Who

Devana, F'kan

What

Another chance meeting at Southern Barrier Hold brings brownrider and wildling together for some diplomatic conversation, in hopes of fostering good feeling between their two people.

Lots of flirting, mild innuendo

When

It is evening of the twenty-eighth day of the sixth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Main Hall, The Springs, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 18 Mar 2018 04:00

 

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"You're following me aren't you?"


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Mail Hall

Before entering this space, the atrium at the entrance of the hold would seem unable to be topped in magnificence — but the main hall does well to dispel the primacy of the entrance's opulence. Here there is wood instead of stone, and all the same arching space: what's more, here is warmth, steam piped from the springs beyond. A warm and inviting environment, this crossroads of the hold, with tracks well-worn into the polished wood of the floor. There, the dining hall; there, the damp doorway into the hot springs. A tiny door exits westward, while the cold atrium beckons through a curtain of heavy hide.


The Erdou make regular appearances at Southern Barrier Hold for trade and gossip with their brethren who have settled themselves in the stone, as they say. Winter is not the most common time for this, but it happens, and it turns out that right now is one of their planned stops. Devana is in the main hall, swapping some of the fruits of her labors in the jungles with those of one of the Hold Healers. Their exchange lasts a while, sometimes strictly amicable, sometimes challenging or firm, but in the end they clasp arms and conclude it. Still swathed in fur-lined winter clothes, the wildling woman stretches, glancing first toward the atrium, then toward the springs. Hmmm. With a corner of her mouth lifting as she settles on going that direction in a few moments, she takes the satchel she's been carrying off her shoulder and starts to unfasten the toggles on her thick coat.

Coming from further in the Hold after delivering a package to one of the assistant Stewards, F'kan is decked in full riding leathers, hanging open to reveal a vee-necked tunic underneath in dark crimson. Sandy blonde hair is toussled rakishly and sticking out at all angles. His bright blue eyes scan the hall as he passes through it, and a smile widens on his lips as he spies Devana at the end of her negotiations. Slowing and subtly altering his path, he makes his way over to her as she unfastening her coat, making sure to clear his throat well back to announce his presence. "What are the chances of running into you again all the way out here?" And with a playful chuckle, eyes narrowed suspiciously in her direction, adds, "You're following me aren't you?" The grin on his face is broad as he crosses his arms over his chest.

Devana looks over immediately at the sound of someone clearing their throat, a dark brow arching to accompany the deep smirk that tilts her lips. Shrugging off her coat to reveal a knitted jumper in deep green wool, she turns to face F'kan, hands planted on her hips as she regards him with a somewhat challenging lift of her chin. "You're missin' the fact I don't have wings, Blue Eyes," she counters. "Who's following whom?" Her head tilts a bit as she studies him, jerking her chin to swing some of her long brown locks back over her shoulder. "What brings ye here, F'kan?"

F'kan watches appreciatively as she sheds her jacket, soft tilting his head as his blue eyes dance at the way she challenges him. In reply, he merely shrugs innocently, although neither confirming or denying anything. "Well you have your wildling ways I am sure. Besides, I have a feeling you are an excellent tracker." he says with all sincerity before answering his last. "Well when you do have wings at your disposal, people will take advantage for the most mundane reasons. I had to deliver a package to one of the stewards here." he says rather dismissively. "And yourself?" Arms uncross and he slips his hands into his jacket pockets as he relaxes easily.

Devana actually laughs at his suggestion about "wildling ways," nodding to the second half of his statement. "Well I did tell ye as much," she counters proudly, "though always with more to learn. And ye've yet to see the whole of wildling ways." It's added with a sly tease, brandy-bright eyes dancing before she takes in his reply. "Trade," is her answer to his last, nudging her satchel with her foot. "Jungle feline pelts for pelts from the highlands. Jungle herbs and plants for imports from the north or the alpine areas. We're camped in the courtyard. It's as close as most will get to lettin' themselves be surrounded by stone. Doesn't bother me as much." She picks up her coat, bundling it under her arm before pulling the satchel over her shoulder again. "So you've made your delivery, then? Heading back?"

Her laughter makes F'kan's smile grow just a little bit more as he chuckles along with her. When she mentions she's there trading, he nods with interest, "Well I hope you made some good deals then." He remarks with a nod. To her last, he ponders for a moment, "Well yes I have made my delivery…" he drawls as he runs a hand through this hair. "But our chance meeting is quite fortunate, because I wanted to ask you something." And with that he will pause significantly, waiting to see her reaction to that.

