Fort Weyr — Living Cavern
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.
Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.

Late spring afternoon finds the living caverns moderately occupied. It has rained the majority of the day and continues even now in heavy sheets. Anyone caught outside even for a few moments will be surely drenched. Chilled too, as the temperatures remain cold despite the season. At least the fires at the hearths promise warmth and the largest cluster of folk are huddled about them. Th'ero has seated himself to the far side of the largest hearth. No one is seated with him and it may be obvious why. The Weyrleader is currently leaning back in his chair, eyes closed and fingers kneading the brow above one eye in the slow manner that one suffering from a terrible headache would. Normally he would retire to his weyr when they get this bad but he must have been stuck here instead — or tried to see if some food would help. If the ignored plate suggests, that plan failed.

Kimmila slogs in from the outside, dripping wet and sneezing into her sopping scarf. Shivering, she sheds her sodden clothes and orders a hot cider while moving to the fire. She flops down beside Th'ero and doesn't yet notice his problems, as she has some of her own as she tugs off her boots, her socks, and flags down a drudge to ask for a few blankets. "Stupid sharding rain."

A few people look up when Kimmila arrives but she's soon dissmissed as they return to their conversations or their meals. Th'ero doesn't look up but he doesn't have to, does he? His fingers remain raised, still kneading away at his brow. One eye cracks open at least, giving her the once over before closing again. "You look like hell," he mutters with a smirk.

Kimmila scowls at him. "So do you." Hi, I love you, how was your day? She sneezes again and shivers beneath the blankets brought to her, curling up on the chair and inhaling deeply of the steam from her arrived mug.

Th'ero's smirk just sticks firmly in place for her return remark. Love you too, Wingmate. "Headache," Is all he grunts back right before she sneezes. That has him opening both eyes though they remain squinted. "You're well?" That's a loaded question. Best she answer it wisely or, well… she knows what'll happen.

Kimmila shrugs. "Cold," she answers. So, maybe? "I'm warming up though. Glad I have a rest day tomorrow, so I can sleep." Her body will need it to recover. "You take any medicine?" She eyes him, assuming she already knows the answer.

Th'ero frowns as his gaze lingers on her but eventually he'll let it slide. It's obvious though that he does not believe for a second that she's simply "cold". "I'll do my best not to disturb you while you rest," he remarks dryly. Someone's a little jealous? Maybe. Could be that his aching head is making him envious of the idea of sleep. A lot of sleep. He answers her prompt with a low huff of breath and a sidelong look before he grimaces and shuts his eyes again, brows knitted in discomfort. Does that say enough? "What had you out in the rain today, anyways?" he manages to mutter after a spell.

Kimmila lifts a brow at his sarcasm. "You can rest with me," she replies just as dryly. "Cotholds. You need medicine."

"What? Just rest?" Th'ero fires right back with a wryness he usually doesn't so openly flaunt in public. Either his head really is bothering him to the point he doesn't care or… he really just doesn't care. Not that anyone could overhear them. With the din of the caverns as they are and with him speaking in his usual low voice, it'd be quite difficult. "I'll live." Which is his stubborn answer of: no. "It's just a headache. It'll pass."

Kimmila smirks, and sneezes. "Yes. Just rest." Then she eyes him, her gaze firm. "What's the point of suffering through it? Take something, idiot."

Th'ero meets her gaze when he opens his eyes again and from the way his jaw sets it's clear that, joking or not, he's not going to easily budge. "Because it's just a headache! You, however, might be chilled. If anyone should be taking something…" It's her, not him. So there! Absorbed as he is in their "discussion", he doesn't notice the arrival of another to the caverns. This poor individual is soaked too though they had the sense to wear a decently waterproof cover over themselves. It staved off the worse of the rain, but as the newcomer unbuckles it and shrugs it off, it's obvious that it wasn't entirely successful. Yet it won't be that that will surprise two certain riders because standing there is… Kiena.

