Who

Elle, Il'ian

What

A starcrafter, a bronzerider, and a bronze stumble upon the Star Stones… for all it sounds like a joke, it isn't. (Maybe a private one.)

When

It is the twenty-second day of Summer and 93 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.

Where

Star Stones, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Star Stones

The climb up here on foot is steep, narrow stone steps carved high into the sandstone, and from the top the precipice-drop to the jagged-craggy stones far, far below is treacherous. It's a wide sweep of ledge, a dragonlength and a half jutting out from a rough cliff wall. The wind here is ceaseless, dusty-dry during daytimes and biting at night. But for those who brave the climb to this lookout perched high above the Weyr's bowl, the view from these sandy-red rocks is breathtaking. Igen stretches wide-wide-wide around, a vast expanse of deep blue lake and lush green swamp and the myriad rust-rich colours of desert and rock. The real purpose of this spot, though, is highlighted not in its view of what is below but its view of what is above. Three tall rocks stand, one balanced across the tops of the other two, at the focal point of the ledge, perpetually framing one slice of the desert sky beyond.


In the morning of the twenty-second day of the sixth month, beneath the white-hot heat of the ball of fire that slowly slides across the robin's egg blue desert skies, a lone rider leans against a rock, leathers partially opened at the throat lest he back and seems to be chewing on a sliver of a stick from the corner of his mouth. The blonde hair is made darker by the way it's been crushed against his head, and sweat dampened for the helmet worn during sweeps. Clearly, duties were not that long ago as sweat dampens the skin of his neck and the hint of the plane of his chest that lies exposed to Rukbat's heat. The jacket itself has been dropped to the ground to cover the helmet, and off to the side, the wicked felfire-etched bronze lurks, talons tinged in tarnished ichor-green digging into the rocks. Il'ian kicks at the dirt, spitting from between his front teeth. "Psh."

Into the fray of the dust and the dirt moves a slim starcrafter, poised in posture but faraway in facial expression. Her mind is somewhere far beyond the wisps of wafting white clouds floating in cirrus sweeps above, and she doesn't seem to notice when one of her steps kicks a clod of umber clay at Il'ian's feet. More ammunition for his kicking, perhaps? Elle's eyes are cast down at a book opened at the top of an armful of materials, and she walks right by him, leaving only that clayed-rock and a wafting of fine perfume in her wake.

Il'ian is a man of few words, expressed when Elle's arrival gets a long look and a half-hearted grunt when that clod of umber clay lands at his feet. He does, in fact, kick it away but disdains further verbal commentary, though blue eyes track her progress with a hooded, yet curious look. Finally, after a ruffle of fingers through sweat-sticky hair, he chances to comment, "Gonna fall off the edge." Sparse words come with equally sparse tone before he's spitting at the ground again, rotating that toothpick to the otherside of his mouth. Head tilts to follow the girl's progress, light eyes squinting against Rukbat's harsh light.

For all of her outward distraction, Elle doesn't startle when Il'ian's words reach her. "Oh, I doubt that very much." She has a soft voice, this journeywoman, with the perfect lilt of the upper class to her cadence and timbre. "The edge is all the way over there, after all." She gestures with the tip of her stylus towards the termination, only thereafter lifting her deep-caramel appraisal to Il'ian. She inspects him momentarily and then turns back to her task - that is the Star Stones, evidently, as she circles them slowly, inspecting the angle of the eye rock. "Unless you were planning on pushing me." This seems far after the point of her attention has turned, and seems lighter, amused.

Il'ian shoulders her stare with a mien of ennui, giving little away in terms of shift in expression or body language that he's more than marginally aware of her. Despite this detachment, something oddly intent lurks within his expression. It gives little away but a watchful intensity. Flipping the toothpick to the other side of his mouth before he answers her, when he does finally respond it's after he's pulled his eyes away to look beyond the girl to the outward pull of the place beyond the stones. "Eh." That is the soulful response given, barely a grunt of acknowledgement. "Maybe." A glitter in ocean blue eyes. It could be humor. Or maybe it's murderous intent. True intention is hard to tell in the unreadable poise given to features.

One eyebrow lifts - no more, no less, and it's hard to see, as Elle is at an angle to Il'ian's stance. "Such chivalry," she murmurs loud enough to hear, but just barely. It does seem to be a comment for herself rather than something directed at him, in the starcrafter's quiet manner. She settles down her armful of items and starts marking the angles of the stones, using a folding, rudimentary measurement device - like a protractor, almost, but collapsible and easier to use against the rough swathes of rock. She bends after each measurement, marking it down in that small book she was reading, earlier.