Devana nods; yes, there have been some good deals struck, as usual when the Erdou come around. A brow arches again at F'kan's drawled response, a little smirk coming to her lips as she matches him muss his own hair. "Ye look a bit as though ye've just been tumbled, Blue Eyes," she notes as her eyes flick upward to his tousled coif, deliberately teasing him again as she takes a step closer, hands still on her hips. "And what might that be?" She's all ears, watching him expectantly now.

F'kan looks up at his messy hair as tries to comb it down with his fingers, suddenly self-conscious of his permanently toussled look. "Oh nothing as fun as that. It just get's windy a-dragonback is all." Once he's done patting it down, which does very little to help, he clears his throat a bit. "Well, it has to do with your wildling ways actually. And if you wouldn't mind a sharing of information? You see, my wing, is working on cultivating good relations with the various Wildling groups, and you seem like an open-minded lady who might see the benefit to this kind of exchange." Is F'kan laying it on a little thick? Maybe, but his tone is sincere enough, and he looks almost nervously at her, awaiting her reception to what he's proposing.

Devana grins when she succeeds in making F'kan self-conscious. "A shame, as I said before," she notes lightly before turning a more serious ear to what his question is. "Some others of the Weyr have asked the same. Do you not all communicate when ye have a chat with one of us?" the wildling woman counter-questions, folding her arms. "'Open-minded' is relative, aye? Things aren't always so simple." She studies F'kan's eyes intently for a moment longer before another smile tilts into existence. "Maybe I'll give you some answers, Blue Eyes, since I like you. But only if ye walk with me that way." She tilts her head toward the entrance to the Springs. "I was just about to go take out the chill when you showed up, and ye might end up bit if ye keep me from it much longer."

Deflating slightly, F'kan tries to backpeddle, "I know, I've heard others have tried, but they haven't succeeded much. And I don't know, you seemed pretty receptive to learning some new thigns about rider and our dragons you didn't before." He offers a shrug with his explanation. When she goes on though, his own smile returns to his lips as she again uses that nickname, finding he's quite liking her continued use of it actually. His blue eyes swing in the direction she's indicating and spies the entrance to the springs, causing his eyebrows to shoot up appreciatively at that idea. Her last comment about getting bit does trigger a hearty chuckle from the brownrider as he returns with a roguish look "Ohhh, is that a promise?" But he will sweep one arm in the direction of the springs and bows at the waist, "Please don't let me keep you any further then. After you Devana."

The Springs

If one took a simple grotto and expounded upon it with the exponentially large space coefficient that the hold seems to be built upon, one would have the vaunted hot springs of Southern's icehold: for here there is stone and steam, secluded pools and public ones. So much variety, from frigid to scalding and all the stair-steps in between: and steps of stairs leading downwards from the entrance to the main hall, winding in between the natural pools to terminate at a heavy, engraved door.

What Devana thinks, wants, believes where the Weyr is concerned, as well as the reverse where her people are concerned, is all kept close to her chest. She'll reveal what she wishes when she wishes, and none of what F'kan says changes the fact. Her expression remains inscrutable, revealing nothing of her thoughts until he smiles again. His tease earns him an expression that might be verging on sultry, though there is most certainly still a tease in her eyes. "It depends," is offered back rather coyly before she turns and takes them toward the Springs. Once inside, the steamy air immediately has her sighing in relief. "Aye… This is second only to a waterfall in summer," she says as she continues toward the back of the cavern, stopping to set down her belongings once she's found her preferred spot and then sitting on the bench to start pulling off her boots.

F'kan follws after the wildling woman, a shake of his head for her inscrutible expression. He would never in a million turns admit it, but this woman intimidates him just a little bit. The old him gravitated towards none too bright girls, those who let his pretty face do most of the work for him. However, he feels like his pretty face won't be near enough to convince Devana to share information. Why did he even tell M'noq he was going to do this? He doesn't have any real way with people, he's far from diplomatic, he's way over his head. Following after her, F'kan takes a seat on a nearby bench, not too close though, and he's turned away from her as he dips to untie his own boots. "So do your people come here often then to trade?" That seems like a benign enough way to start.