Kimmila lifts her mug. "I /am/ taking something." Her eyes flick automatically to the doorway when a newcomer arives, and she pauses to study more closely when she's not immediately recognized. Then she blinks, and sits up a bit straighter. "Kiena," she murmurs, by way of warning. "Bet you wish you'd taken something now."

"Cider doesn't count," Th'ero mutters back and he's just set to rubbing his forehead again when he catches on to Kimmila's murmured warning. Skeptically he'll dart a look at his weyrmate but seeing her change in posture, he'll look towards the entrance. Sure as day, it's Kiena standing there. His response? Is to say nothing though he's visibly tensed in his seat. "Doubtful she's come here to chat, Wingmate." he remarks sourly and under his breath. Not with him, anyways! Yet the bluerider hasn't budged far from the entrance, hanging her rain gear with the rest that have been stretched out in hopes of drying.

"Why else would she be here?" Kimmila mutters. Sitting up straighter, she lifts a hand to wave towards the Xanadu bluerider.

Th'ero grimaces, "Damned if I know?" he growls irritably under his breath at Kimmila, only to shoot her a LOOK when she waves his sister over. "She won't come over—" he begins, only to be proven wrong. Kiena does move their way but only after clear hesitation. She might have just left if it had been Th'ero alone but she doesn't hold so much against Kimmila. So off she steps until she stops by their table. Not much has changed with her, save for the one side of her head being close cropped to a near shave in a sort of exotic style. The rest of her hair remains long and is currently messily bound back. She glances between them and longest on Kimmila. The slight to her brother is done on purpose. "Hey." That's it for greetings. Also given to Kimmila, not to Th'ero.

Kimmila waves a bit and offers a smile. "Hey, Kiena. What brings you to Fort?"

She'll have to wait a moment for an answer, because Th'ero decides to do something that Kiena doesn't entirely approve of. Whether a look or an assumed muttered comment but there's a stare down between the two before the bluerider finally looks away and rather cooly answers: "Private matters." So none of your business? Maybe it's the smile from Kimmila that brings some guilt and Kiena thaws a little, "Boring, really." She'll ignore Th'ero's sound of disbelief, but from the way her jaw works it's taking considerable effort. "You look like you've had better days, yourself." Is Kimm getting tired of hearing that yet?

Kimmila nods. "I have." She's not going to argue against something so obviously true. "How're the kids?" Small talk, really?

Kiena quirks a brow when Kimmila remains so civil and resorts to… small talk. Yet she doesn't exactly start smiling and grab a chair to sit! She'll just remain standing, looking quite stiff and uncomfortable. Mostly thanks to her brother being… well. Himself. "They're fine. Growing fast. The girls are old enough now to almost be on their own." That much time has passed. "I heard that Kyzen Impressed. K'vir, right?"

Kimmila nods with a proud smile. "Yes, bronze! Young, though. But I think they're handling his age just fine. He'll be in a true wing as soon as he matures a bit."

Kiena frowns, "Just how young was he?" she asks and it just shows so clearly then how neither of them know much, despite being family. Something shifts, be it the mood or a trigger but the bluerider finally zeroes in on her brother. Th'ero has ceased rubbing his forehead or glowering in his chair and is now pointedly looking at his sister. Which apparently has finally pushed her patience. "What? You going to actually say it out loud or are we just going to do this the entire time?" she snaps, earning a few glances their way.

Kimmila is about to answer but he silences herself. Say what? She just looks between the siblings, and slouches a bit in her chair.

Th'ero and Kiena just glare at each other in heated silence for several long tense moments until the bluerider turns on Kimmila. "Isn't it obvious? He won't say it, of course, but it's clear enough to me. I'm still not welcomed here, am I?" She smirks, glancing away. "Don't even know why I bothered walking in here."

Kimmila looks startled, looking at Th'ero and then kicking his leg. "Knock it off. Of course you're welcome here, Kiena."