Silence is her answer, simply because Il'ian has little use for words, using them only sparingly. That doesn't mean that curiosity doesn't linger in the blue depths of gaze, for he does watch her go about her measurement-ing stuff. One brow might tick upwards, though the fall of blond hair partially masks. His only direct response to her comment is a simple, "Eh." The wicked length of fel-touched bronze slowly swivels his head to watch the girl as well, though only a touch of fetid dragon's breath will ruffle the strands of chestnut hair that happen to fall free of whatever 'do she's got going on. He almost seems to want to comment — the man, not the dragon — but shifts his stance to squint at the eye rock instead. That's right. It's all about the silences, here, folks.

"Would you please breathe in a different direction, ser bronze," Elle requests, glancing fearlessly to the fel-iron might of Sargaeroth with quiet appeal: while her brown hair hangs in a short braid, there are strands loose enough to whip around her face from the combination of winds up here and the bronze's attention. She has all but put his lifemate on behavioral extinction, moving instead to half-climb the rock to measure an angle at the top, an insane strain of muscle and joint and a reaching for extra height and length of fingers that she doesn't possess. It's a precarious thing, for all she makes it seem a natural, if extended, stretch; but other than one short-huffed breath of consternation at having to make a fingertip measurement, she doesn't break the silence Il'ian has laid the foundation for.

Sargaeroth does not intend to follow a slip of a girl's direction as another gust of fetid air escapes the jaw's of the beast. Yet, it is Il'ian that saves the day, giving his lifemate the subtle shake of his head while using the edge of his thumbnail to scratch at the scruff browing along the edge of his jaw. Despite the aloof quality of bearin, the man's expression carries an underlying adorableness that comes to play with the quicksilver smile that briefly flares. "Maybe he wants to eat you." That, of course, is what passes for humor, the quietness of tone is more out of perplexion than anything else for the strange behaviors that Elle indulges in. The slight cant of his head makes a query better than a fumbling question ever would. Barely does he push off from the rock that provides his foundational support, and even then, only to squint further at what the girl's doing. Tongue and lips roll the toothpick to the other corner of his mouth.

Listen, Elle is only human. Scratch that: she's only the owner of a pair of ovaries, and there's something about Il'ian that has a direct effect upon any such organs. Her dark eyes lift in time to catch that quicksilver smile, and it charms a fellow expression from the girl — with deep-set dark eyes shining momentarily, it transforms her face from merely pretty to something that transcends pure physicality. "Oh, I wouldn't taste good to him, I'm sure. Too stringy. Thing about all the gristle caught in your teeth," she murmurs, more for the bronze than for his lifemate, and she hops off her precarious perch to land firmly on her feet and stare upwards at the rock. "Well, it's not out of adjustment." Does her voice sound grudgingly complimentary? "Surprisingly enough."

Brows tick upwards, humor flighting across his features. "Y'sure about that?" It's less the words and more the look that he gives the girl that puts a whole different spin on the question, though Il'ian is nowtimer enough to not let his eyes wander — okay, so they totally wander southwards briefly — too much. The way he ducks his head could almost be bashful, except it's not. It's to kick at the dirt and spit off to the side before raising those unsettlingly blue eyes back to the journeyman. Those eyes flick from the eyerock to the girl and back to the eyerock again. Surprise is an expression writ in the widening of those blue eyes and the lift of brows as mouth is left partially open enough that the toothpick hangs precariously on his bottom lip. Stuck there only by the adhesion of partially damp wood to the dryness of lip. "Didn't know," cue the thumb scratch along his temple and adorable tilt of brows, "they could."

"I am, as a matter of fact," Elle responds to Il'ian, a hint of mischief soaking into her expression. It looks unnervingly natural upon her face, a whimsical cant on a pixie's pert-nosed features. "I'm sure my mother would have researched the sudden blight of dragon attacks upon the populace, should dragons have picked up the taste for human flesh, and told me all about it." She's not too old to include with the statement a roll of her eyes, trapped yet in the teenaged garb of: you know nothing, parental units. Curiosity flashes in dark eyes as she considers the much taller rider, and she cocks her head. "Of course," she comments, as if it is perfectly natural. "Stones shift. Especially with the wind factor up here? I'm more surprised they haven't. There must be a mason performing regular maintenance upon them, else they should have shifted by several degrees."

Elle's youth plays into the indulgence of quick-silver smile, a brief flash that tugs lips into an appealing set upon handsome features. Il'ian doesn't comment further, however, choosing to use his words sparingly rather than be over effluent in verbal discourse. Finally, he reaches up and plucks the toothpick from between his lips, and more directly lays intensity of blue eyes upon the starcraft girl. Again, his mouth partially opens, holding a thought to the tip of his tongue, while thumb and forefinger roll the toothpick between them. However, this bronzerider is a man who considers the weight of his words before just vomiting them up and so whatever might have hovered upon the air between them is given only the verbal sound of, "Huh." Then: "Good to know." Quite possibly entirely tangential to what he was going to say. Chin lifts, brief nod given the girl's knot. "Journeyman, huh." Presumably he's making an assumption on her level of knowledge as well as her competancy, but it's difficult to say.