Devana is used to having that effect on many people, for better or worse. On the one hand, it helps her to be taken seriously. On the other, she runs some people off that she'd hope to draw in instead. Fortunately, this brownrider seems intrigued rather than driven away…and she would rather not do that, she finds. Not that it's something she would admit to in a million years herself. Her boots removed, she then strips off her jumper…and just as casually, the shirt beneath, revealing one last piece of clothing that does nothing to conceal the lithe expanse of her torso except for the obvious. Whether it's a bra or part of a swimsuit isn't immediately clear, but either way, she has no qualms about stripping down to it while she answers his question. "We try to at least twice a season, though more often in summer," she says as she folds what she's taken off to put into a neat stack. "Good place to escape the heat. We've stayed the whole season some Turns. I prefer to wander all over whenever I can get away with it, personally."

F'kan keeps his eyes downcast as he goes about kicking off his own boots. When he sheds his own jacket and the dark red tunic underneath, he reveals broad shoulders, a chiseled chest and a set of rather nice abs, generous muscles defined with the help of all the weight training he's been doing to work out his frustrations in the last few months. At her words, he looks briefly in her direction, but tries his hardest to keep his eyes on her face. "So you don't really have a schedule then? You just go where you want to, when you want to?" He asks curiously as he stands to start undoing the fastenings of his pants. "Sounds very freeing." he remarks

Devana, on the other hand, doesn't hesitate to make an obvious appraisal of what F'kan puts on display, and seems amused that he refrains from looking at her until he absolutely must. When he does look over, it'll be obvious that she's still admiring, eyes dancing rather mischievously - and a touch heatedly - when they find his. "Oh, I wouldn't say we lack a set time for doin' things," she replies, rising and unfastening her belt. "It's just that we look more to the present to tell us when to move rather than the future, though sometimes we have to." She strips away her pants to an under-layer of thin, snugly-fitted wool leggings. These, she starts to pull away with a little more effort, the fit of them demanding she go more carefully as long, toned legs are bared. "We know around when we mean to leave, but we look to the immediate conditions to let us know if it's fine to leave now, or wiser to wait a day or two. And knowing the ways of the seasons and weather, we can anticipate and prepare for some things as needed." Finally bared save for those last two shreds of fabric, she tucks her belongings all together in a nearby cubby and rises again. "Your Weyr keeps ye on a much tighter leash, aye?" she asks as she starts to step down into the steaming water, eyes trained upon F'kan the entire time. "Always lookin' forward, the Thread-killers of Pern. It dictates all ye do."

Watching those toned legs be slowly revealed from the woolen leggings is stirring things in F'kan that have been dormant for over half a turn and he suddenly finds himself with a lump rising in his throat, not to mention other things threatening to rise. Pulling his bright blue gaze from her form, he clears his throat softly, trying to dislodge that lump as he works the rest of his fastening with fumbling fingers. "That seems like a good way of doing things, looking to the present, I like the sound of that." At her assertions over riders and the Weyr, he chuckles a little bit as he finally works the ties undone and starts to slip pants over his waist, leaving a pair of loose shorts underneath. "I wouldn't say we were kept on leashes. But we do look to the future, I'll grant you that, because our job is to make sure the people of Pern gets a future." Once he hears her slip into the water, he turns again and quickly follows, groaning with pleasure at the hot water swirling around him.

"And yet, for sayin' ye like the sound of lookin' to the present, you don't seem to be much in it yourself." Devana makes the observation with an air of factuality rather than teasing now. She's submerged enough for the water to lap around her shoulders just beneath her collarbones. Lifting a hand, she looses the tie holding her hair partially back, letting the fullness of long brown hair drop to frame her face, the ends fanning in the water before she shoves it all back behind her shoulders. A quick backward tilt of her head wets the entire mass. "We may be survivors, but we'd be fools to think we'd've lived through the start of the Pass without ye," she says, her tone lowered as though someone might hear it and consider her words blasphemy. Brandy-bright eyes settle on the brownrider again as he descends, her lips curving appreciatively once more. "Well, ye weren't kidding about keeping yourselves in fine form, I'll give ye that," she offers unabashedly, and then regard him with a bemused cant of her head. "Does it trouble ye to look at me now, Blue Eyes?"