Th'ero grunts under his breath when Kimmila kicks his leg, turning his attention away from staring down his sister (headache or no) to glare at her momentarily. What? "I'm not doing anything!" he mutters darkly and yet makes no gesture to assure either of them on whether or not Kiena really IS welcomed. In fact, Kiena looks just about ready to go storming right back out the way she came. Pouring, storm-condition rains be damned. It's Kimmila's comment that keeps her in place, long enough to answer. "Yeah, maybe by YOU Kimmila, but not by HIM and this is his precious Weyr, isn't it?" Her temper rising, Kiena's begun to gesture while she speaks and that just draws more interest from the others trying to enjoy an early dinner while the late afternoon storm blows through.

Kimmila looks around and sighs. "Sit down, Kiena," she mutters. "Fort doesn't belong to him. If it did, there's a list of folks I can name off the top of my head who wouldn't be here."

Another figure can be seen, tired after far too many days on the go. Ashwin has literally gotten to Fort less than five minutes ago and hasn't even been home yet. Hungry, the first stop that made sense seems to be the Living Caverns. So self absorbed is he that he is actually within about fifty feet before he stops, blinks, stares, and leans against a pillar crossing his arms. Then after a moment he heads to the kitchen, and reappears with a bowl of fingerfood as snacks and leans against the same pillar.

Poor Kimmila, caught playing mediator between the two of them, and not even before she can enjoy her first drink of the day! Kiena just stubbornly crosses her arms while shifting her weight to one side. "No thanks." she tersely refuses Kimmila's offer to sit. Really, she should have expected that! Her eyes narrow and her smirk widens, followed by her scoffed reply. "You sure about that? Last I heard, exile was a staple punishment here. Greenrider, bronzeriders, goldrider… Why not his own blood?" Probably not the best thing to be airing out publicly but she's not shouting those facts, but speaking just loud enough that someone overhears and one is enough, isn't it? The conversations that resume in the cavern are probably not all so innocent as before. Th'ero just glares darkly and his reply low and to the point. "You exiled yourself after the accident involving K'vir, Lianri and Journeyman Aaron. I've nothing to do with that." Which is both truth and lie in the same breath and Kiena immediately leaps on it. "Like you'd ever allow me to forget what had happened!" she hisses through her teeth and before they can truly get into it, the bluerider begins to shake her head. "Forget it. I'm done." And out! Already she's taking a step back, unaware of who is watching. Even if she took stock, she'd not care at this point. Kiena's mind is turning to escaping from here.

Kimmila slumps back into her chair and sighs. "You're a stubborn jackass," she mutters to her weyrmate. "Why can't you be welcoming? She's your only sister."

Ashwin munches his finger food, listening with every little bit of his not-obvious-to-the-appearance concentration. He might be a drifter who's just enjoying a good spat if someone didn't recognize him. As Kiena threatens to wander by he coughs, very loudly, just once. That sort of cough where someone is trying to draw attention to themselves. With all due hope, she'll notice him. "Hmm?" He asks, if she does in fact notice. His right eyebrow is raised in a neutral, albiet rather questioning expression. How long has he been there?

"She almost got our son killed," Th'ero mutters right back to Kimmila, his voice low and blunt. Old news, but most know of the incident. Hard to keep something like that accident hushed up. He gives his own weyrmate just as cold a glare. "It'd be easier to forgive her if she'd stop tearing open wounds. Until then?" Yeah, he's going to be a complete jackass. Watching as Kiena storms off, he makes no effort at all to stop her. He'd literally have to have Kayeth force Ujinath down and well… Th'ero enjoys living. Even he knows not to cross certain lines.

… not that Kiena gets far. She's caught up in her own head until that cough snaps her out of it long enough to glance. That's all it takes and then the startled and sudden stop as recognition hits. She's noticed Ashwin and he gets a rather hastily muttered, a slightly wild and fidgety edge about her. "How long have you been there?" Which may as well sound like 'what are you doing here' too, as ridiculous as it would be for her to ask him that.