"You know, if you hold all of your words like that, you're going to make yourself constipated," Elle mildly comments to the bronzerider, sliding her lips to purse leftwards. She places her fists at the small of her back and stretches unselfconsciously, not thinking about how such motion draws the eye to how narrow her shoulders are, the soft curve of her bosum, the trim line of her lean torso, even if the view is occluded by the oversized tunic she wears, belted just beneath her breasts. "Junior journeyman, yes. Starcraft. I'm guessing you work in the stables?" She doesn't even bat an eye towards the very obvious bronze dragon, her dark eyes affixed to Il'ian with a perhaps unsettling confidence to the way she holds his eyes: she is obviously a nowtimer, but this is not a nowtimer behavior.

"Mmmm," Il'ian is now just being a dick about it, given the way his lips twitch to a half smile, a sparkle settling in the deep blue of his eyes. Flicking the toothpick to the ground — yes he's a litterer — the bronzerider tucks his hands into his pockets and regards the girl quietly. Not a word escapes the affable expression worn, though the view is appreciated from the flutter of thick, sandy eyelashes. The boy obviously respects the opposite sex enough to not openly gawk like she's a hooker from Rosie's, but Elle's pixish features are hard to ignore. "Sure. I can work in the stables." The rejoiner is most definitely set with teasing humor clinging to his demeanor despite the rather aloof posture he holds. Again, he squints down at the girl. "You are awful tiny for journeyman." LOOK. Six words in one go. Might be a personal record.

"You're awful quiet to work in the stables. Though you litter like a stableboy," Elle the environmentally conscious points out, placing her hands at her hips and casting arch gaze down at the toothpick soon lost to the winds of Igen's violent atmosphere. "There is no correlation between size and rank. Except perhaps in Smithcraft proper," she gets distracted by that thought, and turns mid-sentence to retrieve her book from her jumble of equipment left by the rock, turning her back with no as-you-please issued to Il'ian. Manners, manners. Except: "You have the ugliest runner I've ever seen, by the way." Hi Sargaeroth! Don't breath on me.

Il'ian flicks a glance at the toothpick but doesn't comment. Instead, he swings his eyes back to Elle and just shrugs. Why use words when body language will suffice far more effectively? The bronzerider does seem to be enjoying the fact that whatever he's doing seems to be enough that the journeywoman must comment on it. Finally, he lifts his shoulders up and questions, though it comes out more as a half-query, half-statement, "You always chatter so much?" Again, his head ducks in an action that could almost be bashful, except it's not entirely so. "Yeah? You got better, girl?" Given his own predilection towards nonverbal tendencies, the young man is not overly concerned with manners. Obviously. Sargaeroth swings his head around as the sudden, sharp attention is fitted upon the tiny girl as is a veritable hot wind of nasty dragon breath. More for calling attention to herself than for the words themselves.

With quick strokes, Elle pens some thought or another in her book, closes it and starts gathering her myriad tools — most unused, thanks to the proper positioning of Igen's starstones. When she straightens, she doesn't even seem to notice Sargaeroth, her eyes instead landing simply upon Il'ian's face. She doesn't say anything, and her expression doesn't change except in the subtlest of ways. Her lips, tilted in that off-center moue; her eyes, calm; her brows, straight and unmoving. A lingering sense of amusement and dragonlengths of confidence underlay that expression, and she meets his gaze for as long as he allows it, far past the initial point where it would be uncomfortable, past awkwardness.

Is it a silent battle of wills? If so, then Il'ian starts this with a half-smile and tilted brows that aid in the almost cute affability of his demeanor. Yet as the girl pushes the silence and length of stare past the point of awkwardness, the bronzerider's eyes sharpen on the girl. It's an affectation of the veneer of pliability but then he's dropping his head once more in that hint of bashfulness. Kicking an errant rock away, he allows a private smile to grace expressive lips, mostly for himself. Though he includes her with the cant of his head to include her in the side-glance given. A mocking, two-fingered salute is given before both hands are shoved into his pockets. The air about him, the body language, and reaction say it all: Touche. On that note, he gives a mocking bow and walks (silently) away from the strange pixie that graced his presence. Sargaeroth rumbles a sound of death and falls from the Starstones, to plummet down, down, down, down in the direction of the pens. His wings outspread catch the light in such away that the hints of tarnished green of the bronzed color catch the light like felflames. As it began, so it ends: in silence.

Sharp chin rises in overt triumph, subtle as it may be, a quickening to her eyes that declares victory as Il'ian shies from her gaze… eventually. Elle wraps her other arm about her bundle, holding the tools of her trade protectively, possessively against herself: it is altogether a girlish sight she makes therefore, all slim limbs and wind-bustled hair of brown. She watches Il'ian until Sargaeroth's plummet catches her attention, and she watches in abject fascination the bronze descending. As she moves back towards the standing stones herself, her lips curve in a private amusement, clods of clay scattering in front of her uncaring steps. So as it was, so as it will forever be.

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