actually. At my little tent."

Kyriatis' laugh is delighted. "I think my father might be concerned if I were," she teases, but look, she's sixteen, and there's the promise of an insect-eating plant; this is ridiculously distracting. "You do. Really truly?" Her expression is one of pure delight, her eyes shining.

Ibrahim smirks. "He might well be." For the Chayeeli are an interesting group — but they stay away from the Weyr, with the exception of those blasphemous traitors. Like Ibrahim. "Really, truly, I do. want to come get it, then?"

"You know I do," is the gardener's enthusiastic reply. How can she resist? Best. Day. Ever.

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