"But she /didn't/. You're never going to forgive her?" Kimmila murmured. "/I/ have almost gotten our son killed. So have you. Remember his birth? The child begs for accidents to happen to him.

Ashwin flits his gaze between Th'ero, Kiena, Kimmila and a random passerby. One arm still holds the basket of fingerfood, but the other is tucked beneath his armpit. It's just a comfortable way for him to stand and as he places the bowl down so he can look between the three people again, the other one joins it in a very tight cross of arms. "Long enough." Ashwin has never been one for bull, as it were, and the tone in her voice is addressed. "I just got in and I was hungry. I didn't expect to see a shipwreck in progress." Though he calls it that, there's no accusation in his voice. The way he talks, he clearly doesn't have any emotional stake in it one way or another. "Now, I don't know what's going on here." He raises his voice. Deliberatly. So that Th'ero can hear it as well. "But I'm not sure that it matters. Don't you both think this has gone on long enough?" He spends equal time looking between them. "Family doesn't last forever. Even when you can't stand it, and you want it to be anywhere else. Things happen and it goes away and you're left with 'Why didn't I ever fix it up'." Ashwin pauses, uncoiling and taking a bit of chicken and munching it. "And if you both keep pointing fingers, accusing, and implying he needs to bend before she does, or she needs to bend before he does, nothing's ever going to come of it. It doesn't *matter* who's fault it is."

"Don't—" Kiena's plea, low spoken, comes a moment too late to stop Ashwin. So she can only stand there, her back to most of the caverns, while he speaks. It's difficult to say what her expression is but her posture is stiff and rigid and at one point her eyes will close. Embarrassed? Probably. That or she's becoming increasingly aware of the growing number of people looking up and towards them. Ashwin's little speech does earn him a few murmurs of agreement though and a nod here or there, while others just watch on in varying degrees of interest.

Th'ero is listening too, turning his attention from Kimmila to give Ashwin a long, lingering look. His eyes narrow for the speech itself or the fact that his skull aches with a near-blinding headache, he plays as neutral a part himself as he can. Which starts by him gesturing with a wave of his hand. "Why don't you join us here, to talk." he offers. An offer that is open, but will be ignored by one bluerider as Kiena attempts to slip away. Pretty speech or no. Conflicted as she is.

Kimmila is a second conflicted bluerider. Go, or stay? A compromise perhaps. She stands, wrapping the blankets more tightly about herself. "Kiena," she says, moving to follow the other bluerider if she continues out into the rain.

Ashwin really isn't certain on what to do. He could just let Kiena go. He probably should. And yet, if anyone asked him in his own words he's tired of the BS. It's pretty clear that Th'ero and Kiena are not going going to work this out on their own and if she's going to be coming to Fort on a regular basis it needs dealt with. "I'd love to take you up on that." Ashwin says to Th'ero, again, a little louder than necessary. "If Kiena comes with me." He shoots her a pleasant look, and stepping very briefly to intercept her, says quietly. Some might hear it, some might not. He doesn't care at this point. "For me. Please?" If either he, or Kimmila is successful at rallying her, he'll pull out a chair for her. "We're all adults here, too. We've all got good hearing. Nobody needs to shout, this is enough of a public spectacle as it is." If everyone is at the table? That's the first thing that he'll say.

Kiena's sharp look is sent first to Kimmila and then to Ashwin and while her jaw sets and there's a hint of some fight brewing in her. It might have come to that, with her feeling cornered and trapped by both of them. Yet what did she expect? There's a brief standoff as she freezes again after Ashwin's interception and Kimmila moving in too. She listens. She doesn't like the terms, AT ALL, and it'll be obvious in the way she looks to either of them but after a time she'll nod stiffly. "Fine." she mutters and, rallied, stiffly walks back to the table and seats herself in that chair.