The rumbling laughter from F'kan echos around him as he steps closer to where she is, sinking further into the hot water, taking his time as he watches her out of the corner of his eye untie her hair, mesmerized momentarily as she tilts her head back. At her lowered tone, he does quirk a curious brow in her direction, "I'm guessing that's not a popular opinion amoung your people?" It's a wild stab in the dark, but it's the only thing he can think of when it's obvious she doesn't want to be overheard. The compliment about his fine form is met with an embaressed smile as a ruddiness spreads over his face, one hand combing through his sandy blond hair again. "I have been hitting the weights pretty hard the last few months. keeping out of trouble as it were." He'll admit with a chuckle. With her last though, he will turn to look in her direction, and with a roguish smile, "Not at all Devana, you're very pleasing to the eye yourself. I'm just trying to keep things professional here. Don't want to give you the wrong idea."

Not wanting to be heard as easily may be at least part of Devana's motivation for picking the pool that's furthest back and most secluded. She gives a little shrug, though elaborates by explaining, "We're proud, dragonman. As proud as all of you, I'd think. No one who's so long-established on land, sea, or sky would ever want to admit to havin' someone else to thank for their collective survival. Individuals differ, but a people? They're harder to convince on the whole." Then she's succeeded in making him blush again, and she can't help but grin slyly. "Ah, so you're trouble, then?" she counters, lapsing back into teasing for a bit and drifting closer before looking perplexed again at his last. "And what idea might that be?"

Sinking further into the water and drifting slowly closer, F'kan considers her words on the nature of an individual versus a people, the wheels obviously turning as he curses himself at not thinking about taking notes and how it would be impossible while bathing. Too late now, he'll have to rely on his memory. When called trouble though, his blush deepens just barely, "I may have been a misguided youth in some ways, but I've been trying to mend my ways, grow up that kind of thing." Then she is drifting closer, and the smile on F'kan's face can't help but take on a rakish tilt. "That all of this is some ploy at trying to get to see you with most of your kit off." He elaborates with a shrug.

Devana can't help but laugh at that, a rich sound that rolls easily above the bubbling of the springs. "I'm the one who was comin' here in the first place, brownrider," she points out. "So maybe it was I who made the ploy, aye? I only invited ye to follow, after all, not into the water…though I wagered ye would. And I'm not sorry, in case, ye couldn't tell." She drifts closer still, within arm's reach now, holding his gaze pointedly. "We all make youthful mistakes, and growin' up is prudent, but there's nothin' childish about admirin' the beauty in something, or someone. Or about what that admiration might make ye feel and want to do," she tells him, her voice only loud enough for him to hear. "The thing that separates the child from one grown…is how the latter is dealt with."

F'kan swallows hard as the wildling woman is now within arms reach, a nervous chuckle trying to break the tension, "Well, if that was your plan, I have to commend you clever woman, because I definitely did not see that coming." Taking a half-step towards her, his bright blue eyes find hers with their pointed gaze, a half-smirk playing over his lips as he looks down at her, a touch of husky heat flaring into his words, "I admire your way with words, Wild One." See? He can come up with clever nicknames as well. "If I admire much more than that at this point, I'm afraid it will become quite obvious how alluring I find you and what I would like to do…with you." he looks down significantly and then back up at her.

"I admire that you seem to listen," Devana counters to F'kan's first, smirking deeply at the return moniker he offers up. His last earns a husky chuckle. "Ye speak as though it would be a bad thing. But at least you're being honest." As he looks down, she lifts a hand, touching a single fingertip to the base of his throat and drawing it down the middle of his chest, feather-light. "Perhaps ye might enlighten me on that last point sometime," she suggests at a murmur, and lets her hand fall away before it gets as far as his stomach. "But things not bein' ideal for the moment…ask me another question." An out, for the moment…but now her curiosity is blazing. She's nowhere near finished with this blue-eyed brownrider, she's decided.

Oh that single touch, F'kan feels his entire body tense suddently when her fingertip makes contact and begins trailing lower, causing a deep throb as something stirs beneath the surface of the water, acute and quick to rise to her grazing. Bright blue eyes deepen with a faint hunger as he looks down on the brown haired wildling woman, so close to throwing caution to the wind and taking her up on enlightening her further, he even leans forward just a little bit, dropping his head, lips parting as his eyes search her brandy bright ones. "Can I take you out to dinner sometime?" He'll use that to break the tension, and no matter what her answer, he will swiftly guide them back to the business at hand, asking more curious but mostly benign questions about her people and silently patting himself on the back for not acting like 'Old F'kan.' And in due time, he may even be able to get out of the springs without disgracing himself.

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