Th'ero hasn't moved at all from his spot at the table and he simply observes in silence as Ashwin and Kimmila do all the dirty work in keeping Kiena from making a run for it. Knowing that the 'best' of the entertainment is likely finished (or knowing better than to pointedly stare), most of their audience turn back to their own business and they're left "alone" to talk… or as alone as anyone can get in a very public cavern.

Kimmila watches Kiena move to the table and then, with a small nod, she hustles down into the lower caverns. Gone? Or simply on an errand? A round of poses will reveal the answer.

Ashwin looks between Th'ero and Kiena as Kimmila wanders off. Well, shit. He got himself into this, didn't he? But then again, isn't this sort of what Th'ero put him in that wing for? Keeping the peace? It's keeping the peace all right, with a little bit of unprofessional self interest given Kiena's reoccuring trips to Fort. He looks between one, then the other. Tapping the table. "So. No shouting." Why does he feel the need to remind them? It's a combination of just because, and he needs a few more seconds to come up with what he wants to say. "Kiena has been coming to Fort regularaly, and I suspect she'll continue to do so. It's in the best of everyone's interest to figure this out. I'm not asking for you to two like each other, nothing was built in a day." He gives Th'ero a very brief look that has some pity in it. "Kiena, are you hungry?" If the answer is impolite, he'll shoot her a bit of an irritated gaze. "All I'm asking, since I have to live here … my Weyrleader on one hand, and … " He glances at Kiena. "Someone close on the other, that you find some way to not be a spectacle that makes you both look foolish." He drops his voice an octave, so it doesn't leave the table. "And I just finished trying to reconcile with family that are dead. It sucks. Why don't you two have a meal togeather and for once, have a talk about things other than what upsets you. I'm sure there's some common ground that can be had for thirty minutes of pleasant conversation, and if you can manage that, perhaps more."

Hey, Kiena did try to warn him? As angry and upset as she is right now though, she'll make it up to him. Somehow. Probably in some way to Kimmila too. For the most part, she's glaring a hole into the table and sitting so straight, hands curled tight enough that her nails have probably bit into her palms but she keeps both in her lap. The only movement comes when Ashwin asks her if she's hungry. Her head tilts then and while she's tempted to be a brat and answer rudely, she'll rein that in and simply shake her head. "Not right now." she gives a tense but honest answer, even if spoken hurriedly. Then it's back to lapsing silent, until something Ashwin says, about reconciling too late, causes her to dart a look at him as her expression and stance soften just before her head lowers again and something close to shame crosses her features.

Meanwhile, Th'ero is just his usual cold and silent self even as his sister is dragged back to the table. He's watching Ashwin instead and listening and while he keeps masks in place, occasionally there's a ripple, like a man who is trying to also hide discomfort. Discomfort that has likely nothing to do with the discussion but is being exacerbated by it. Could work in their favour too. A brow does quirk up. Someone close? Eyes move between Ashwin and Kiena and part of him wishes Kimmila were there. It won't be him who speaks up first, in the end of it. Oddly, it's Kiena. "… It can't be here. Neutral." Private. At least she's looking up now, glancing between both men, but lingering longest on her brother. Deal? Th'ero takes his sweet, sweet time before finally sighing heavily and nodding. "Not tonight. Another day." That done, he glances to Ashwin and speaks solely to him, while giving him a shrewd look. "Some would argue that what you've done is either brave or outrightly stupid." Unspoken is the obvious: Why? Why does he care so bad to step in?

Ashwin draws small circles on the tabletop as he listens to both of them, waiting. For someone to interject, argue or otherwise tell him what it's going to be and how it's going to go down. He can wait about as long as they want to. His paitence, despite a lack of paitence that drove him to step in in the first place is absolute. The first words that Kiena has to say get a gentle nod. She's not hungry. So be it, that is what it is. And yet, after that his face remains expectant with one eyebrow raised, though it is for both Th'ero and Kiena that it shows, applied to them equally though Kiena does so first. It softens a touch at the guilty look, though it doesn't completely go away. Even when they make their agreement, he hesitates. But he does offer: "If you'd wish a mediator I'd be happy to have you both for dinner at some point. Despite rumors that you've heard to the contrary, I can in fact, cook." The self depreciating humor is his way of making the offer without it seeming out of place. "If not, that suits me fine too. As long as it happens." At some point, he'll drop a hand to squeeze the top of Kiena's thigh, masked well as scratching one of his own itches. When all of this is out, Ashwin looks up and over at Th'ero. "You ought to know by now I'm not afraid to speak my mind. I care alot about Kiena, I'd like to see this stupid rift mended because family is forever and like it or not, you two are stuck with each other. Faranth knows, you both carry enough extra weight and baggage around that you don't need that too." He drops his hand into his neglected bowl of fingerfood, and eats a bit of it. "And, you brought me into the police wing to keep the peace. So it's sort of my job to mediate conflict, though that one is taking it a bit far. But you two were having a shout in the living cavern. Sir." The sir in this particular case seems to amuse Ashwin to say.

Kimmila didn't abandon them. She's back very quickly with a mug of something which she puts firmly in front of Th'ero with a stern look. Drink it. Then she sits beside him and rests her hand over his under the table.

"I think…" And this is coming from Kiena again, well before Th'ero can speak up and even if he had, she would have continued and interupted him. "… this is something we'll manage on our own from now on. Don't — want to keep dragging people down or into the mess I… we… cause." There's some fumbling there and she's struggling to spit it all out but there you have it. It's sudden, even for her. She doesn't even hint that she's felt Ashwin's hand but he'll feel just how tense she is, to the point that she almost trembles from the exertion to stay still. Th'ero is sufficiently shocked that he doesn't do something stupid and undo everything. Could be he's thrown off too by Kimmila's return and that stern and silent command to drink whatever poison she's brought him. Since he stares at the contents like it very well COULD be poison. He's also not dense or oblivious and he's picking up on there being something far more than his assumed 'acquaintance' connection he had begun to form between Ashwin and Kiena. "Point taken." he remarks dryly, and does not seem in the mood to argue with Ashwin, though he's still watching the brownrider in a not so subtle way. Intrigued but for all the wrong reasons now. With the situation diffused, Th'ero will knock back that drink Kimmila brought him and try not to grimace too much at the taste. "If there's nothing else urgent to discuss, I'll take my leave. Wingmate?" He leaves it up to her if she wishes to stay or follow him, but Th'ero is of the mind to go when things can at least end on a somewhat positive note.

There's actually a little bit of satisfaction as Kiena speaks up. Though he'd offered, that was the last place that Ashwin really wanted to be. A private person by nature he isn't a fan of digging into other people's business when he doesn't have to. "I'm glad." That's all he says about the exchange. "Life's too short." His eyes wander between Kimmila, Th'ero and Kiena again as he puts his hand into the bowl to eat another piece of chicken, eyes shifting to watch Th'ero primarily back. Nothing like challenge in his eyes or face, but as long as he's watched, so he will return it. "Not at all. Try and have a better night."
Once Kimmila and Th'ero have left or stayed, he turns his head back to Kiena. Expectantly. Waiting for her to get angry, it seems.

Kimmila gets to her feet and tightens her grip on her blanket. "Coming. Let me just grab my things," she murmurs. Then she'll follow him out, with a nod of farewell to Kiena and Ashwin.

"You as well." Th'ero returns the gesture while waiting on Kimmila to join him before walking off. There may be a hidden message there too, as he leaves Ashwin with his sister. Probably feeling sorry for him and yet not. He dug himself that hole and now has to lay in it! Little does he know that there will be no explosion on Kiena's end. Not while she and Ashwin stay seated in the living cavern. Once they're alone and a few moments of silence have passed, she'll look up at him. Just for him, he'll see that, yes, she is angry but she is conflicted too. "Wish you hadn't had seen that… or get dragged into it. You shoul— You didn't have to do any of that." She'll correct herself mid sentence though it's clear she's still having difficulty working her head around it and her posture hasn't changed. "I get why you did it." But?

If Kiena wanted a fight with him too, it would have gone down the moment he tried to intervene. That she bit her tongue and allowed him to do what he did (even if unwanted) says much. Bluntness is probably best and he'll see it sink in, in the way her expression shifts. Apologetic and shamed. Yet her hand will tentatively lift to rest subtly against his arm or leg. "I'll make it up to you. Somehow." At least she didn't say 'sorry' outright? Unless he's waiting for that too. "Yeah, well… He brings out the worst in me." she mutters with some dry, dry humour before sighing. "I know. I know. It was stupid of me. Could've just walked out but…" Her shoulders shrug and it would have ended there. Except after a stretch of silence, she'll quietly speak again. "— thank you." Expected? Not expected? Kiena at least looked at him as she delivered those two words, but her gaze soon drops.

As she grows quiet, so does he. Part out of pure fatigue and part out of thought. He most certainly doesn't want a fight either. "But, you didn't. And because you didn't maybe a door has been opened. Things are strange like that sometimes. Besides, I meant what I said. Life is too short and no matter what you do? He's still your brother." When after that stretch of silence she thanks him, a narrow hand reaches down to close around the hand that rests on him. He'd let it happen and now, he's taking possession of it. "I think it's probably time we talk about something else, too. The feline is out of the bag as it were. Enough people heard what was said. Are you embarassed of me? Or ready to stop hiding this?"

"He never ceased to be my brother," Kiena quietly points out but there's a certain tone to her voice. Not anger or annoyance. Acknowledgement. Where many have tried before, he's managed to bring her around to the idea. Even if she holds considerable doubt of the success but she keeps that to herself. "Life is too short." she agrees. Feeling his hand close around hers, she'll look up at him again. So much she desires to say and to ask but that discussion, if it comes to be, won't be until later. In private. Right now they're broaching something else entirely and Kiena can't help but scoff a little. "Embarrassed of you? Hardly. Even if you did just publicly call me out along with my brother." That's another little attempt at humour. She even slips in a bit of a smile until her mood sobers again and she grows serious. "I just thought now… wasn't the time? But I'm done hiding this. Us." It's an honest answer. One she'll enact on by leaning closer to him, head tilted up in an obvious invitation but giving him the choice to accept it or turn it away. "Are you?"

"You know what I mean." Tired Ashwin says softly at her first words and, in a way, his agreement with the second. There's a lot he wants to say as well but fatigue is blurring his mind to the point that he is slowly finding it difficult tospeak and there are some other things in mind. "If you wern't being a brat, I wouldn't have had to." He counters back then, using the word taht he has just for her. Humor for humor, it seems. "Us." He says, and honestly not caring who sees the invitation is accepted and she will find herself kissed warmly. Then, slowly, paitently, he rises and pushes in his chair and offers her both hands. "And let's go do something with us before I'm too tired to think about it."

Kiena smirks at him for his use of that term and there's a flicker of her usual self. Yes, she knows she can be a brat. An insufferable one, sometimes. Yet she's always liked hearing it from him, where others would only serve to piss her off. Again in the same afternoon she too doesn't care who is watching. Let word trickle back to her brother! It'll just make their talk all the more… volatile? The kiss is returned just as warmly and she will take his hands, joining him at his side. Literally! Unless there's protest, she'll slip an arm around him. She's noticed how tired he is, even before he admits to it, and it's yet another silent gesture. Lean on her. There's a chuckle for his last remark and she'll answer with her usual wryness. "Lead the way, then? Though don't feel you have to overdo it."

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